Assad Regime May Well Survive to 2014

Last year at this time, I argued that Assad would last until 2013 – Why the Assad Regime Will Likely Survive to 2013 – despite the many predictions that he was on the verge of falling in 2012. This year, I make a similar prediction that Assad will last until 2014. The reasons I give are outlined in the following two articles by Karon and Weaver, copied below.

Fred Hof’s article, excerpted below, is excellent. His worry that the Syrian opposition may fail to produce a convincing Syrian Nationalism or present a viable alternative to the  narrow Assad “rule by clan and clique” is the real problem. Assad has perfected rule by traditional loyalties and patronage combined with fear and intimidation.  The regime has survived for so long because Syrians have been unable to unify against it. Divide-and-rule has been the mainstay of this regime. So long as the opposition continues to squabble and Syrians remain deeply divided, and greater powers don’t intervene, the Assad regime will likely find a way to hang on. More importantly, as Fred Hof laments, “If in the end Syria is really akin to Lebanon in terms of the supremacy of sectarian identification, it is finished.”

Syria’s Rising Death Toll: The Darkness Before the Dawn or Sign of a Grinding Stalemate? By Tony Karon | Time

Abdlhamid Haj Omar, 70, a father who lost three sons and two grandsons in the ongoing Syrian crisis, prays as he visits their graves at the Martyrs’ cemetery in Azaz city, North Aleppo, Dec. 25, 2012.

….The rebels and Western analysts advocating for more muscular intervention remain confident that the regime’s collapse is imminent, and are skeptical of calls for negotiation. “The regime appears to have only a few weeks left before it collapses,” said Washington Institute of Near East Policy analyst Jeffrey White in late December. “As the end nears, its allies may issue desperate pleas for a U.N.-brokered ceasefire, but the rebels see absolutely no advantage in that approach.”…

“Absent some dramatic increase in external intervention, Assad could still be there in 2014,” says Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma. “There’s nothing obvious in the current dynamic that’s going to force him out. He has barricaded the major cities with layers of security, allowing the impoverished periphery of some to fall into rebel hands, but then using his air power and artillery to devastate those neighborhoods. Almost two years into the uprising and despite the rebels’ recent momentum, they have not yet taken full control of a single major city or town. That’s a bad sign for the rebels.”

The sectarian character of the civil war has been underscored by Alawites — even many with grievances against the Assads — rallying behind a regime dominated by their minority sect for fear of their fate should the predominantly Sunni rebellion triumph. While opposition analysts predict that the regime will soon run out of money, rebel-controlled areas are even more starved of resources. And the regime, which still maintains an overwhelming advantage in weaponry, appears to be directing attacks in line with a strategy to exacerbate shortages of food and fuel in those areas, assuming that shortages and the competition for scarce resources will alienate the civilian population from the rebel fighters that control their areas — a dynamic that appears to be taking hold according to some reports from Aleppo and elsewhere

“Despite the confident predictions coming from the rebels and their backers,” says Landis, “nobody in the opposition today can explain how they’re going to win. The regime has the unity, it has all the heavy weapons. Many of the rebels continue to operate on the assumption that the U.S. will intervene to tip the balance for them.”

But despite growing agitation by some in Washington for a more muscular U.S. role in helping topple Assad, there’s no sign that the Obama Administration, or any of the other Western powers, or key neighbors such as Turkey, are inclined as yet to assume the substantial risks involved in intervening to break Syria’s stalemate. And the rising death toll won’t likely change those calculations.

Assad to hang on till 2014
By Matthew Weaver – Guardian

Bashar al-Assad is likely to stay in power until 2014, according to Syrian watcher Joshua Landis, director of Centre for Middle East Studies at the Univesity of Oklahoma.

Many pundits predict that the Assad regime is nearing collapse and it is difficult to find any who think Assad will survive the year as president. But Landis, author of the widely-read blog Syria Comment, bucks the trend.

Asked to clarify remarks he made on Twitter earlier today about Assad’s prospects, Landis replied “Who is going to defeat him?”

He told the Guardian that rebels remain divided, under-funded and poorly equipped. He said:

Ethnic and sectarian divisions make victory difficult. Poverty hurts the regime, but also it hurts rebels, who are scavenging and beginning to cannibalize each other.

The Syrian army, by contrast remains cohesive, fully armed and with a clear command and control structure, Landis pointed out. It has also changed tactics to focus on protecting Damascus and the survival of the regime, Landis claimed.

It has learned it cannot control everything and has fallen back. The south and Damascus is much more difficult terrain for rebels than north and Aleppo.

Aleppo has been harder to defend because of its proximity to Turkey which offers rebels protection and short lines of retreat. “In the south [neighbouring countries:] Lebanon, Israel, Iraq and Jordan are all hostile to rebels and do not allow them refuge, comfort and resupply,” Landis said.

Landis also pointed out that international community remains divided over how to tackle the crisis. The US is concerned about supporting al-Qaida-linked groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra which is leading the fight against the Syrian government in many areas and which the US proscribed as terrorist organisation.

“The US has few interests in Syria and every incentive to stay out,” Landis said.

And the main regional opponents of the Assad government – Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia – lack a co-ordinated approach and have not always worked in concert.

Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed Predicts Assad of fall by March 2013. bit.ly/Uaxb45 This is unlikely. will probably hang on until 2014.

Syria 2013: Will The Poison Pill of Sectarianism Work?
Frederic C. Hof | January 03, 2013

At the dawn of the New Year President Bashar al-Assad and his regime remain committed to pursuing a corrosively destructive sectarian survival strategy, one enjoying a critical assist from an increasingly radicalized and politically directionless armed opposition. Left to their own devices—as both the West and Russia seemed inclined to leave them—the regime and its armed opponents seem poised to devote 2013 to putting Syria on an irreversible course to state failure and perpetual sectarian conflict….

By raising and unleashing shabiha auxiliaries (largely poor Alawite youth supplemented by active duty military personnel), the regime of Bashar al-Assad injected the poison pill into the national bloodstream.  By sending these gangs into Sunni Arab villages to murder, loot, and rape, the regime consciously sought three results: to terrorize its opponents into submission; to make the conflict explicitly sectarian in nature; and to implicate the very community into which its leaders were born (but from which they had long since seceded socially and economically) in the commission of grotesque, politically motivated criminal acts.

It appears that the regime is succeeding in two of the three outcomes sought by the induced ingestion of poison….

Assad and his cohort are, after all, eager to tell minorities (especially Alawites and Christians) that the current regime alone stands between them and a Sunni Arab successor that might choose among options ranging from explicit sectarian rule to the application of Islamic law to expulsion and slaughter. …

Some regime opponents insist that the pill has had little effect, and that the opposition (armed and not) remains overwhelmingly committed to a Syria of citizenship, one permitting no civil distinction among Sunni, Alawite, Christian, Kurd, Ismaili, Turkman, Druze and so forth.  One hopes they are accurate and truthful, and not merely trying to appeal to the sensibilities of Americans who perhaps do not understand how the world really works (at least in Syria).  And yet how many members of Syrian minorities—fully one-third of the country’s population—accept these proffered reassurances?  Probably no more than a handful do.  And why should they?  What would weigh heavier on the brain of a non-Sunni Arab (or a Sunni Arab committed to secular governance): the occasional word about the primacy of citizenship, or the televised chanting of hirsute warriors and the exaltation by the Nusra Front in reaction to the fully justified (if ill-timed) U.S. designation of the group as terrorist?

In sum, the Assad regime has hijacked the Alawite community and large components of other minorities, holding them hostage to the survival of rule by clan and clique.  This hijacking and hostage-taking has occurred in the context of a regime survival plan whose origins date back more than 40 years.  The success of the plan—the effects of the poison pill—depends largely on the manner in which opponents of the regime react.

If in the end Syria is nothing but a surviving fragment of its Ottoman predecessor—a collection of confessions that have coexisted only under the iron hand of a sultan—then the poison pill will likely be fatally irresistible.  If in the end Syria is really akin to Lebanon in terms of the supremacy of sectarian identification, it is finished. ….

ALEPPO, Syria — Japanese trucker Toshifumi Fujimoto is bored with his humdrum job, a daily run from Osaka to Tokyo or Nagasaki hauling tanker loads of gasoline, water or even chocolate.

Yet while the stocky, bearded 45-year-old could spend his free time getting a jolt of adrenaline by bungee-jumping or shark hunting, he puts his life on the line in a most unusual way.

He’s become a war tourist.

Fujimoto’s passion has taken him from the dull routine of the highway to Syria, where as part of his latest adventure in the Middle East’s hot spots he shoots photos and video while dodging bullets with zest.

He was in Yemen last year during demonstrations at the US embassy and in Cairo a year earlier, during the heady days that followed the ouster of longtime president Hosni Mubarak. Later this year, he plans to hook up with the Taliban in Afghanistan.

But for the moment, he is wrapping up a week’s tour of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, which for going on six months has been one of the hottest spots in a conflict that has cost more than 60,000 lives, according to UN figures.

He already spent two weeks in the war-torn country at the end of 2011, taking advantage of a tourist visa, but this time he has entered the country clandestinely from Turkey…..

Fujimoto is divorced, and says “I have no family, no friends, no girl friend. I am alone in life.”

But he does have three daughters, whom he hasn’t seen for five years, “not even on Facebook or the Internet, nothing. And that saddens me deeply,” he said as he wiped away a tear.

So he’s bought a life insurance policy, and “I pray every day that, if something happens to me, my girls might collect the insurance money and be able to live comfortably.”….

No Settlement In Damascus, The Danger of a Negotiated Peace
Bilal Y. Saab and Andrew J. Tabler, January 2, 2013 – Foreign Policy

Simply calling on the Sunnis and Alawites to give up their guns won’t work…..

Comments (341)


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301. zoo said:

#293 Visitor

Sorry, correction: “The twin Salafi puppets”

One of them has returned to his cave to digest his eternally failed predictions but he will come back with fresh ones we are avidly waiting for.

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January 5th, 2013, 7:03 pm

 

302. zoo said:

A big welcome to Chuck Hagel.
Finally a non war-monger at this post…

Obama set to nominate Israel lobby critic for top Pentagon post

Published Saturday, January 5, 2013

President Barack Obama may round out his new national security leadership team next week, with former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska as the front-runner for Defense Secretary.

Foreign Policy magazine reported Friday that sources close to the nomination process had confirmed that Hagel was indeed in the expected pick, and that logistics and timing were being finalized.

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January 5th, 2013, 7:07 pm

 

303. Tara said:

Zoo @299

Agree. His appearance is so repugnant that it skocks the audience.

I must go shopping tomorrow. Shopping is the only way that would enable me to digest reading about his speech tomorrow.

You must be too excited about him talking tomorrow… Would you be able to sleep today?

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January 5th, 2013, 7:10 pm

 

304. Visitor said:

Zoo @300,

Obviously now you’re becoming confused. But this is normal for puppets of mullah-apes.

But, truthfully, I’m preparing myself for tommorow’s shock and awe barks from the Zoo.

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January 5th, 2013, 7:11 pm

 

305. Visitor said:

Comment 301 is meant to start as Zoo @298,

I am sure current Zoo 298 appeared as Zoo 300 at the time of posting.

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January 5th, 2013, 7:16 pm

 

306. zoo said:

A new “stick and carrot” plan by the opposition to accelerate the ousting of Bashar Al Assad

A Syrian way out of the civil war (to be hopefully endorsed at the next FOS meeting in Italy)

By David Ignatius, Published: January 4
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/david-ignatius-a-syrian-way-out-of-the-civil-war/2013/01/04/4bd67e20-5619-11e2-bf3e-76c0a789346f_story.html

To help oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, an opposition group has drafted a plan for a transitional justice system that would impose harsh penalties against die-hard members of his inner circle but provide amnesty for most of his Alawite supporters.

The plan was prepared by the Syrian Support Group, which backs moderate elements within the Free Syrian Army, with help from international lawyers. The proposal has been communicated to leaders of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, the umbrella organization for anti-Assad rebels. Advocates hope that the international community will also endorse the plan at the next Friends of Syria meeting in Italy.

The idea is similar to the “truth and reconciliation” process that helped resolve bitter conflicts in South Africa, Rwanda and Northern Ireland. “It sends a strong positive signal to the people of Syria that victory for the rebels is inevitable” and that the new government “will deliver justice, compensate victims and be compassionate towards all,” explains a legal memo prepared by McCue & Partners, a London firm that is advising the Syrian Support Group.

The transition process would begin with the identification of 100 regime insiders whose defection could accelerate Assad’s fall. Some of these Assad supporters might be offered partial amnesty if they agreed to cooperate. The sooner they defected, the more leverage they might have under a future government. As part of the political transition, a compensation fund would be created to aid victims of the war.

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January 5th, 2013, 7:18 pm

 

307. zoo said:

301. Visitor

Take a good dose of prozac and a good session of prayers and meditation otherwise you may get into one of these tantrums of uppercases and insults that I have often seen.
Thank God, you are still less hysterical than your twin.

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January 5th, 2013, 7:21 pm

 

308. Syrian said:

I’m going to wait for Songa Yonga version of the speech, like he did last time

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January 5th, 2013, 7:31 pm

 

309. Warren said:

Bassil says Lebanon should limit Syrian refugee influx

BEIRUT: Energy Minister Gebran Bassil defended his stance with regards to the rising number of Syrians in the country, saying Lebanon should set limits to the refugee influx.

“We are facing a rapidly developing situation which led us to take a clear stance on two points: the first is to limit the influx of refugees from Syria but not close the border and the second is to lessen the burden on Lebanon,” Bassil said during a news conference in his Batroun residence, north of Beirut.

“No one said anything about expelling refugees or returning them home,” he added.

Bassil came under fire in recent days for suggesting Lebanon’s borders should be closed to refugees given that Lebanon is incapable of meeting the demands of thousands who have fled violence in their home country.

To address the alarming humanitarian situation of the refugees, the government approved Thursday a comprehensive plan that appealed to Arab and international countries to cover nearly $180 million of refugee costs that Lebanon is unable to provide.

Bassil rejected the proposal, along with other Free Patriotic Movement ministers, suggesting instead the closure of Lebanon’s border with Syria as a measure to stem the flow of refugees.

During his conference, Bassil said that Lebanon should adopt strategies such as ones taken by Turkey and Jordan which sets conditions for the refugees and a limit to the number of people it can provide shelter to.

Over 170,000 Syrian refugees have arrived in Lebanon since the conflict erupted in Syria in March 2011, in addition to nearly 15,000 Palestinians who have fled to Lebanon following last month’s fierce clashes in the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk in Damascus between government forces and rebel groups.

As for the security concern with regards to the presence of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Bassil quoted Interior Minister Marwan Charbel who said there were training camps for fighters in the country.

“The interior minister himself spoke of training camps for Syrian fighters. And we saw Syrians fighting in Tripoli, not to mention that the Army has detained Syrians who were fighting in Qasqas, are these actual refugees?” he asked.

“Lebanon has an obligation toward Syrians and it is to stand by it but we should look into our resource available for the refugees. What about the repercussions from such an influx?” he added

As part of the government’s plan for the refugees, Adnan Mansour contacted Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby Saturday and put him in the picture with regard to the Syrian refugee situation in the country and informed him “that he [Mansour] will send him a memo stipulating Lebanon’s desire to call for an exceptional meeting of Arab foreign ministers to discuss the issue.”

Elaraby, according to Mansour’s press office, said he will hold his own talks and call for a meeting in the next few days.

Bassil also spoke about Lebanon’s experience with refugees and said the country should learn from its own history.

“We cannot part ourselves from our previous experience such as that we have with Palestinians although the circumstances were different. But the result should be taken into account,” the minister said.

He added that When Palestinians arrived to Lebanon in 1949, no one thought they would stay.

“All we want is for Palestinians to have their right of return but nationalizing them has been proposed,” he said.

Bassil also cast doubt on the accusations directed at him for suggesting controls of the influx of refugees.

“In response to our stance, they called us racist and sectarian or that our remarks serve an electoral purpose. This response raised our doubts that the situation is not normal and that there is someone taking advantage of the influx,” he said.

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Politics/2013/Jan-05/201044-bassil-says-lebanon-should-limit-syrian-refugee-influx.ashx#ixzz2H9QTV7yJ
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

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January 5th, 2013, 7:34 pm

 

310. MarigoldRan said:

Zoo,

How many posts has this been over the last 24 hours? I mean, I post often (a lot), but you post twice or three times as much. The word “obsession,” I think, can be applied in your case.

The regime can adopt whatever strategy that it wants. But the pattern of the war is clear:

The rebels make dramatic gains.
The period of gains is followed by a long period of stalemate.
The rebels then make dramatic gains again.

This is the normal pattern of a successful guerilla war. The government loses ground slowly. Currently we’re in stalemate again (after a period of dramatic gains), but a look at the progression of the war over the last year has shown that overall the rebels have been winning. The FSA control more territory and weapons then even 6 months ago, while the regime has obviously weakened.

The regime can try to starve the FSA areas all they want. It doesn’t matter. People will complain about the FSA, but they hate the regime more because they know who is starving and bombing them.

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January 5th, 2013, 7:35 pm

 

311. Visitor said:

Zoo @304,

Do upper case letters bother you?

You must be in a constant state of depression, and no doubt you keep good supply of Prozac near your keyboard.

What else do you do besides commenting on SC?

Out of the last 304 comments, 66 are made by you. That is more than 20% the total.

If I were you, I would ask Landis to augment your branch 225 payouts, since it will be running out of money soon. Landis will have no choice but to agree. Because he is smart enough to figure out that if you stop commenting, the comments for his posts will be reduced by at least 50% considering the simultaneous disappearance of all those comments that respond to your gibberish.

Think about it. If you do not believe me just read latest MGR. He read my mind while typing this comment and we almost posted at the same time.

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January 5th, 2013, 7:37 pm

 

312. William Scott Scherk said:

From OpenDemocracy, Our guide to the best of the Arabic blogosphere in 2012

Rita from Syria

First and foremost, one of our own bloggers – Rita from Syria – deserves recognition for the quality and courage in her work. Writing anonymously from Damascus, often under great strain and danger, Rita has provided a window onto the situation that few others can match. Although the nature of the conflict means that most information abroad comes from external sources, the people of Syria do have things to say and we need to be listening to them. In Rita’s own words:

“the danger of being killed has become easier than you can imagine. Everyday, we lose a colleague or a friend and despite the fact that I got used to death, sometimes I fall into complete frustration.”

Her work deserves to be read and her fears deserve to be recognized.

“Rita” is a careful, clear writer (with a brilliant translator), and her stories are both intelligent and sober, with a rare objectivity. They will not satisfy those with fixed and rigid ideological lenses …

I highly recommend the very informative, detailed and moving “Having tea with the enemy on the Syrian border,” which was writted in early September.

Excerpt:

While not far away the Free Syrian Army (FSA) were making bonfires from similar images, at the heart of the guesthouse where FSA members dropped me off, hung a portrait of Bashar al-Assad decked out in military fatigues.

Not far away the FSA are making bonfires from similar images…

Although such an image may not be out of the ordinary in areas of Syria under the control of the regime, in this town it looked out of place. Jibata al-Khashab, located on the Syrian border with the occupied Golan, has been under the control of FSA battalions for the past two months. During this time the town has been subjected to a suffocating siege by Syrian regime forces that surround it on all sides, able to prevent much needed food and fuel supplies from coming in – and amplifying the suffering of its residents.

So I am confused: the very idea of being in the home of a family supporting the regime has got me worried. What is the FSA doing dealing with supporters of the regime? However, my doubts are rapidly dispelled by the hospitality I receive at the hands of the guesthouse owners. Majida, my host, smiles when I ask her about the impact of her pro-regime position on her relations with people who seek refuge in her home. She tells me, “Our homes have always been open to strangers and all those who need our help, this is our upbringing and our traditions and even though our political opinions are not in agreement at all with the opposition, at the end of the day we are all Syrians”.

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January 5th, 2013, 7:37 pm

 

313. MarigoldRan said:

@ Everyone

The reason why the regime strategy of starvation will not work is this:

People may complain about the FSA, but they hate the regime more. They know that it’s the regime that is bombing and starving them. They may complain about the FSA, but they’re not going to accept the regime.

The Russians tried this strategy unsuccessfully in Afghanistan too. People starved, but the fighting continued. How long will the regime stick to this strategy before they realize it’s not working either?

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January 5th, 2013, 7:40 pm

 

314. Tara said:

I think all of us who are posting on SC are obsessed to variable intensity. Let’s face it. Liberation of Syria will not pass through SC and the State Department is not waiting for an opinion poll on SC to decide on next step. We are all here because of some psychological needs to be here. And during a time like this, it is just understandable.

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January 5th, 2013, 7:54 pm

 

315. MarigoldRan said:

Yes, but I stop posting at times because I have to work and sleep, and see my friends in real life.

We’re all a little obsessed, but Zoo’s obsession is approaching pathological levels. I mean, the poor guy has been posting the entire day, and most of yesterday too.

The fact that other posters are commenting about how often he posts (and not about the content of his posts) should be a warning sign. You think? Recently we’ve been talking more about Zoo’s and Revenire’s psychological states than about Syria

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January 5th, 2013, 7:56 pm

 

316. Majed97 said:

According to a pro-government website ( شبكة اخبار ادلب الخضراء المؤيدة ) ….

القائد العام للجيش و القوات المسلحة , سيادة الفريق بشار حافظ الأسد رئيس الجمهورية العربية السورية , يطل على العالم غدا بخطاب تاريخي جديد تقف فيه الساعة في جميع أنحاء العالم للإنصات للقرار السيادي للجمهورية العربية السورية و شعبها و حكومتها حول نظرتها لحل الأزمة ..

من المنتظر أن ينتج عن الخطاب الخطوط العريضة التالية :

1. إعلان انطلاق مبادرة لحل الأزمة تحت مسمى ” جنيف 2 ” بضمان موسكو و واشنطن .
2. إعلان وقف إطلاق النار من جميع الأطراف بكامل أراضي الجمهورية العربية السورية مع الاحتفاظ بحق الرد , و نشر مراقبين دوليين لتطبيق وقف إطلاق النار .
3. وقف تمويل و تسليح الجماعات الإرهابية المسلحة في سورية بضمانة أمريكية و وقف توريد المقاتلين و دعمهم استخباريا , تحت طائلة الرد المباشر على الجهة الداعمة .
4.رفع الغطاء عن الجماعات الإرهابية المسلحة و بإطلاق يد الجيش و القوات المسلحة لسحق كافة الجماعات الإرهابية و على رأسها جبهة النصرة مع ضمان دولي بعدم دعم الإرهابيين و إرسالهم لسورية .
5. إعلان موعد لانتخابات برلمانية تحت إشراف دولي لانتخاب مجلس شعب جديد يمثل جميع أطياف الشعب السوري .
6. إعلان تشكيل حكومة وحدة وطنية تضم 3 كتل رئيسية ” مستقلون , بعثيون , معارضون ” على أن يكون رئيس الحكومة مستقل أو ” معارض وطني ” .
7. إجراء الانتخابات الرئاسية بموعدها عام 2014 على أن يترشح الرئيس الأسد و ينافسه فيها مرشح عن المعارضة و مرشح مستقل .
8. التأكيد على حق سورية بدعم القضية الفلسطينية و دعم المقاومة اللبنانية , و حق سورية الذي يكفله القانون و المجتمع الدولي باسترجاع كامل الأراضي المحتلة في الجولان السوري و لواء اسكندرونة السوري المحتلين من قبل العدوين الصهيوني و التركي على التوالي .

Saving Syria may still be possible after all.

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January 5th, 2013, 8:05 pm

 

317. MarigoldRan said:

Nope. Unacceptable.

Assad leaves. Another candidate can run. But Assad cannot.

The war continues.

The FSA and their supporters will not accept it. No one trusts Assad or the regime. As I’ve said before, the regime is politically dead.

Even if some moderates accept this plan, the others will just say to them: ” Do you trust Assad?: Even those moderates will have to say, “no”, in which case the plan is rejected.

Everyone on the opposition will see it as a plan to split the opposition and to buy the regime more time. They will not see it as a genuine offer of negotiation. In fact, there’s almost nothing the regime can do (except to send Assad to exile) to get the opposition to trust them anymore.

At this point even sending Assad to exile will probably not end the war. But it would be a step in the right direction.

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January 5th, 2013, 8:08 pm

 

318. Tara said:

Yes Unacceptable. My opinion too. Batta must be eliminated first. Otherwise the war continues.

Marigoldran,

I post just as much.

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January 5th, 2013, 8:18 pm

 

319. Visitor said:

To be mesmerized 24/7 to the screen on SC, reading each and every comment, then responding gibberishely to each and every one with the same monotonic message is a sign of depraved life.

Thanks to branch 225, as Ali showed us, it made such life possible for some for a while.

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January 5th, 2013, 8:28 pm

 

320. MarigoldRan said:

As much as me, maybe. But not Zoo.

Have you made 66 posts out of the last 300?

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January 5th, 2013, 8:29 pm

 

321. Tara said:

The important question now is if the coalition going to accept or be forced to accept Batta’s plan?

With the Western governments taking more measures to prevent foreign fighters helping the revolution and exerting more influence on Qatar and Turkey not to provide weapons..are we up to a protracted struggle or is it that the FSA never really got any outside material help and the blessing from the western government is not needed?

Is the speech tomorrow planned by Ibrahimi?

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January 5th, 2013, 8:35 pm

 

322. Syrialover said:

REVENIRE

You are beginning to expose that your posts here are not only a game for you – it’s professional.

You are aggressivly using textbook tactics. But making statements that reveal you haven’t closely followed the Syrian issue in the media for the past 20 months. Not so clever.

Maybe you’re a team, as with “ANN”

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January 5th, 2013, 9:27 pm

 

323. MarigoldRan said:

It doesn’t matter what the coalition does. It will be determined by the fighters on the ground.

The NC has not delivered weapons or more aid. So why should the FSA listen to them? The West has almost no influence on this war, anymore. That time has passed.

Ibrahimi can say what he wants. It’s his job to try for negotiations. But it’s pointless.

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January 5th, 2013, 9:48 pm

 

324. William Scott Scherk said:

Majed97, thanks for the excerpt (at #313) from Green Edleb News Network‘s Facebook page. If any of the points they mention are what the President will present today, this makes the GENN a much more forthcoming news outlet than SANA, who had this to say and only this to say about the speech:

يلقي السيد الرئيس بشار الأسد قبل ظهر اليوم الأحد كلمة يتناول فيها آخر المستجدات في سورية والمنطقة.

President Bashar al-Assad will deliver a speech on Sunday on the latest developments in Syria and the region

(in the previous speeches, the President was carefully stage-managed with a compliant audience. It will be interesting to see if he uses a new venue … and especially if he uses frank language — and most intriguing if he deigns to take unscripted questions … )

Here’s an awful Google machine translation of the points posted by Majed97 above:

Expected to result from the speech outlines the following:

1. Announced the start of an initiative to resolve the crisis under the name “Geneva 2″ to ensure Moscow and Washington.

2. Declaration of a ceasefire by all parties to the whole territory of the Syrian Arab Republic while retaining the right to respond, and the deployment of international observers to the application of the cease-fire.

3. Stop funding and arming terrorist groups in Syria guaranteed by armed U.S. and stop the supply of fighters and their intelligence support, under penalty of a direct response to the sponsor.

4. Lift the lid on terrorist groups armed and fired by the army and the armed forces to crush all terrorist groups and especially the Front victory with international guarantee not to support terrorists and send them to Syria.

5. Announcement of the date for parliamentary elections under international supervision to elect a new board of people representing all spectrums of the Syrian people.

6. Announced the formation of a government of national unity that includes 3 main blocks “independents, Baathists, opponents” to be the head of an independent government or “national shows.”

7. Presidential elections timing in 2014 to run President Assad and rivaled the candidate for the opposition and an independent candidate.

8. Stressing Syria’s right to support the Palestinian cause and support the Lebanese resistance, and the right of Syria as guaranteed by the law and the international community to retrieve the entire occupied territories in the Syrian Golan and the banner of Iskenderun Syrian occupiers by the Zionist enemies and Turkey respectively.

On another topic, that of OBSESSION, let us not pretend that frequent posters can easily affix that pseudo-psychological label to The Other, while absolving themselves.

ZOO is an intelligent man, educated and cultured. He now represents the only sane(ish) regime supporter in the commentariat. What he writes most often resembles pure Baathism. That is his stance, and he is neither more nor less obsessed than anyone else here (excepting the nutterzone).

If you (like me) find his editorializing tedious and evidence of cult-thinking, he still posts from a variety of sources that might otherwise not appear here. We can quibble with his choice of the SUN, Tony Cartalucci, bedsit+webcam Russian Today also-rans, Daily Mirror, and the troubled nutterzone voices like Stephen Lendman, but that is what the comments are for — argument, discussion. If, like me, you find the editorializing and spin unusually snide, be glad that ever more snide and heartless editorializing is available in the archives.

Take a lesson from TARA: she has affection for ZOO because of his devotion to and love of Syria (for the things both value, not Baathism) — and she (mostly) lets his snide and abusive generalizations slide over her. She cannot understand his moral blindspots, but who can? Like me, she may believe that no one this passionate could be as snide, condescending, and contemptuous in real life — that this is Baathism talking, not ZOO himself, the loving man.

I look forward to ZOO’s nine-hundredth iteration of ‘Turkey’s/KSA’s/Khatib’s/Qatar’s/France’s/Miss Piggy’s ‘humiliation,’ and to his rather juvenile psychological diagnoses (and to his odd obsession interest in slurring all opposition into one big pot of Evul).

But I most look forward to him offering a coherent, realistic plan for ‘dialogue’ … since he most often represents pure regime thinking, tactics and obfuscation. It is as if we had Aunty Bouthaina here daily trotting out the same stale talking points and out and out boners. This allows us good if not complete knowledge of the cult of delusion (the Bubble) that now engulfs the Bashar/Saviour clique. The best clue to what the regime will say, do and evade comes from him. It’s a feature, not a bug.

Here’s a lovely piece of artwork from the folks at Green Edleb News Network. This is far madder and far more demented than anything ZOO can provide, credited to war pornographer Basel Deeb.

http://i.imm.io/RQWf.png

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January 5th, 2013, 10:08 pm

 

325. revenire said:

WSS please get over yourself. All one has to do is review your TL to see delusions and pornography. You sit in judgment of ALL with a hubris that is both amusing and repulsive.

On another note is “Rita” the new “Gay Girl in Damascus”? A new “Syrian Danny” for us to ridicule and titter at?

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January 5th, 2013, 10:26 pm

 

326. Tara said:

Dear WSS @321

Your posts cry for a cup of Turkish coffee in a Damascene Veranda.

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January 5th, 2013, 10:46 pm

 

327. Syrialover said:

Glorious fantasy: Assad’s speech is to announce he is taking early retirement and say his farewells.

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January 5th, 2013, 11:35 pm

 

328. William Scott Scherk said:

Mysterious entity REVENIRE is on a roll!

All one has to do is review your TL to see delusions and pornography. You sit in judgment of ALL with a hubris that is both amusing and repulsive.

You mean my Twitter timeline, right (https://twitter.com/wsscherk)? Have you been having a good time reading it? If so, why don’t you say ‘Hi’ or fuck off or something on Twitter? Or better yet, let readers here have a look at your own timeline?

No? Awwww.

On another note is “Rita” the new “Gay Girl in Damascus”? A new “Syrian Danny” for us to ridicule and titter at?

You can proceed to ridicule “Rita” as you wish. I am sure we all look forward to your titters, brother. This will of course mean that you might have to read one or two of her entries, and then offer up an analysis.

But why don’t you slur her work as a hoax a la Gay Girl without bothering to look? Poring over my Twitter posts taking up too much of that prime ‘analysis’ time between Bonanza reruns and your bedtime bowl of bile?

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January 5th, 2013, 11:56 pm

 

329. revenire said:

WSS,

I can’t be bothered to waste precious time reading sexed-up nonsense about the suffering of terrorists. They should suffer.

When the president speaks today we all know those terrorists will suffer even more as they are forced to listen to Assad’s speech. They’re running low on ammunition, starving and freezing to death in blown-out hovels. Morale is lower than you can imagine. FSA members are surrendering weeping and begging not to be executed.

And understand this: at the end of the day Assad is still the president of Syria.

This isn’t a dream. It isn’t even a nightmare.

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January 6th, 2013, 12:37 am

 

330. revenire said:

And, to put a point on it: if what I say was not true we would not see reports from FSA-sympathizers of these childishly named brigades falling on each other and killing each other. We see reports verifying this daily from Syrians, like poor Edward, who were once supporters of the rats. Combine that with the mass media stories of the FSA killing each other over stolen loot and territory – like dogs marking a spot – and it becomes clear to all sober-minded analysts that I am correct.

The only thing holding together sections of the FSA (it never has been cohesive) is drugs.

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January 6th, 2013, 12:46 am

 

331. revenire said:

Many FSA brigades are refusing orders and remaining in backlines looting. Check your sources FSA supporters – see if I am wrong or see if I am right.

The situation is hopeless for the FSA. They can’t mount serious attacks on Syrian cities. They can’t hold territory.

I am fine with whatever Assad decides but I pray he will NOT negotiate with the rats and allow his army to destroy them all. Syria’s soldiers are begging to be unleashed.

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January 6th, 2013, 1:10 am

 

332. annie said:

Pessimistic about the speech. He is not going to solve anything except if he announces that for the sake of the country he is stepping down.
And even then… but still, it would be a beginning.

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January 6th, 2013, 2:03 am

 

333. annie said:

A relatively new group

In a nutshell
Almost two years after Syrians started demonstrating for freedom and democracy, the violent repression of the movement has set the country in flames. Every new day of bloodshed makes hatred grow. Syria has tumbled into sectarian war. Whenever fighting will stop: huge efforts in terms of reconstruction and reconciliation are needed to build the new and united Syria as a free and inclusive country, based on democracy and human rights.

We, a group of people based both in Europe and the Middle East, feel compelled to take action. We have all worked in Syria or neighbouring countries and we share a rich expertise in peacebuilding, humanitarian aid and interfaith dialogue. With the direct involvement of local communities, we want to combine practical help with reconciliation and peacebuilding. Our immediate goal is to offer a space for the youth from Syria of all faiths and affiliations, women and men. We are going to unite moral authorities of different confessions around this common cause.

With your help, we are going to start working in Lebanon, where thousands of Syrians have stranded as refugees. As from the beginning of 2013, we want to establish our first Peace Centre in the border region to Syria: a house that will serve as safe place for young people from all confessions, where experienced psychologists will treat war traumas and where educational staff will help to develop skills and arts. We will also provide for material help and advocacy where needed.

Some of us are already on the ground, carrying out the necessary needs assessments. Winter is arriving and the conditions of Syrian refugees are dramatically worsening. We need your donation, as small as it might be, to offer relief and reconciliation.

https://www.facebook.com/relief4syria
and
http://www.reliefandreconciliation.org/

Donations http://www.reliefandreconciliation.org/donate-now.html

Preparing peace

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January 6th, 2013, 2:14 am

 

334. Syrialover said:

New post and thread started

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January 6th, 2013, 5:01 am

 

335. zoo said:

The ‘liberated areas ‘ continue to empty from civilians fed-up with the rebels’ inability to feed them and insure their security.

Nearly 9,000 Syrians flee to Jordan in six days

Country is now hosting around 290,000 refugees, official says
AFP
Published: 16:59 January 6, 2013
Gulf News

Amman Nearly 9,000 Syrians, mostly women and children, fled to Jordan over the past six days to escape the bloodshed in their homeland, a government spokesman said on Sunday.

“Some 8,835 Syrians fled to the kingdom since January 1 this year,” said Anmar Hamoud, a government spokesman for Syrian refugee affairs.

“Most of them are women and children who came from Syrian southern areas, including Daraa.”

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January 6th, 2013, 8:24 am

 

336. revenire said:

Annie why would anyone give money to that organization when the funds would end up in the hands of terrorists?

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January 6th, 2013, 10:56 am

 

337. Syrian said:

The new Bashar speech by Songa from the
Chinese revelution

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January 6th, 2013, 4:08 pm

 

338. Roland said:

@48 Marigoldran,

The drive for total victory in the Second World War left almost the entire continent of Europe decimated, devastated, and starving, to say nothing of large parts of Asia. Even fortunate countries like the “victorious” UK endured strict rationing of food and fuel for years after the war’s end. For less fortunate countries, such as China or Greece, the war did not end in 1945; instead millions more would perish or be maimed in fighting for raged for a long time to come.

Is that the future you want for Syria? To be like Europe in 1945, after the glorious Allied total victory? With half the cities burnt, with millions of displaced persons, under foreign occupation and divided into spheres of influence for decades to come?

Keep desiring the “unconditional surrender” of your enemies, and that future could be yours. Is that the duty to your country that you were born to fulfill?

Note that the demand for “unconditional surrender” in WWII was made by the statesman of a country which was located furthest away from the struggle, and which was not directly affected by the fighting. Please bear that fact in mind.

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January 9th, 2013, 4:11 am

 

339. Reports that Assad Lives on Russian Warship Likely False | WORLD WIDE NEWS WATCH said:

[...] Landis, Syrian expert with the University of Oklahoma, predicts the Assad regime will survive to 2014. The academic, author of politics newsletter Syria Comment, accurately stated Assad would make it [...]

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January 15th, 2013, 1:16 am

 

340. Assad’s Seat Of Power Is Not Invincible | Hillbilly News said:

[...] eggspurt Joshua Landis sed as much wen he prdictd at t'Assad regime will survif' into 2014 befor Assad flees t'capital and barricades hisself n' t'coastal mountins o'his'n ancestral Alawite [...]

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February 15th, 2013, 9:00 pm

 

341. Homepage said:

… [Trackback]…

[...] Find More Informations here: joshualandis.com/blog/assad-regime-may-well-survive-to-2014/ [...]…

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May 12th, 2013, 12:41 pm

 

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