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.
 
Why did Shoura Council reject national unity law?
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2015-06-29
Author : Yusuf Al-Muhaimeed
Members of the Shoura Council refused to endorse a draft law that would have further cemented our national integrity. The draft law included punishments for racism against any of the...
Are we living Islam's darkest hour?
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2015-06-29
Author : Faisal J. Abbas
How much terrorism can the world take in 24 hours? Friday, June 26, 2015 will certainly go down in history as a day that pushed the limit....
Officials and the power of social media
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2015-06-29
Author : Mahmoud Ahmad
Long gone are the days when an official could get away with bad treatment of a person, negligence at work and insulting people at any governmental department because now they...
Obama should tread carefully
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2015-06-29
Author : Hassan Barari
As the June 30 deadline is fast approaching, the P5+1 great powers are weighing in if they could finally hammer out a deal with Iran that would open its nuclear...
The ailing health sector
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2015-06-29
Author : Sabria S. Jawhar
Beyond any shadow of doubt, the Saudi government is making all-out efforts to improve the standard of living in the Kingdom. Not a day is passed without the announcement of...
Living with the ghost of unemployment
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2015-06-29
Author : Talal Al-Harbi
Most of the reports issued by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and formal local organizations in the Kingdom show a disturbing trend in the country. According to statistics released by...
Learning nothing from Ramadan
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2015-06-29
Author : Abdulateef Al-Mulhim
Before the advent of Ramadan every year, we read various reports doing the rounds in the media showing the number of hours that Muslims around the world would observe fasting...
Cleanse Kuwait from top to bottom
Source : Arab Times  
Date : 2015-06-28
Author : Ahmed Al-Jarallah
The entire Kuwait's condemnation of the cowardly deed, which targeted one of Allah's houses, is a confirmation that our country is keen on combating terrorism. However, let us be...
'Al-Sadiq' blood is new Kuwaiti fence
Source : Arab Times  
Date : 2015-06-28
Author : Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Blood was never a language of dialogue among Kuwaitis. The heinous crime that was committed yesterday at Imam Al-Sadiq Mosque is a brutal act that has absolutely no relation to...
Kuwait faces IS
Source : Kuwait Times  
Date : 2015-06-28
Author : Muna Al-Fuzai
Friday, June 26 appeared as a normal day of Ramadan, where Muslims fast and perform Friday prayers as well as spend more time in mosques during the weekly day of...
Liquidity concerns still remain in GCC banking
Source : Khaleej Times  
Date : 2015-06-28
Author : R. Seetharaman
In the UAE, banking sector lending growth is more than three per cent during January-April 2015 period....
Afghan Taleban feel Daesh heat
Source : Khaleej Times  
Date : 2015-06-28
Author : Howard LaFranchi
The Taleban is taking bold steps not only to reassert itself after the departure of Nato forces, but perhaps more importantly, to stave off the rising influence of Daesh among...
Can Yemen join the GCC?
Source : The Peninsula  
Date : 2015-06-28
Author : Shamlan Al-Essa
A Yemeni government spokesman has revealed his government's intention to apply for membership of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The problem is that the Yemeni leadership has the mistaken belief...
Kingdom, Russia vie for global oil market foothold
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2015-06-28
Author : Syed Rashid Husain
In the rapidly changing geopolitical environment, Saudi Arabia and Russia are forging ahead - fostering a closer relationship - in major sectors including the all important energy sector....
Stopping the crimson tide
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2015-06-28
Author : Bikram Vohra
The plumes of violence continue to spread insidiously. The two attacks in Kuwait and Tunis underscore the fact that extremism has not been dented and that the word "peace" has...
Total 200 Results in 14 Pages
  3 
For more news, views and reports about this topic, please subscribe
to GRC website: www.grc.net
Wed Jul 1, 2015| 14-رمضان-1436هـ
Kuwait 'in state of war' as 60 terror suspects nabbed
Opec output hits three-year high in June on Saudi, Iraq
US, Iran presidents issue warnings as nuclear talks extended
UAE tops in lighter tax burden
Turkey calms speculation over Syria invasion
Asian imports of Iran oil in May hit highest level in 2015
Al-Qaeda suspects among 1,200 who escaped from Yemen prison
GCC to cut roaming rates from April
Mohammed bin Zayed hails media's role in development process
Salalah Airport opening to boost Oman tourism
Qatar expresses deep concern over spread of Islamophobia
Saudi Re outlook stays stable; ratings affirmed
Terror 'in contravention with Islam'
Abu Dhabi finance zone gears up to open with draft rules
US army plan to train Syria rebels falters
SAMA's net foreign assets fall 1% to SR2.521 trillion
  Op-Ed
China's designs
Libya peace talks
A Bloody Friday in Ramadan
Kuwait and Saudi Arabia: Who is the target?
More>>  
    Reports
Regional Situation Report For Syria Crisis: UNFPA
GCC Earnings Review – 1Q15
GCC Markets Performance – May 2015
More>>  
    GCC Press Agencies
Day's main stories from the GCC Press Agencies
    GRC Analysis
Oman-ASEAN Relations
UAE-ASEAN Relations
Kuwait-ASEAN Relations
    GRC Commentary
Reduce your Footprint in Ramadan
A Gulf Perspective on the 'Obama Doctrine'
Water Issues in the GCC: Cooperation is Key
    GRC Press Release
Gulf Research Center press releases to the media
    GRC Publications
Demography, Migration, and the Labour Market in the UAE
GCC–Turkey Relations: Dawn of a New Era
Demography, Migration, and the Labour Market in Bahrain
    GRC Newsletters/Bulletins

Enter your email to get the Newsletter
Go
      
Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Terms & Conditions | About Us |
Weather | Qibla Directions | Hijri Date Conversion Tool
Full Page :total time:0  |   24-- 24 Middle Page :0  --   | Right : 24 - 24--en--sess-enreq-en-coming