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.
 
From acid attacks to execution, a dark week for Iran
Source : Al Arabiya TV  
Date : 2014-10-27
Author : Camelia Entekhabi-Fard
Recent weeks have not been pleasant for many Iranians, making for dark times in their calendars. First came the acid attacks on women in the historical city of Isfahan and...
International roles in Middle East policies
Source : Al Arabiya TV  
Date : 2014-10-27
Author : Raghida Dergham
China has no strategy, but it has a policy. This is what Chinese experts have said in the course of explaining – or justifying – Chinese policy toward the countries...
Insider trading 'injurious'
Source : Arab Times  
Date : 2014-10-27
Author : Yousef Awadh
The decision of Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) to start selling its shares in some companies where it owns majority shares was not surprising at all, but it lacked a sense...
Dubai infrastructure simply best
Source : Arab Times  
Date : 2014-10-27
Author : Khalaf Ahmed Al Habtoor
They say familiarity breeds contempt. I would challenge that as being set-in-stone. We, who are lucky enough to call Dubai home, whether we are UAE nationals or foreign expatriates, never...
Saudi Arabia and the 'Oil Weapon'
Source : Asharq Al-Awsat  
Date : 2014-10-27
Author : Salman Aldossary
It is simply Saudi Arabia's fate that it is held responsible for every little thing that occurs in the global oil markets. If prices go up or down, the finger...
The Idea of Arab Military Intervention
Source : Asharq Al-Awsat  
Date : 2014-10-27
Author : Abdulrahman al-Rashed
In recent history, political battles were limited. Most of the time, each epoch was distinguished by a single crisis. A crisis in a country would not extend to neighboring states...
Rationalization won't work
Source : Kuwait Times  
Date : 2014-10-27
Author : Abdullatif Al-Duaij
Solving, or even dealing with the issue of the expected budget deficit, or the disappearance of the welfare state, as expressed by the prime minister, and the economic and social...
Just how bad is our airport?
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2014-10-27
Author : Mahmoud Ahmad
The vacillation of the spokesman of the General Authority of Civil Aviation, (GACA) on the report that ranked King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) in Jeddah among the worst airports in...
Understanding Saudi demography
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2014-10-27
Author : Abdulateef Al-Mulhim
Few weeks ago, I was invited to attend the C3 Arab-US Business Summit and Saudi-US Commerce. However, due to some reasons, I was unable to attend the event....
Expat-friendly policies must for progress
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2014-10-27
Author : Sabria S. Jawhar
A report has come out that should be good news for dependents of expats: Dependents can now work for private businesses without transferring their Iqamas....
Integrating people with special needs in society
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2014-10-27
Author : Talal Al-Harbi
The Kingdom will soon start implementation of a program to facilitate people with special needs....
ISIS and video games
Source : Al Arabiya TV  
Date : 2014-10-26
Author : Abdullah Hamidaddin
ISIS is not about religion. This is something I have been saying over and over. Too many people keep insisting on its religious dimension. This is wrong. My argument is...
ISIS is well equipped and there is no doubting that
Source : Al Arabiya TV  
Date : 2014-10-26
Author : Raed Omari
The perception of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as a "full-blown army" is back in the spotlight now given the difficulties the U.S.-led coalition is facing in...
Nehad Al-Mashnouq a statesman material
Source : Arab Times  
Date : 2014-10-26
Author : Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Despite the state of emptiness which the Lebanese institutions have been suffering from, security threats from all sides, spread of weapons everywhere and militias tasked to implement foreign agendas; we...
ISIS cannot be 'contained'
Source : Asharq Al-Awsat  
Date : 2014-10-26
Author : Abdel-Moneim Said
By the time this article goes to print, the battle for the Syrian border town of Kobani, or Ain Al-Arab as it is known in Arabic, may have reached its...
Total 200 Results in 14 Pages
  3 
For more news, views and reports about this topic, please subscribe
to GRC website: www.grc.net
Fri Oct 31, 2014| 07-محرم-1436هـ
Iran wants sanctions lifted as part of nuclear deal
Saudi investors keen to promote UK trade ties
Hezbollah's claim Saudi Arabia backs terror groups rubbished
UAE textile exports up 7.75% at $ 1.6 billion
UN envoy proposes zones to 'freeze' Syria fighting
QIF: Qatar economy's long-term prospects 'remain compelling'
Kuwait prioritizes protection of human rights - Envoy
EU, GCC to strengthen civil aviation cooperation
Palestinian leader, Arab League hail Swedish recognition of Palestine
Funds bullish on Gulf markets despite oil slide
Bahrain elections on November 22
Profits of petchem sector up 12% to SR28bn in 9 months
ISIS massacred 220 tribesmen in Iraq
GCC lighting sector to hit $ 3.7 billion
Kuwait welcomes Sweden's recognition of Palestinian statehood
Qatar banks' asset base sees QR78bn gain in 9 months: KPMG
    Newspaper Editorials
UAE business model a shining example
Women in workplace
More>>  
    Opinions
Will Egypt Mediate for Assad?
No to dual citizenship
More>>  
    GCC Press Agencies
Day's main stories from the GCC Press Agencies
    Reports
Justice in Transition in Yemen
The United Arab Emirates (UAE): Issues for US Policy
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
GCC-Asia Ties and Collective Security
Perpetuating the Rentier State: Patrimonialism in a Globalized World
Labor Market Integration in the GCC Countries
    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  |   23-- 23 Middle Page :0  --   | Right : 23 - 23--en--sess-enreq-en-coming