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October 12, 2006


Battal Agha

Ammar, Congratulation on this analysis. You have given the scenario its true dimension. First I believed that Israel should answer Bashaar. But now, reading your comments, the picture becomes clearer.


I know Ghassan does not like posting unrelated links, but this one is a follow up from our discussion last week.

US Seen retreating from Democracy push


The credibility problem is complicated by Bush's use of the democracy theme in speeches. Before the U.N. General Assembly, he portrayed the United States as a friend of freedom but cited autocratic regimes, including Saudi Arabia, as reformers.

"People in the region know about the Saudi government. They're not naive," said Thomas Carothers, head of the Democracy and Rule of Law Project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

"The perception of hypocrisy is extremely high," he said.

Ellen Laipson, former vice chairwoman of the National Intelligence Council, a leading government think tank, suggested the White House may have now adopted a more pragmatic, longer term approach to reform.

"It is not something that they're going to be able to say they completed on their watch, or that they even know it is going to work on their watch," said Laipson, now head of the Henry L. Stimson Center, a public policy institute.


Great post and analysis Ammar as usual...


Please Sent this Message to Dr Salim Al Hoss


Ammar, I wonder if peace with Israel has another dimension, which equally important from the points of timing, the party making the peace and opposition place from this peace. First I think the opposition also has the same position on peace agreement almost like the regime. Although, I do agree with your analysis, I believe if the current regime pioneers the peace agreement, this will benefit the opposition and save the opposition in the future from overbidding when they are in power, which what were the Baathists been doing all along. The other thing, I do not think that a peace agreement with Israel will lengthen in the life of this regime. It is an outdated regime by all means from his dead beliefs to his exhaust period to the zero ability of functioning with his current package.


Indeed, I agree that the Assads of Syria will be going the way of the Dodo bird sooner rather than later, ad indeed, I do see the dividends of peace as proving quite cumbersome for them. The returning Golanese populations will have much different expectations regarding the way they want to be treated than the Assads can deliver, and the calls for internal reforms will only increase in the aftermath of peace, and, no matter what they do, and no matter how many foolish technocrats join their team of "reformers, the system is so screwed and corruption is so rampant, nothing will come out of it. Peace might buy the Assads a few more years in power, but that's about it.

The only thing that worries me here is whether the country will hold together until the regime collapses, not to mention after the regime collapses.

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