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May 26, 2006

Comments

R

Hi guys,

Reading all the comments section about Syria, peace with Israel and possible deals with Israel, a scenario came to mind. Again being new to this site and this discussion, someone may have brought this up.

Given that at the moment, there is a kind of status quo, in the sense that there is no significant momentum gain on the side of the syrian opposition, and that there is no real indications that a "deal" will be offered to the regime, and that there is another UN investigation interim report coming up (possibly the last one before the final report), I believe that something has to happen to break the current balance in the equation. It seems to me that that thing can only be a UN report (now or in the intermediate future) pointing the blame (of Hariri's and the others' assasination) squarely on the shoulders of the high up in the Syrian regime. At that point, one of two things may happen. 1- The classical approach of forcig sanctions of some sort on Syria, further isolating and debilitating the regime. 2- The long anticipated "deal" is offered, at very unfavorable terms to syria but favorable terms to the regime, i.e. regime survival for peace (Of course such a deal would come in a package and involve some form of land return, Hizballa disarmament and so on).

Where would such moves leave the syrian opposition and how do you think the regime would react to either of those possibilities or to a combination of them...

Best,
R

George Ajjan

I am reminded of a conversation with an Egyptian friend back in 2002. I voiced strong objection and frustration with ongoing Israeli activities (Jenin camp, etc.)

His reply, while he took drags on his cigarette the way only an Arab smokes a cigarette:

"If you [expletives deleted] had sat down at the table in 78, like we did," (takes another drag on his cigarette), "none of this would be happening right now."

A discussion about 78 is academic at this point. The negotations of the 90s are more relevant, however.

Aex

in 1978 I think, Jimmy Carter waved to me ... he was with Sadat in the open Black Limo when it passed by our house in Cairo at the time. I was weaing a stupid I LOVE NY T-shirt so he thought I was an American kid I guess.

While I am here telling useless stories, In 1974 Richard Nixon waved to me as well ... he was in another Black limo, Damascus this time.

That's it.

Alex

R

Sorry, i forgot to answer you.

I think that a totally "bad" deal that offers "regime survival" mainly, will not be enforcable in Syria, and the regime knows it and they will not accept it... because people will realize it and real trouble will start.

The opposition, Ammar can answer you better ... They will surely try to portray anything the regime does in the worst way possible ... so a bad UN report will be very useful of course. But to what extent? ... I trust the ability of the Syrian peopel to judge that report's neutrality...

Jasooseh

Ammar
This is my first post and probably the last. I like what you've written. Before the 1970s, the Alawites were extremely poor and marginilised. they used to sell their 7 year-old daughters as maids to the middle classes in Lattakia, Tartous, Damascus and Aleppo (I know that because my uncles and aunts did that to my utter disgust). OK, now they're the masters. In the last 30 years they have hijacked the economy, educated their children, filled their foreign bank accounts and bought banana republic passports (just in case they have to flee the country in a hurry). What would you do if you were one of them and you have just lost all your friends and a major source of income and power for your cronies (from hashish/arms/protection rackets in Lebanon)? How will you feed your cronies whom you need to keep you in power now? There is no alternative but to squeeze more life juices out of your population. You alternate between the softly-softly approach (reforms benefitting primarily Almamlakeh Al Alawiyeh Alsourieh) and the brutal one (arrests, beatings, emprisonment,killings). What can be done about this? Judging by the political history of the human race, One or two high profile political assasinations should do it. The regime would implode after some further bloodshed. God only knows what a new regime would look like. The alternative is just too grim to contemplate: foreign intervention.

Ammar

I know Jasooseh, ours situation in Syria is a very difficult indeed as none of the alternatives is by any means rosy. But commitment to the status quo also precludes hope. This is why we need to shake things up, not a little, but a lot, and we need to deal with a lot of the dirt that we have for long been pushing under the carpet, before we get to a place where we can start building something new.

The situation in Syria is a like a clogged sewer pipe, we can either wait for it to explode in our faces, or we can wade right in and try to get it unclogged somehow. In all cases, filth is involved, and the situation will stink to high heaven.

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