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.
 
Haj and Umrah revenues are expected to surge in future
Source : Oman Daily Observer  
Date : 2014-10-16
Author : Haider Al Lawati
Many reports issued by Saudi Arabian economic institutions expect that the size of revenues from Haj (pilgrimage) and Umrah are set to increase. This is even true after the completion...
Scapegoats
Source : Kuwait Times  
Date : 2014-10-16
Author : Badrya Darwish
For the last couple of years, many of us have a problem in our country called the 'expat'. It became something like a whipping boy. Actually we create our own...
For how long will it continue?
Source : Kuwait Times  
Date : 2014-10-16
Author : Shamlan Al-Essa
Despite government warnings and promises to levy the harshest of punishments and procedures, the general negligence continues. This is represented by the increasing number of absentees due to sickness prior...
Effective doctrine for dealing with terrorism
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2014-10-16
Author : Gwynne Dyer
There was a time, as recently as 25 years ago, when military staff colleges around the world taught a reasonably effective doctrine for dealing with terrorism. Then it was forgotten,...
Why was the American killed?
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2014-10-16
Author : Abdullah Sayil
The tragic incident of the shooting of an American worker took place in one of Riyadh's busiest streets. It was a Tuesday afternoon when hundreds of drivers visit the gas...
So our clubs will not be isolated
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2014-10-16
Author : Saeed Al-Seraihi
The role of our student clubs abroad for students on scholarships is to strengthen the bond between our students and to exchange experiences between their members....
Where can you escape?
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2014-10-16
Author : Qaisar H. Metawea
Saudi youth now have their own platform with the wide spread of social media and new media to discuss their concerns, hopes and aspirations. They discuss these issues with freedom...
Fighting Iranian expansion in the Mideast
Source : Al Arabiya TV  
Date : 2014-10-15
Author : Raghida Dergham
The preoccupation to the point of obsession with ISIS is terrifying. It is as though the world is standing still in a panic over an organization, the terror of which...
The post-ISIS crisis for Sunni governments
Source : Al Arabiya TV  
Date : 2014-10-15
Author : Abdulrahman al-Rashed
It's relatively clear who the enemy and the friend are in this current war against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) but the situation is subject to change....
Economics in the Age of Terror
Source : Asharq Al-Awsat  
Date : 2014-10-15
Author : Ali Ibrahim
Approximately 50 percent of international financial assistance to the Middle East-which makes up just 5.5 percent of the global population-is spent on fuel subsidies, World Bank Vice-President for the MENA...
Yemen's future is at stake
Source : Gulf Daily News  
Date : 2014-10-15
Author : Yenus S
On September 22, Iranian-backed Houthi rebels took over much of Yemen's capital city, Sana'a, leading the country to a deep political crisis....
'Hudaydah' breaks the back of Tehran
Source : Arab Times  
Date : 2014-10-15
Author : Ahmed Al-Jarallah
The Houthis' control over the town of Al-Hudaydah has tested the patience of Yemenis, considering the harm caused by these militias which execute the agendas of Iran. This calls to...
Schooling for all
Source : Kuwait Times  
Date : 2014-10-15
Author : Badrya Darwish
It's a shame that someone in the government is now depriving around 600 bedoon children from an education. I'm sure most of you readers know what bedoon means – stateless....
America is not that smart
Source : Kuwait Times  
Date : 2014-10-15
Author : Thaar Al-Rashidi
I will be talking movie business here, not politics. America is actually not as smart as we and everybody else thinks. For example, the 'Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen' movie...
Oil events in the world
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2014-10-15
Author : Issa Al-Hilayan
The United Arab Emirates will next month a the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADNEC). It is the largest oil gathering in the Middle East and the third...
Total 200 Results in 14 Pages
  3 
For more news, views and reports about this topic, please subscribe
to GRC website: www.grc.net
Mon Oct 20, 2014| 25-ذو الحجة-1435هـ
Houthis capture town south of Yemen capital
Saudi Arabia's budget surplus likely to hit SR147 billion
'Urgent need' to unitedly combat ISIS: Gargash
API to hold conf. on governance in GCC states on Nov. 3
Iran, powers resume talks on Wednesday
DAMAC expands deal with Paramount Hotels & Resorts
Obama, Erdogan vow to pressure ISIS in Syria
Qatar seen a hub between developed, emerging markets
HRW tells Kuwait to stop revoking citizenship
Opec not so slick on crude prices now
IS not a direct threat to GCC states: Expert
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait halt output at joint oilfield
Iraq PM to visit Iran for talks on fight against ISIS
'Doha has potential to become world's top finance centre'
Armed Forces sign ground satellite deal with Thales
Australia will send 200 advisors to help Iraqi army - FM Bishop
    Newspaper Editorials
Ebola effect
Rohingyas: No light at the end of the tunnel
More>>  
    Opinions
Stop pointing fingers. Many sources lie behind ISIS's rise
GCC and Australia set to explore new horizons
More>>  
    GCC Press Agencies
Day's main stories from the GCC Press Agencies
    Reports
More>>  
    Bank Reports
GCC Markets Performance – May 2014
Saudi Arabia: Baseline Macroeconomic Forecast 2014-16
More>>  
    GRC Analysis
Saudi Arabia and the ASEAN Periphery: Cambodia, Myanmar, and Brunei
NATO and the Future of Gulf Security.
Saudi-Vietnam Relations
    GRC Commentary
Price of not heeding Kingdom's advice
On Relations between Rulers and Citizens: The Need for a New Social/Political Contract in the GCC States
Key Issue Facing the Saudi Ruling House.
    GRC Book Review
Beyond Regionalism? Regional Cooperation, Regionalism and Regionalization in the Middle East
India, GCC and the Global Energy Regime: Exploring Interdependence and Outlook for Collaboration.
    GRC Press Release
Gulf Research Center press releases to the media
    GRC Publications
Labor Market Integration in the GCC Countries
Integration Processes in Latin America
GCC’s External Trade Integration: An Assessment
    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  |   16-- 16 Middle Page :0  --   | Right : 16 - 16--en--sess-enreq-en-coming