Home Page - Gulf in the Media
HomePoliticsEconomy                               Set Gulfinthemedia.com as home page
Opinions
"Postings of opinions published in the Gulf and international newspapers
 Print  Send This Page
Save Listen to this Article
Retreat, Victory and Suicide   

Al Hayat - 28 February, 2012
Author: Ghassan Charbel

Observers sense that Syria is headed for more calamities. The regime is no longer able to retreat in the wake of the damage done to its image, the ruling party, the army, the security services and its economy. Nor is the opposition able to retreat with thousands of victims having perished, and with many cities and villages devastated. Both sides consider retreat to be suicide. The opposition can offer more sacrifices, and the regime more cruelties. Perhaps Syria itself will collapse before either party admits its defeat. This would mean Syria may be drawn into a protracted civil war which will inevitably be a regional civil war.

It is clear that change in Syria, if it happens, will be more significant than the overthrow of the regime of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad. It will be a momentous change at the regional level. It will be a change that affects the size of the Iranian role, the Russian role and the balance of power in the Arab world. It will also impact the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Sunni-Shiite rift, and the freedom of movement for Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. The change will also leave its mark on the fragile situation in Iraq, and this is perhaps why the conflict in Syria has turned into the forerunner of a major confrontation.

There are those who believe that the current situation in Syria is the result of a series of mistakes or lost opportunities that can be summed up as follows:

- The Damascus spring at the beginning of the last decade was a message demanding President Bashar al-Assad to rein in oppression and interference by the ruling party and the security services in people’s lives. Back then, the President had the popularity that allowed him to make breakthroughs. However, the web made of the security services and the ruling party rushed to warn against the danger of the return of Islamists, and squandered an opportunity wherein the opposition was not demanding more than reforms under the roof of stability and the regime.

- On the eve of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Damascus and Tehran agreed to work together to thwart the invasion by all means. Thus, Syria opened its borders to the ‘Mujahideen’ wishing to cross to Iraq to fight the Americans. Now, Syria is suffering the repercussions of that role.

- The Syrian authorities did not learn the lesson from the deterioration that afflicted Sunni-Shiite relations, as a result of the assassination of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and the execution of Saddam Hussein, and the manner and timing of the execution.

- Following the assassination of Hariri and the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon, and following the war of July 2006, it seemed that the balance in the Iranian-Syrian relations was tipped in favor of Tehran, giving pundits the impression that Syria had become hostage to Iranian decisions. This impression was then further reinforced with the return of Nuri al-Maliki to office, and the ouster of Saad Hariri from his office as prime minister.

- The Syrian regime came to believe for some time that the Syrian-Qatari-Turkish triangle can replace the Syrian-Saudi-Egyptian triangle that President Hafez al-Assad was keen not to undercut, despite differences and disagreements.

- The Syrian authorities dealt with the reengagement of Syria pursued by Arab and international sides, with Saudi, Qatari, Turkish and French efforts, as though it were an acknowledgement of its role and its choices. It therefore refused to absorb the fact that this reengagement practically required Syria to at least not completely identify with Iranian policies in the region.

- The Syrian authorities spent most of their energies on foreign battles, believing that the policy of resistance offers them immunity against any unrest. The regime in Syria did not pay attention to the fact that the fruits of economic openness had not spread beyond some of Damascus and Aleppo, and into the countryside which only grew poorer, and that therefore, the role of the ruling party had increasingly waned in the regions that once constituted its popular base. Nor did the regime pay heed to a new generation that the information revolution equipped with abilities to communicate and criticize, and demand participation or change.

The regime could have taken advantage of the incidents in Daraa to drop the eighth article of the Constitution, and form a government of national unity headed by a trusted figure from outside the ruling party. But it is now too late for that opportunity.

The inability to retreat portends further calamities. There are some who fear that Syria itself will collapse before any of the two parties is defeated. Indeed, the dream of a knockout victory may be nothing but a large stride on the path of destruction and suicide.
 
Mohammed bin Salman on a mission to re-explore America
Source : Arab Times  
Date : 2016-06-20
Author : Ahmed Al-Jarallah
The title of this article gives a glimpse of the purpose of the visit of the Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Muhammad...
'Govt should impose blanket ban on the entry of criminals'
Source : Arab Times  
Date : 2016-06-20
Author : Khaled Aljenfawi
It seems to have become always-necessary to increase security checks to fight a new wave of crimes associated with illegal residents. Just recently the "Hawally securitymen arrested 12 Asian expatriates...
Booming Halal trade and tourism around the world
Source : The Peninsula  
Date : 2016-06-20
Author : Haider Al Lawati
The demand for Islamic products in the world is increasing nowadays to include today a multitude of tourist products, including foodstuffs, banking services, finance, and insurance....
A major blow to Daesh
Source : Gulf Today  
Date : 2016-06-20
Author : Michael Jansen
The good news from Fallujah is Daesh has been defeated and its fighters are on the run. So far, most of the clashes have taken place on the approaches to...
Stringent laws needed against littering
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2016-06-20
Author : Khaled Al Maeena
The other day I saw a man in a parking lot empty his car ashtray in the street. Only an hour before, near a traffic light a driver in an...
Deterrent punishment needed
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2016-06-20
Author : Rashed Al-Fowzan
Almost every day we read about authorities imposing fines on a fuel station for mixing a kind of red liquid or water with petrol or closing a restaurant for not...
Neutrality in Syria is negative
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2016-06-20
Author : Abdulrahman al-Rashed
US President Barack Obama thought he was being "different" when he chose to ignore the Syrian crisis since its outset, out of his desire to avoid previous mistakes committed in...
Verify facts or lose credibility
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2016-06-20
Author : Alaa Alghamdi
The United Nations did the right thing by removing the name of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen from a black list containing names of human rights violators....
A royal gift to Saudi students in US
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2016-06-20
Author : Abdulateef Al-Mulhim
Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is currently visiting the US, has announced that on the orders of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman 2,628 male and...
Ranking low in customer service
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2016-06-20
Author : Sabria S. Jawhar
By the end of 2017 the new King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah is expected to be operational. Today it's about 80 percent complete and will cover 105 square kilometers...
Social experiment or just entertainment
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2016-06-20
Author : Saad Al-Dosari
I find myself reluctant to relate to the campaign promoting the TV show “The Shock”. Many Saudis have become part of the drive praising the program being aired during Ramadan....
Challenges for the health minister
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2016-06-19
Author : Abdulaziz Al-Samary
The Kingdom's seventh minister of health in as many years, Tawfiq Al-Rabiah is set to encounter an unusual test shortly when he faces existing challenges to the future of healthcare...
Please don't kill the ambitions of Saudi youth
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2016-06-19
Author : Barjas Al-Barjas
We see Japanese, Americans and Germans working as electricians, plumbers and shopkeepers and also working in advanced technology fields...
Determined for post-oil future
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2016-06-19
Author : Rasheed Abou-Alsamh
If you read only the western press, you would assume that Saudi Arabia was to blame for all the problems in this world....
Hezbollah to pay for Syria adventure
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2016-06-19
Author : Abdulrahman al-Rashed
The Lebanon-based militant group, Hezbollah, has been active in the region since the early 1980s. It has had locked horns with Israel several times and these days it is heavily...
Total 200 Results in 14 Pages
  3 
For more news, views and reports about this topic, please subscribe
to GRC website: www.grc.net
Sat Jun 25, 2016| 19-رمضان-1437هـ
Bahrain jails 24 for forming Daesh cell
Al-Qaeda back in southern Yemen cities, say residents
Qatar calls for prosecuting perpetrators of crime in Syria
Dubai's most affordable residential areas
US-backed fighters storm key Daesh bastion
World's 2nd-biggest sovereign fund sees oil glut until mid-2017
Young Saudis' thumbs up: Deputy crown prince has done us proud
Yemen govt demands rebel pullout before any transition
Qatar and Turkey launch joint aid campaign in Somalia
Offensive on IS could displace 2.3mn Iraqis
MoH rejects WHO charges of MERS negligence
President: No one able to weaken JCPOA
SaudiGulf Airlines granted license for domestic flights
UN relief coordinator calls for 'unrestricted' humanitarian access in Syria
  Op-Ed
Overwhelming response to deputy crown prince's visit
A truckload of dead bees makes stinging point about pesticides
Losing ground
Tackling radicalization
More>>  
    Reports
GCC Banking Sector Quarterly - 1Q16
GCC Markets Performance - May 2016
More>>  
    GCC Press Agencies
Day's main stories from the GCC Press Agencies
    GRC Analysis
GCC-Russia Relations: Lot of Rhetoric but Little Substance
Renewable Energy in GCC
Paris Climate Deal and Oil-rich Countries
    GRC Commentary
Earth Day 2016: The Promised Day
An Evolving Saudi-US Relationship
Water and Jobs: Hitting Two Birds with One Stone!
    GRC Press Release
Gulf Research Center press releases to the media
    GRC Publications
GCC Relations with Bulgaria and the Czech Republic: Structural Factors and External Relations Practices
The Strategic Position of the GCC Countries: The View from China
Qatar’s Legal Framework of Migration No.2/2016
    GRC Newsletters/Bulletins

Enter your email to get the Newsletter
Go
A Note on Syrian Refugees in the Gulf: Attempting to Assess Data and Policies
      
Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Terms & Conditions | About Us |
Weather | Qibla Directions | Hijri Date Conversion Tool
Full Page :total time:0  |   55-- 55 Middle Page :0  --   | Right : 55 - 55--en--sess-enreq-en-coming