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Advantages of supporting a rebel victory

Reader comment on item: Yes, Support the Syrian Rebels
in response to reader comment: and then what?

Submitted by Dan Simon (United States), Jan 3, 2014 at 14:24

I agree that both sides are appalling and undeserving of victory, but I would argue that a rebel victory would actually be preferable to a continued stalemate. The rebels, awful though they are, have also shown themselves to be both incapable of rallying public support and hopelessly divided to the point of fratricidality. Should they manage to topple the Assad regime, they would in all likelihood destroy themselves through erratic, disorganized savagery and internecine strife--much as the Islamist radicals in northern Iraq did in the md-2000s. The path would then be clear (okay, somewhat less hopelessly blocked) for more moderate forces to emerge, as well as for Western assistance to bring humanitarian relief (and possibly even moderating influence).

Moreover, Assad's fall would be a much more massive blow to the Iran-Hezbollah axis than the current stalemate. In particular, Lebanese opposition to Hezbollah, which is only just beginning to awaken, would be given an enormous lift were Assad to fall. And as in the case of Syria, a more emboldened anti-Hezbollah opposition is also much more likely to include more moderate forces, where today it's dominated by radical Sunni Islamists.

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