America's Syria Abdication

(Wall Street Journal) Fouad Ajami - In a Syrian refugee camp near Antakya, Turkey, the ongoing Kofi Annan diplomacy and UN-brokered "cease-fire" are seen for what they are - an alibi for the abdication of Western powers, and a lifeline for the regime. Syria is not Libya, the Obama officials opine. The air defenses of Syria are thick when compared with those of Libya, the army of the Damascus regime is mightier. The truth is that the air defense system of the Syrians can be dismantled with ease. And that mighty army of the House of Assad? The Syrians refer to it as jaysh abu shahatta (the army in slippers). The Sunni recruits are worn out, terrified and underfed, thrown into assignments they abhor and dread - the killing of their fellow Sunnis. A no-fly, no-drive zone on the border with Turkey would critically alter the terms of engagement and encourage greater defections from the regime's forces. Everyone is waiting on Washington's green light and its leadership. Turkey would act, but only under the banner of NATO. In the markets in Dubai, the Assad dictatorship is dumping its gold reserves - at a discount. In the long run, this regime is doomed. The writer is a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution.

2012-04-27 00:00:00

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