Jan 12, 2012

Bashar al-Assad: denial and defiance


I've had reservations about writing about Syria because frankly it's hard to know exactly what is going on at ground level. I'm opposed to American intervention, so although criticism can be leveled at Bashar al-Assad's regime, engaging in it is invariably read as support for a western "solution."

In the intervening months there has been a descent into domestic turmoil in Syria, fomented according to Assad by "terrorists", "traitors" and a "foreign conspiracy".

There is truth to Assad's claim. There has been big time foreign interference and meddling by regional players. But the main impetus for change has come and is coming from the Syrian people. Years of stagnation, a tenth five-year plan that didn't deliver, concentration of wealth and power in the hands of those with regime connections, the lack of a social security net ... just some of the reasons why Bashar al-Assad is facing anger in the streets.

However I don't believe the uprising by the people is a call for western intervention or any type of American-led "solution." Attempts to try and exploit the situation in Syria by American proxies in the region will backfire and very possibly lead to a broader war.

See also - The Guardian