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 vote for Saudi women is only a symbolic victory
Source : Khaleej Times  
Date : 2015-08-31
Author : Taylor Luck
For the first time in its history, Saudi Arabia is allowing women to vote and run for office, a dramatic step forward in the male-dominated conservative society....
Uprisings of a different kind
Source : Gulf Today  
Date : 2015-08-31
Author : Michael Jansen
Lebanon and Iraq have erupted in anti-government demonstrations over the past few weeks, demanding electricity, water and services from regimes that do not deliver....
Put them under the sun
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2015-08-31
Author : Mahmoud Ahmad
Every year as the summer heat peaks, the Labor Ministry issues a directive to all companies and institutions banning workers from working under the heat of the sun....
Local election to break stereotypes
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2015-08-31
Author : Zuhair Al-Harthi
The historic decision we are about to celebrate soon has saved us tens of years of effort and money to take Saudi Arabia to the highest ranks among the comity...
Diversifying economy for sustainable progress
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2015-08-31
Author : Saad Al-Dosari
Whenever the oil market stumbles, blood freezes in the veins of the Saudi economy. After all, oil accounts for more than 90 percent of our country's revenue. It is just...
Ousting Assad must to defeat Daesh
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2015-08-31
Author : Hassan Barari
The United States has once again reaffirmed its position with regard to the Syrian conflict. In a statement following his talks on Friday in Moscow over how to end the...
Health situation in Kuwait
Source : Kuwait Times  
Date : 2015-08-30
Author : Muna Al-Fuzai
A Supreme Planning Council report on human development titled "Social Cohesion: National Pillar" revealed a scary truth about the challenges in the health sector in Kuwait by showing it's suffering...
Agreements Will Not Stop Iran Terrorism
Source : Arab Times  
Date : 2015-08-30
Author : Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Whenever the time approaches for the US Congress to vote on the nuclear deal with Iran, the latter steps up its provocation mode towards its neighbors. It is as if...
Women making their mark
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2015-08-30
Author : Rasheed Abou-Alsamh
This year marks 10 years since the first municipal elections in Saudi Arabia restarted in 2005. It also marks 10 years since I voted for the first time in the...
An important milestone
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2015-08-29
Author : Abdurahman Al-Rashed
One third of the polling stations in Saudi Arabia's upcoming municipal elections are now dedicated for women. The polls also mark the first time that women can run as candidates....
Goodbye Heikal!
Source : Asharq Al-Awsat  
Date : 2015-08-28
Author : Yousef Al-Dayni
I wrote this article after I decided to free myself of the burden of fear that characterized many of the past attempts to criticize Mohamed Hassanein Heikal, the man who...
Don't let it spoil!
Source : Kuwait Times  
Date : 2015-08-28
Author : Muna Al-Fuzai
An expat friend asked me about the "Let it Spoil" campaign. He read about it in the paper and wondered what I think about it....
Barbaric crimes
Source : Gulf Today  
Date : 2015-08-28
Author :
By demolition of the 2,000 year-old temple of Baal Shamin in the ancient city of Palmyra and decapitating Khaled al-Asaad, the guardian of the city’s ruins and treasures, Daesh sent...
Emirati Women's Day: Our chance to rewrite history
Source : Gulf Today  
Date : 2015-08-28
Author : Khalid Al Ameri
This year it was announced that August 28th of each year would be known as Emirati Women's Day. The day would be one that women of the United Arab Emirates...
Saudia in new Skytrax rankings
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2015-08-28
Author : Abdel Aziz Aluwaisheg
Recently, awards were given out by Skytrax, an organization focused on airline quality, to the best carriers globally. The Customer Satisfaction Awards recognized the growing sophistication of new Gulf and...
Total 200 Results in 14 Pages
  3 
For more news, views and reports about this topic, please subscribe
to GRC website: www.grc.net
Thu Sep 3, 2015| 19-ذو القعدة-1436هـ
Iran, Mideast high on King-Obama agenda
'Untrue' Iranian film on Prophet roundly slammed by scholars
UN official praises Qatar's positive stance
Manufacturing sector in GCC to grow at 4% in five years
Women seek gender-based voting system
Saudi Arabia keeps oil output stable in August
Russia delays UN probe of Syria chemical attacks
QCB governor urges GCC central banks to be wary of economic repercussions
Obama secures votes on Iran deal, Kerry calls deal 'unprecedented'
28 die in bombing of Yemen Shiite mosque claimed by IS
GCC markets dip on oil's sharp drop
Calls to downgrade Iran ties, declare Hezb a terror group – Nafisi
KSA, Korea sign SMART nuclear reactor deal
Kuwait reaffirms eagerness to promote Arab economic action
Extremism a threat to democracy, says FNC speaker
Tehran-Ankara trade hits $ 6b in 7 months
Oman-Taiwan trade touches $3.8b last year
  Op-Ed
Major change
When children wash up dead on strange shores
Understand it, oh Arabs
All eyes on Washington
More>>  
    Reports
Kuwait Budget 2015/2016
GCC Real Estate Quarterly – 1Q15
More>>  
    GCC Press Agencies
Day's main stories from the GCC Press Agencies
    GRC Analysis
Bright Future for Green Jobs in the GCC
Oman-ASEAN Relations
UAE-ASEAN Relations
    GRC Commentary
Using the Iran Nuclear Accord to Advance Regional Security
Reduce your Footprint in Ramadan
A Gulf Perspective on the 'Obama Doctrine'
    GRC Press Release
Gulf Research Center press releases to the media
    GRC Publications
The Gulf Arab Countries’ Foreign and Security Policies Post-Arab Uprisings: Toward Greater Regional Independence of the Middle East
Realigning Ecological Needs and Economic Growth to Formulate Environmental Policy for the Gulf States
Oman’s Legal Framework of Migration
    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  |   26-- 26 Middle Page :0  --   | Right : 26 - 26--en--sess-enreq-en-coming