“God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it.” ... Daniel Webster ...
These posts will reflect my personal opinions, and views, of the world in which we live from, of course, the viewpoint of a conservative "Southern American".
It is the
nature of despots to fight to the end, though some do flee. The former dictator
of Tunisia was smart enough to get out with his skin, but Libya’s Gaddafi was
eventually captured and summarily executed. It took a U.S. invasion to rid Iraq
of Saddam Hussein who was found hiding in a hole in the ground. The end for
most despots is ugly, but they often do not have too many, if any, options.
5th, Bashar al Assad, the son of Hafez al Assad, the despot who
ruled Syria for twenty years, gave a speech to an audience of supporters and,
having killed 60,000 Syrians at this point, sounded quite defiant. He called
the civil war that has been going on for the past two years a period of
“transition” which is about as daft as it gets. According to Assad, his enemies
are Islamic radicals who, in turn, are Western “puppets.”
twenty-four hours there were unconfirmed reports on the Internet saying that he
was dead or had fled Damascus. The truth about anything in the Middle East can
East often makes for strange bedfellows. While the United Nations typically
wrings its hands, there are indications that the U.S. has been covertly transferring
arms to the rebels, Syrians tired of the Assad regime’s oppression and al Qaeda
that wants to be in position to exercise some power after Assad is driven from
office. The curious aspect of this is that the assassination of the U.S.
ambassador in Libya and three others was reportedly carried out by al Qaeda. It
is often hard to know who one’s allies are in the Middle East.
major ally has been Iran, the primary sponsor of Hezbollah, a Palestinian
terror group that currently controls Lebanon and never ceases to threaten Israel
with destruction. Another ally has been the Russians who have cultivated
relations with him because they want to retain a port in the Mediterranean for
their warships. They have voiced reservations about Assad of late.
neighbors, Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon have provided refuge for the many
Syrians who fled the war.
kept a low profile. Israel has occupied the Golan Heights since their loss by
Syria in the 1967 war. Bashar’s father, Hafez, was smart enough not to engage
in further wars with Israel.
is alive or dead, Bashar al Assad and his regime is finished. The biggest
losers have been the Syrian people and, as an Israeli scholar, Dr. Mordechai
Kedar, the director of the Center for the Study of the Middle East, has noted,
“The country is in a state of clinical death resulting from systemic collapse.”
As bad as
the estimated 60,000 deaths so far have been, Dr. Kedar, predicts that the
death toll of members of the Alawite tribe that has run the nation will
increase as Syrians take their revenge.
small sects as well—the Christians and the Druze—are among the losers because
the Alawite regime protected them.” Many have fled or soon will. Dr. Kedar
described the Assad regime as dictatorial in style and feudal in structure. The
irony of the revolution to get rid of Assad is that “freedom is not a natural
thing, especially in the Middle East.” The rebels are likely to find themselves
under an Islamic-religious dictatorship.
A point in
case is Egypt where the citizens rose up to demand the removal of Hosni Mubarak
only to find themselves dealing with Mohamed Morsi, a leader of the Muslim
Brotherhood, who has already demonstrated his own despotic inclinations.
Meanwhile, the Christian Copts of Egypt will have to flee for their lives and
Jews as well.
big loser when the Assad regime falls will be Iran, says Dr. Kedar. Syria was
Iran’s “Trojan horse in the Arab world” and the base for Hezbollah. “Despite
its economic difficulties stemming from international sanctions, Iran has sunk
an estimated twenty billion dollars in Syria during the past two years in
weapons, ammunition, and payment of Syrian soldier’s salaries in an effort to
keep them from deserting.” That investment will be entirely lost. The Iranian
ayatollahs will likely find themselves further isolated, both within Iran, and
in the region.
says Dr. Kedar, “Other Arab peoples—of Jordan, Algeria, Morocco, Iraq—might be
encouraged by the success of the Syrians, and surge into the streets to achieve
their own freedom from domineering rulers.” There are current news reports of
Israelis have built a fence along their border with Egypt, much in the same way
they built one between themselves and the West Bank and Gaza in response to the
Palestinian “intifadas” that killed Israelis in their homeland. They recently
waged a short air war against Hamas to discourage the constant rocketing which
received little coverage in the West until, of course, they took steps to
Europe is spared by the Syrian revolt. “Even now,” says Dr. Kedar, “thousands
of Syrian refugees are knocking on Europe’s doors, which are closed to them, so
that they can open a new chapter in their miserable lives. In Europe, they know
well that an Arab refugee will never leave and, therefore…Europe fears the flow
of Arabs into its territory and is slowing down their immigration as much as
only thing that can be predicted with any certainty is the Middle East and the
Muslim nations of northern Africa—the Maghreb--will remain in turmoil as the
Islamist factions, al Qaeda and others, seek to impose their will on the various
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