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But is it 'strategic' ?

Reader comment on item: Support the Syrian Rebels?

Submitted by Soloview (Canada), May 12, 2013 at 10:41

I am afraid the 'support whoever is losing' idea does not strike me as either strategic nor, for that matter, all that 'doable'. It may very well be that despite the massive, and at times totally nutty, anti-Assad propaganda, the regime has never been close to being defeated by the rebels. I am told by people who know Syria from the inside (and have no axe to grind) that the rebels are hugely unpopular with the great majority of urban population except in known enclaves known for their Muslim Brotherhood sympathies. It is not that the populace is enamored with Assad, it is just they consider definitely the lesser evil. The known enclaves of resistance are regularly overrun by Assad's forces and even though the regime has apparently not bent on trying to re-establish a civilian control there for the moment (as any pro-Assad figure becomes an immediate target for assassinations) it has effectively prevented the establishment of an alternative government. There are only a few pockets in the North and in the East where the rebels roam free and which Damascus does not control. In the bigger picture, they are not all that relevant.

So I am extremely skeptical of the basic premise on which Daniel operates. The regime has been weakened and,yes , parts of the country (the small towns and countryside) are occasionally out of control, but this is certainly does not appear to be Spain 1938. Assad has been able to hold on despite the nonsense that gets reported in the West. In my reckoning, the biggest danger in supporting the rebels against Assad is that it increases the technical potential to the means of mass destruction to Israel - and given the political instability, enables to carry it anonymously !

No, the policy of switching to support the losing side in the conflict will not do ! It is not just morally objectionable but plainly it is no strategy at all ! One cannot speak of having a strategy if one does not have a vision of a final outcome. It is like opening a chess game with Caro Kann hoping that the opponent has a heart attack. It bespeaks of a mindset which has run out of ideas because it has no longer the confidence of itself as the world's most advanced civilization, one that can deliver political solutions that are fair and equitable to all.

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