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January 16, 2007

Comments

Anonymous

Ammar

I have now read, for the first time, your April 30, 2006 post "
Of Lions and Termites!".

Clearly you speak on the subject with a great deal of authority based on first hand knowledge of the Assads and what makes them tick.

Are they, however, not in a win-win situation now? If the Israelis for one reason or another walk away from the deal, no one will blame the Assads and they can just flick the "resistance" switch and bide their time. If the Israelis decide to call their bluff, the Assads can sell the deal to the Syrian people who, in my estimation, are sick and tired of the no-war no-peace situation and beginning to see the looming economic disaster.

I remember ordinary people feeling quite excited about peace prospects during the talks in Madrid. Do you not think they are ready for a deal(assuming of course it is a done deal, although I personally do not believe it is)?

If a peace agreement is concluded Assads gets a lease of life as investment pours into the country. Could that be the kind of scenario he is hoping to engineer? It is not just Bushra and Assef who can influence his thinking. As you know, he is also married to a clever investment banker with good connections!

Ammar

Indeed, Philip, I believe that this is exactly what Bashar and the rest of the Leonine Gang hope to accomplish. The only problem here is the Hariri investigation. Is the world willing to forgive them for that? Will the Israelis use the Assads desperation to push for more concessions? Will the Assads buckle? Can they get away with it if they did? What will happen should the peace talks collapse again due to the inability of both sides to reach a timely agreement? These are the kind of questions that we have to deal with now. They are not as easy as many think, and the Assads are not exactly in that win-win position they covet.

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