“The Syrian Regime’s Slow-motion Suicide: Crisis Group,” by Peter Harling

Crisis Group: The Syrian Regime’s Slow-motion Suicide
by Peter Harling for ICG
2011-07-13, Damascus/Brussels | 13 Jul 2011
[A 35 page Part II of this most valuable report. Harling is superb]

Even in its attempts to survive at all costs, the Syrian regime appears to be digging its own grave.

Popular Protest in North Africa and the Middle East (VII): The Syrian Regime’s Slow-motion Suicide, the second of a two-part report from the International Crisis Group, examines the regime’s approach to the crisis. Although the outcome remains in doubt, as many Syrians still fear the prospect of chaos and sectarian strife in the event of abrupt change, the regime has significantly hurt its case through its brutal repression, half-hearted reform suggestions and squandered credibility.

“Playing catch-up with protester demands, the regime has always lagged one if not several steps behind, proposing measures that might have had some resonance if suggested earlier yet falling on deaf ears by the time they were unveiled”, says Peter Harling, Crisis Group’s Iraq, Syria and Lebanon Project Director. “Demonstrators have turned to something else. It is not regime reform they are pursuing. It is regime change”.

By sowing fear of instability, the regime seeks to check the extent of popular mobilisation and deter its less committed detractors. But while this appears to have had the desired impact on some Syrians, the balance sheet has been overwhelmingly negative from the authorities’ standpoint. The security services’ brutal and often erratic performance has created more problems than it has solved, as violence almost certainly has been the primary reason behind the protest movement’s growth and radicalisation.

The situation has reached an apparent stalemate but it would be wrong to bet on the status quo enduring. Economic conditions are worsening; should they reach breaking point the regime could well collapse. Predominantly Allawite security forces are overworked, underpaid and increasingly worried. They could conclude that the regime is unsalvageable and defect, precipitating its end.

Officials argue that many Syrians still see things differently, that they are wary of the protest movement, suspecting it is a Trojan horse for Islamists and that the fall of the regime would mean sectarian civil war. They have a point. Largely due to regime scare tactics – but also to some of the violence against security forces – the country has become more polarised. A growing number want to see the end of the regime; many still cling to it as better than an uncertain alternative, particularly in Damascus. The middle ground has been shrinking.

The international community’s options remain limited. Military intervention would be unquestionably disastrous, potentially unleashing a sectarian civil war, provoking further instability and benefiting a regime that repeatedly has depicted the uprising as a foreign plot. Sanctions against regime officials can be of use, but going further and targeting economic sectors that would hurt ordinary Syrians would backfire….

The world’s cautious attitude has been a source of deep frustration and even anger for the protesters. That is entirely understandable, yet such caution might well be a blessing in disguise. The regime is unlikely to respond to international pressures, regardless of their provenance. Ultimately, the burden lies with the protesters to counter the regime’s divisive tactics, reassure fellow citizens – and in particular members of minority groups – who remain worried about a successor regime, and build a political platform capable of rallying broad public support. Already their ability to transcend sectarian divides has confounded many observers. More importantly, it has given the lie to a regime that has made a business out of preying on fears of a chaotic or Islamist alternative to its own brutal reign.

Comments (3)

873 said:

The entry below is from the prior post but brings up an interesting issue that some, who are the REAL policy makers, have called for decades the greatest threat to world survival- the “population bomb”. I have quoted them after the comment by 17. Majed97 below.

17. Majed97:
“The out of control population growth in Syria, and throughout the Middle East, is the biggest threat to the region’s security. The irresponsible reproductive behavior of people in the region is beyond any government’s ability to manage, particularly in a country like Syria where resources are very limited. No economic plan in the world is capable of meeting the needs of a population growing as fast as in Syria.”
More out from Bilderberg meeting Jun 9-12 2011 that further details how the Arab Spring is being used to solve population issues. (According to Kissinger memos, depopulation was also a big motive for the Latin Am wars of the 1980’s under cover of ‘anti-communism’). Much more but I have limited the snip to what is on-topic vis a vis Syria Comment.

-Leaked by inside sources-
St. Moritz, Switzerland June 9-12 Published June 16, 2011
The agenda for the Bilderberg 2011 Conference included a variety of topics.

According to leaks from at least one attendee, the topic of primary concern involves the “Arab Spring” revolts and efforts to widen the revolt into a regional war to produce regime-change and trigger a wider, world war. Party of the plan was for NATO to engage Libya’s dictator in a military conflict that would trigger a regional war. To accomplish this, U.S. participation is required, but the U.S. Congress is upset that Obama has violated the Constitution and War Power’s Act by not garnering Congressional approval before committing U.S. forces to military action. A new move is underway in Congress to now halt U.S. participation in the Libyan conflict. This move triggered great concern and dismay within the Bilderberg Conference this year as it could put a halt to springing a wider Mideast war.

The Bilderberg group’s justification for war is based on the growing overpopulation of the world with limited resources to support such expanding population. Wars reduce the population levels and a great world war could massively de-populate Earth and bring human population levels within manageable limits to match natural resources. On this matter, the Bilderberg attendees were united in agreement for the need of war. The topic dominated the entire first day of the conference and was a backdrop for other issues discussed during the next two days of meetings.

July 13th, 2011, 4:00 pm


873 said:

Anonymous Bilderberg allegations above are here seconded by another reporter, long time Bilderberg follower Jim Tucker.
Was the French and US Ambassador’s visit to protesters a deliberate provocation to incite mayhem in Syria, which necessitates a crack down which the intl community can then condemn Syria for? Reminds one of Ariel Sharon’s provocative trespass on Haram Al Sharif in 2000? Mabye they are hoping for the same outcome? Just a thought.

By James P. Tucker Jr. June 18, 2011

ST. MORITZ, Switzerland—The secret globalist group “Bilderberg” called for a big war by expanding the turmoil in Libya into a full-scale conflict involving the entire Middle East except for Israel. This is a grim and bloody outlook, because, historically, every time Bilderberg orders war, the guns begin to shoot. In 1991, President George H.W. Bush followed orders and attacked Iraq in Persian Gulf War I. He lost to peace candidate Bill Clinton, who followed orders and invaded Yugoslavia.

The list is endless: Every war dating back to and including World War II has been ordered by Bilderberg. Although they did not start calling themselves Bilderberg until 1954, Rockefeller and Rothschild cronies had the ear of President Franklin Roosevelt when the White House baited the Japanese into conducting a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941.

Similarly, President Harry Truman was pressured into going to war in Korea, and then Lyndon Johnson involved the U.S. in Vietnam.

Johnson seemed to enjoy cruelty. The same draft law used in World War II had been revived in 1946, making all able-bodied men aged 18-38 eligible for combat. A college student could finish his degree but must then report for duty. As a matter of policy, LBJ said students could finish their entire education, including postgraduate work, before reporting. And no one older than 27 would be drafted. The result: Dick Cheney and others avoided service by remaining in college until the age of 27. So the body bags were mostly filled by young boys with no more than a high school education.

“It will have to be a big war involving several countries to advance our goals of a global economy,” said Keith Alexander, director of the U.S. National Security Agency. “But the pressure to end the war in Libya is non-stop, mostly because of that damn Kucinich.” He was referring to Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), whose bill to end the invasion of Libya was defeated just before Congress adjourned for a week on June 3.

“But look at all the votes [148] he got,” Alexander said. “This is dangerous. Congress may cut or even eliminate war funding, and our soldiers are not even fighting.”

Bilderberg’s goal of expanding the turmoil surrounding the invasion of Libya into a huge bloodletting in the Mideast will be helped, they say, by their plan to maintain the global recession through 2012.

July 13th, 2011, 4:26 pm


Haytham Khoury said:

It is obvious that regime is destined to die. This is basically because the regime does not have the essential pillars of a functioning government. First, the president has no potential to be a president. He is immature, egocentric, apathetic, doubtful, indecisive and erratic. Second, the government institutions are dysfunctional, irrational and disharmonious; further, they are governed by corruption, idiocy and lunacy. Therefore, this regime is destined to die. This is similar to a cellular process called “Programmed Cell Death”. In this phenomenon, a healthy cell that suffer from an extreme injury or a sick cell that undergo a minimal stress will start a series of biochemical reactions that lead to the final demise of that cell. Once this series of reaction starts, nothing can stop it; cell death will surely ensue. The Syrian regime is like a sick cell, it needed only a minimal trigger to initiate its death. Ironically, the trigger was simply few young teenagers writing graffiti on the wall, and it is clear nothing can stop its programmed death.

Indeed, the regime is panting and feeling that its end is coming closer. However, it is fighting back by more oppression, persecution and killing. For long time the regime was restricting the people’s claim for their basic rights by threats, oppression and persecution. For long the regime thought it was successful doing so. But, when the people started to demonstrate asking for freedom and dignity, the regime was startled. The only answer it has was more oppression, persecution and killings, because this is the only the language the regime knows. Further, because the regime madness the persecution and oppression transformed into massive killings and crimes against humanity. http://haytham-khoury2.blogspot.com/

July 14th, 2011, 2:06 pm


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