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.
 
Iraqis show no sign of uniting against IS
Source : The Peninsula  
Date : 2014-11-19
Author : Raheem Salman
Islamic State's systematic massacre of hundreds of Iraq's Albu Nimr tribe should have been an unmistakable wake up call for a country that may not be able to stabilise without...
Beautiful rain stories
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2014-11-19
Author : Sultan Al-Anqari
I have just come back from a long trip during which I visited several cities and towns in different countries, all of which had rain, sometimes heavy and other times...
Violence sometimes starts in mosques
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2014-11-19
Author : Turki Al-Dakheel
In the 1980s, the majority of religious cassettes distributed in mosques and houses described those who wanted to eradicate every root and source of terrorism as secular. Back then, the...
Ground support is a must
Source : Gulf Today  
Date : 2014-11-19
Author : Patrick Cockburn
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has a grisly ritual whereby its victims are compelled to chant "the ISIS remains" in the moments before they are executed....
The Public Figure
Source : Kuwait Times  
Date : 2014-11-19
Author : Shamlan Al-Essa
In prestigious democratic countries, ministers, members of parliament, party officials, lobby groups and public employees face daily criticism by the media, and these officials accept criticism with pleasure because they...
A Cheat A Day
Source : Kuwait Times  
Date : 2014-11-19
Author : Jamie Etheridge
The problem is endemic and seems to be getting worse. Across Kuwait, on a daily (perhaps even hourly) basis, people are cheating and being cheated. The possibilities seem endless. Wherever...
It is time to diversify our sources of income
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2014-11-19
Author : Abdulateef Al-Mulhim
Commenting on the volatility of oil prices, some energy experts say that it is the only consumable commodity that behaves like water in a swimming pool. It is the same...
King Abdullah, architect of GCC pact
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2014-11-19
Author : Mohammed Fahad Al-Harthi
On Sunday in Riyadh, leaders of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) made a critical pact promising a new era of regional and global political and economic stability....
Obama may shift policy on Assad
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2014-11-19
Author : Osama Al Sharif
For the past few weeks the Obama administration has been sending mixed messages on Syria, Iraq and how best to stave off the threat of the Islamic State (IS) in...
It's crunch time as Iran's nuclear deadline looms
Source : Al Arabiya TV  
Date : 2014-11-18
Author : Camelia Entekhabi-Fard
While the world holds its breath over the Iranian nuclear talks, with a week to go before the November 24 deadline it is still not clear whether the agreement will...
In Yemen's turmoil, is the Muslim Brotherhood the main loser?
Source : Al Arabiya TV  
Date : 2014-11-18
Author : Manuel Almeida
Until very recently, it was safe to say that one of the main beneficiaries of the 2011 uprisings in Yemen was the Muslim Brotherhood. Well organized and prepared like its...
The Emirates' New Terror List
Source : Asharq Al-Awsat  
Date : 2014-11-18
Author : Abdulrahman al-Rashed
The United Arab Emirates has become the second Gulf country after Saudi Arabia to designate the Yemeni Houthi movement's Ansar Allah a terrorist group. This step is significant on many...
Journey of Renaissance reaches 44 years
Source : Oman Daily Observer  
Date : 2014-11-18
Author : Lakshmi Kothaneth
It was evening and a Saturday. The car park at Omani Women's Association was filled to the maximum. And cars were still coming in. As I walked into the function,...
Celebrating the spirit of manliness
Source : Oman Daily Observer  
Date : 2014-11-18
Author : Dr Rajan Philips
Manliness denotes unwavering courage in the face of adversity and willingness to sacrifice for the family and community. While we can experience this every day, a day earmarked to honour...
The tribes in limbo...
Source : Gulf Daily News  
Date : 2014-11-18
Author : Yenus S
Sandwiched between sectarian gangs and terrorist forces, the Iraqi Sunni tribes remain targets of execution scenarios: Killed by militias of Baghdad for their sectarian inclination and murdered by the Islamic...
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 Nov 24, 2014| 01-صفر-1436هـ
Bahrain sees big voter turnout in national elections
Saudi Arabia to boost refining capacity by 1.2m bpd
Iran nuclear talks may be extended
Two investment funds to be launched at QE
IS in Iraq kills 25 tribesmen
Qatar banks' loan book dips in Oct
We know region better than West: Shaikh Abdullah
Dubai SME partners with IFC to support SMEs
GCC ministers to discuss pvt sector jobs for citizens
OPEC won't cut output ceiling in Nov. 27 meeting - two experts forecas
US raids in Syria have killed 785 ISIS militants
Kuwait to host 14th meeting on GCC e-government
Gitmo Saudi comes home after 12 years
Oman's economic freedom grows on access to sound money
Rowhani's nominee made minister
Gulf has 7 pcnt of global petrochemical and chemical production: EQUATE
    Newspaper Editorials
Oil price crisis
Tense as deadline looms
More>>  
    Opinions
A War Only We Can Win
Assad will use a truce to rearm
More>>  
    GCC Press Agencies
Day's main stories from the GCC Press Agencies
    Reports
The US Shale Revolution and the Arab Gulf States
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
Regional Security in the Framework of ASEAN: Potential Lessons for the GCC
GCC-Asia Ties and Collective Security
Perpetuating the Rentier State: Patrimonialism in a Globalized World
    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  |   09-- 09 Middle Page :0  --   | Right : 09 - 09--en--sess-enreq-en-coming