Syria's Assad Weakened But Expected to Survive

(UPI/Washington Times) Barry Rubin - * We don't know whether the older-generation elite of generals and Baath Party bosses in Syria feel that Bashar Assad has gotten them into a mess and they should get rid of him. * The regime, though, still has plenty of assets. It controls the military and just about every other aspect of society. Other Arab states are showing solidarity in general, though both Iraq and Jordan are both angry at Syrian-backed subversion. * Bashar's strategy mainly boils down to toughing it out. As long as no one attacks him directly, in the way the U.S. overthrew Saddam, his odds for survival are good. He can use the age-old excuse of rallying Syrian patriotism by claiming the country is under assault by the U.S. and Israel. * A weaker Syria is a positive development since Syria is the only Arab state that can actively aid Palestinian radicals and press the new leadership toward more radical policies. * Israel should not help Syria escape from its current problems by letting Damascus pretend to talk peace when it has no intention of reaching an agreement. The writer is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya

2005-03-31 00:00:00

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