Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 23, 2012

Landis On Syria - The Regime Will Survive

Professor Joshua Landis of Syria Comment just published a long essay in the journal of the Middle East Policy Council on Syria: The Syrian Uprising of 2011: Why the Asad Regime Is Likely to Survive to 2013.

It is a detailed analysis and, in my view, quit fair in its factual description of the situation. I find only one point that is missing, especially in the economic analysis, which is the one million or so Iraqi refugees who are still a burden for Syria.

Landis finds that:

  • the Assad regime is militarily strong and will likely stay so
  • the opposition is weak and divided
  • an overt outside intervention is unlikely
  • the economic situation is quite problematic and might become the decisive issue

In conclusion he writes:

Collapsing institutions and the state's inability to provide basic services should play into the hands of the opposition. The regime gave the business elites and middle class a piece of the pie and stability. Today, it can offer neither incentive. All the same, the Baathist regime will be a tough nut to crack. Alawis and religious minorities view the failure of the regime with great apprehension. So do Sunni Baathists and those who fear chaos.

Perhaps the biggest question mark is the opposition. Its lack of leadership was an asset during the first months of the revolution, but today it is a liability. Without it, the opposition will have difficulties inspiring more Syrians to take the sorts of risks and exhibit the courage of those already protesting.

So far, however, there is no force that has the might, unity or leadership to bring down the regime, at least none that is yet discernible. One must conclude that the Asad regime will remain in power until such a force emerges.

While I mostly agree with that analysis and the general conclusion I do not understand, and Landis does not explain, why Assad should only survive, as his headline claims, until 2013.

I do expect the insurgency to be mostly defeated within the next six month. By then Syria will also have a new elected multi-party and more diverse parliament which will calm the mood of many Syrian people. This or that event will by then divert western attention to some different country and issue. The Syrian economy will re-orientate from its more European fixture towards its immediate neighbors and the BRICS countries and will slowly heal.

Why then should the regime fall at all? Why wouldn't Assad then stay until the end of his term as president in 2014 or why should he not try, and probably even win, another term? In April 2011, when the situation first escalated and the first rebel attacks on Syrian military occurred, I assessed that the regime will survive. I continue to do so.

Posted by b on February 23, 2012 at 01:44 PM | Permalink

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"Did the Jews do 911?"

The Mossad definately was AWARE of the malicious intent of some of the so-called "hi-jackers", and were seemingly tailing some of them them at the time of the 9/11 CRIME. It is simply too much of a coincidence that Mossad agents seemed to be in the proximity of the "hi-jackers" in the weeks leading up to 9/11.

If "the jews" (YOUR WORDING, NOT MINE) didn't do it, then they were certainly aware something big was about to come down.

Are these racist murderous bigot leaders in Israel capable of ordering such a heineous CRIUME as 9/11? "You betcha!", quoting the ignorant bimbo Palin).

Has anyone told you to go fuck yourself yet today, MB??? Well, if not, allow me to be the first.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Feb 26, 2012 8:02:50 PM | 101

'The Mossad definately was AWARE of the malicious intent of some of the so-called "hi-jackers", and were seemingly tailing some of them them at the time of the 9/11 CRIME. It is simply too much of a coincidence that Mossad agents seemed to be in the proximity of the "hi-jackers" in the weeks leading up to 9/11'

eh? since when is Mossad credible source? the talk of mossad 'tailing' is itself part of the narrative fraud.
and yes Israel and the neocons are the ones who did 9-11..they had the motive, the sociopathic character etc

Posted by: brian | Feb 26, 2012 8:10:37 PM | 102

Some of the Free Syrian Army guys said they were ordered to shoot civilians, and that's why they defected. No wonder they have Druganov sniper-rifles, they were issued by the regular army before they defected.
I don't think it's a clear black and white picture. What is clear is that Assad the brother, head of the military, is a brutal man. But who knows who started shooting at whom?

Posted by: Alexander | Feb 26, 2012 8:17:41 PM | 103

'Some of the Free Syrian Army guys said they were ordered to shoot civilians, and that's why they defected. '

this same meme was used in the war on both cases its 'trust us: would we lie'?

so no its not true.

Posted by: brian | Feb 26, 2012 8:23:49 PM | 104

@A V - are you suggesting that the West is supporting rebellions directed, among other things, against neoliberal policies? or don't you think it's more likely that it's trying to derail them in other directions?

@slothrop - accusing of racism those who don't support the Us' agenda for the Middle East is an old trick from Bush II; it's obvious the Arabs can sort things out by themselves, that's precisely why the West keeps meddling, terrified that the outcome might be not so favorable for colonialists

Posted by: claudio | Feb 26, 2012 8:28:20 PM | 105

9/11 ? Really?

The rest of the world try to have Bush indighted. Why did Bush disrupt the investigation? Because he is a guilty zionist with ties to MOSSAD, who tipped off the owner of the towers that were re-insured two weeks before they fell.
And they invaded Afghanistan instead of Saudi-Arabia where the hijackers came from, does that add up? It should, unless you are american and believe their media.

Posted by: Alexander | Feb 26, 2012 8:40:43 PM | 106

there were no 'saudi hijackers'....indeed theres no security video evidence any of the accused passed thru the airports on 9-11.

Posted by: brian | Feb 26, 2012 9:11:15 PM | 107

@ brian
You're probably right.

Posted by: Alexander | Feb 26, 2012 9:35:37 PM | 108

Claudio, I encourage you to acknowledge the basic contradiction reproduced by b each and every day. That's all.

Posted by: slothrop | Feb 26, 2012 10:33:48 PM | 109

slothrop, your efforts to "delegitimize" b at the eyes of the casual reader are defamatory, baseless and doomed to fail; it's clear you only want to bug b producing "noise" on the blog;

someone says you are getting paid to do this, whereas I detect a real personal frustration in your posts, and a deep jealousy towards his friends at MoA; did b turn you down sometime in the past? you see, you remind me of Buddy's hate for Mr. Incredible, except of course that you aren't as resourceful as Buddy (alias Syndrome)

Posted by: claudio | Feb 27, 2012 3:32:44 AM | 110

no, I read this site regularly, and support it. I think that the too-intermittent posts about economics are what I prefer.

His analysis of the whole arab-spring is laughably contradictory. And the paucity of his comments about continental European role in the neoliberal finance banking scam is a bit disappointing. But I understand his lack of commentary, given the fact that he's gone all-in on the USuk thesis.

Put another way, the reality of individual suffering clumsily shoehorned to prove the beautiful continuity of the USuk abstraction is a sort of for bourgois intellectual terrorism – "identity thinking." This is where we are sadly at here at MoA.

As for the foreign-policy "analysis," the whole blog has devolved into conspiracy mongering in the pursuit of strategically aligning the bits of reality to support the view that USuk is unequivocably culpable for all human suffering. Lots of callow bullshit.

After writing this, it occurs to me that I don't really give a fuck what you think, claudio.

p.s., send b a check.

Posted by: slothrop | Feb 27, 2012 10:01:01 AM | 111

I'd be glad to send a cheque to b, if he asked for it, he really deserves it; he's not just spouting opinions as you and me, he does research and analysis, in other words: hard work

btw, that's why I try to help out here at the bar with the housework (taking care of obnoxious clients), so he can concentrate on more important things

you insist on his "contradictions", but really I think I answered that in a previous post; he is consistently tracking propaganda, contradictions and own-goals in western "foreign politics" (euphemism for "global permanent war"), whereas it's the rhetoric of humanitarian interventions, exporting democracy, etc that's full of contradictions

"Usuk" might be an abstraction, but the corporations, the Pentagon, the Cia, the financial institutions, etc are a quite solid reality; at the base of the new global financial power are at least two order of phenomena that occured in the '80s: the sellout of the Us political sytem to the highest bidder, and the alliance between Us and European plutocracies; so, although the Uk is certainly a "junior partner" of the Us global power, it's not possible to place geographical lines that divide the good and the evil;

but nowhere have I read an attempt by b to illegitimately simplify a complex reality

that Uk and France are on the forefront in the current counter-revolution in the Arab world is quite evident; that the Us more or less quietly supports them, also; these are facts; it seems you are trying to frame b within an abstraction of your making

Posted by: claudio | Feb 27, 2012 12:41:17 PM | 112

'His analysis of the whole arab-spring is laughably contradictory'

care to expand on this slothorp?

Posted by: brian | Feb 27, 2012 3:44:46 PM | 113

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