Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Counter-Intuitive, but Sensible Advice on Syria

The Assads are no longer smiling

Stay out of the Syrian Morass -Daniel Pipes, PhD

As the Syrian government makes increasingly desperate and vicious efforts to keep power, pleas for military intervention, more or less on the Libyan model, have become more insistent. This course is morally attractive, to be sure. But should Western states follow this counsel? I believe not.

[P]rotracted conflict in Syria offers some geopolitical advantages:

•It lessens the chances of Damascus from starting a war with Israel or re-occupying Lebanon.

•It increases the chances that Iranians, living under the thumb of the mullahs who are Assad's key ally, will draw inspiration from the Syrian uprising and likewise rebel against their rulers.

•It inspires greater Sunni Arab anger at Tehran, especially as the Islamic Republic of Iran has been providing arms, finance, and technology to help repress Syrians.

•It relieves the pressure on non-Muslims: indicative of the new thinking, Jordanian Salafi leader Abou Mohamad Tahawi recently stated that "The Alawi and Shi'i coalition is currently the biggest threat to Sunnis, even more than the Israelis."

•It foments Middle Eastern rage at Moscow and Beijing for supporting the Assad regime.

[I] suggest staying out of the Syrian morass.
[The Washington Times]

Syria's Assads Turned to West for Glossy P.R.  -Bill Carter & Amy Chozick

With the help of high-priced public relations advisers who had worked in the Clinton, Bush and Thatcher administrations, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his family have sought over the past five years to portray themselves in the Western media as accessible, progressive and even glamorous.
(New York Times)

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