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May 30, 2006

Comments

Solomon2

It seems likely to me that if the Assad regime appears to be in "serious" trouble, some group in the military will form to follow the Assad example and stage a coup, thinking that this will preserve/expand their own power and privileges.

Will they be right? In your opinion, will the NSF and the Syrian people be so overjoyed at the overthrow of Assad as to accept their new masters meekly, or will they apply "people power" to insist on democracy?

Ammar

I think this is the scenario that a lot of people are banking on, including me. Because the "people power" part requires a serious shakedown to take place in the system first, before it can slowly come into play.

The Syrian Brit

The problem with this scenario is that our recent history seems to be against the outcome you are hoping for.. Being only a 40-year-old means you probably do not remember the overwhelming wave of optimism that swept the country in the aftermath of the coup that brought Assad Sr. to ABSOLUTE power (I maintain that he was IN POWER long before it..).. I (as a 49-year-old!!..)remember all too vividly how people really believed that Assad Sr was actually going to imrove their lot!.. How wrong they all were..
More recently, a large section of the population(myself NOT included, I hasten to add!!..)thought the same about Assad Jr.
While I accept that, on the face of it, the problem is with Assad & Co., I believe the fundemental problem is a problem with the Regime.. With the Army being what it is, a millitary coup will still be a change from within the Regime itself (even if it involved the 'outer circles').. A change from within that will only bring a cosmetic change that is devoid of any substance..
As you said, the NSF must offer a viable alternative, or it will never be taken seriously...

Ammar

Indeed, SB, I agree with. I am not endorsing the above scenario, but in order to move to a people power scenario, we need to shake the system. This does not mean that we should wait for anything, we should be trying to work on people power now, and, who knows, perhaps some of us are indeed doing so, albeit quietly.

The Syrian Brit

God bless all those working quietly!..

Solomon2

Is rebellion a possible alternative? Can a Syrian town declare its independence of the regime, convince its soldiers to obey the orders of a make-shift town council, and hope that the country will catch fire? Would that not be a way to mobilize people power and utterly frustrate the plans of the military and secret police classes?

Or does everybody fear another Hama?

Ammar

Another Hama is exactly what many Syrian are afraid of, Solomon. Still, there are various possibilities for such a rebellion: Lattakia, Suweida, Qamishly, and the place where it all culminated in 82, Hama itself. After all, the Syrian authorities have just arrested a few Islamists a few days ago, near the borders with Iraq, four of them were from Hama!!! Hama, Aleppo, and Idlib are the virtual hot-beds for the country's radical Islamists.

Solomon2

Hama was only possible because mass enthusiasm still existed for the Assad regime in the armed forces. Presumably, that isn't the case now. And Assad won't even dare to reach for his own WMDs to quell such a rebellion - he knows that the best result is that he'll end up in the dock like Saddam.

More likely he'll be executed by his own men; for if the boss wishes to maintain power by gassing his people, why not gas the boss and do the same ourselves?

Let the NSF guarantee Assad and his top men safety in exile if they flee the region, vow not to interfere, and hand over the reigns. (I presume they already have lots of ill-gotton cash squirreled away.) Could not such an arrangment please everybody?

Ammar

But how can we really get there, Solomon? That's the question. Or, to be more specific, that's just one of them. There are so many.

Solomon2

Those aren't questions for me to answer, but for Syrians (and presumably the NSF) to sort out for themselves.

If the members of the NSF truly have support at the local level, then the regime is done for once they take a united (or near-united) stand. Members of the Assad regime must know this.

Tip: It should be noted that some top Ba'athists are well-trained in revolutionary doctrine (from their time in Soviet schools) and may have penetrated anti-Assad organizations. Spotting their agents will be easy; just look for those people who take the most extreme and uncompromising positions, thus preventing a general consensus. Such people have to be exposed, or denounced and tossed aside.

Ammar

Interesting.

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