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.
 
Arabs must unite before seeking a permanent seat at the U.N.
Source : Al Arabiya TV  
Date : 2014-04-14
Author : Abdulrahman al-Rashed
Since the beginning of the new century, Arabs have demanded a permanent seat in the U.N. Security Council. The demand came in response to the U.N.'s promises of reform. The...
Debate: Women were at the forefront of the Arab Spring
Source : Asharq Al-Awsat  
Date : 2014-04-14
Author : Dr. Om El-Ezz El-Farissi
Women constitute half of the world's population. No event is complete without their participation, let alone events the size of the Arab Spring revolutions, which were led by oppressed peoples...
Debate: Women were taken by surprise by the events of the Arab Spring
Source : Asharq Al-Awsat  
Date : 2014-04-14
Author : Afraa Al-Hariri
Arab women did not generally expect the wave that hit Arab Spring countries to be as large as it was. Barring a few exceptions in a handful of regions and...
'Adopt stringent measures to curb women harassment'
Source : Arab Times  
Date : 2014-04-14
Author : Khaled Aljenfawi
According to Al-Rai Arab daily, a Western "woman, whose identity has not been disclosed" filed "a complaint with" a police station, "accusing a man of harassing and attempting to molest...
US view on Ukraine
Source : Arab Times  
Date : 2014-04-14
Author : Matthew Tueller
Since last November, the people of Ukraine have been striving to define their own future. In the process, they have become a symbol of courage and peaceful change for the...
What about changing facial features!
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2014-04-14
Author : Mahmoud Ahmad
There's been a fresh change at the immigration points at airports, with the passport department officials at a number of international airports in Saudi Arabia wearing the Saudi national dress...
Facing the virus!
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2014-04-14
Author : Hussein Shobokshi
Saudi Arabia in general and residents of its coastal city Jeddah in particular, have been overwhelmed with very disturbing news about the spread of the coronavirus that has so far...
Taking refuge in trouble
Source : Gulf Today  
Date : 2014-04-14
Author : Michael Jansen
There was little traffic on the road from Beirut to Damascus and at both immigration counters my passport was quickly registered on computers and stamped out and in. As we...
Kuwaitization, work efficiency
Source : Kuwait Times  
Date : 2014-04-14
Author : Osama Safar
According to a recent report, Kuwait University informed a number of expatriate workers that they were relieved of their duties as per the instructions of the Civil Service Commission. The...
The never-ending drama
Source : Kuwait Times  
Date : 2014-04-14
Author : Badrya Darwish
Parliament after parliament, we're facing the same issues. We're tired. We're fatigued. It's a never-ending drama. When are you going to put a stop to this game? Our parliament is...
The wild world of insurance companies
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2014-04-14
Author : Abdel Aziz Aluwaisheg
When dealing with insurance companies in Saudi Arabia, you get an impression that they still maintain the same posture as when they operated before insurance was legalized in 2003....
East and West: Two sides of Saudi employment
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2014-04-14
Author : Abdullah Sayil
He came years ago to Saudi Arabia. Back then, all he had was zero experience. This gentleman worked hard to make a better practitioner out of himself. After a few...
IMF and needy global communities
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2014-04-14
Author : Khalil Hanware
The IMF's increasing role as the world's leading organization in ensuring global financial stability was in the spotlight again as G20 finance ministers and central bankers gathered in Washington for...
Differentiating between real and fictitious amid fears
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2014-04-14
Author : Saad Dosari
At a recent get-together, one of our friends surprised us by showing up wearing a medical mask. Another complained that most pharmacies were out of hand sanitizers. All this and...
Healthy body is must for sound minds
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2014-04-14
Author : Sabria S. Jawhar
The overwhelming approval of the Shoura Council in a 92-18 vote to give girls at public schools the right to participate in physical education is yet another signal that the...
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 Apr 18, 2014| 17-جماد ثاني-1435هـ
Iran negotiators reject hardline criticism of nuclear talks
Saudi Arabia inflation: Upside risks may emerge in H2
Yemen's Al Qaeda leader vows to attack America in new video
Dubai's hospitality sector outdoes regional growth
Haniyeh hails Qatar's support
Qatar to establish five bodies to push exports
Suicide attacks claim 8 Iraqi troops
Time inopportune for expat ownership of real estate in Kuwait: Forum
No need for travel curbs over Mers, says World Health Organisation
Iran expects fifth payment under deal
Gulf leaders keen to maintain GCC bloc cohesion - Al-Zayani
QDB, Qatar Shell offer seven new business opportunities to SMEs
Iran will not discuss its missile program, says official
Dubai fragrance trade moves up
Saudi King orders treatment of Rawda abroad
Profits of Saudi banks rise 6% to SR10.6bn in Q1 
`
    Newspaper Editorials
Securing Eastern Ukraine
Advantage BJP
More>>  
    Opinions
Resolving the Gulf crisis
Hezbollah softens approach in Lebanon, hardens stance in Syria
More>>  
    GCC Press Agencies
Day's main stories from the GCC Press Agencies
    Reports
The Legal Classification of the Armed Conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Libya
More>>  
    Bank Reports
Weekly Economic Briefing - Riyad Capital
Saudi Inflation Report - 3rd Quarter of 2013
More>>  
    GRC Analysis
Challenging Times for Saudi Foreign Policy
Saudi-Thai Relations
Saudi-Singapore Relations
    GRC Commentary
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
The EU and the GCC in Global Governance: Limitations and Future Potential
Saudi Arabia’s Legal Framework of Migration
Kuwait’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  |   32-- 32 Middle Page :0  --   | Right : 32 - 32--en--sess-enreq-en-coming