Friday, October 21, 2011

Who's next?

Who is the person watching the fate of Col. Gaddafi most closely? Answer: Pres. Assad of Syria. He too will die like a rat in a hole, following the tradition of Saddam Hussein of Iraq and now Gaddafi. As one of the early American flags said "Death to all tyrants!"

In Syria, it is reliably reported that ca. 3,000 people have been killed by the regime's forces, literally attacking undefended towns with tanks and special units whose job it is to arrest and torture opponents. Reportedly ca. 30,000 have been arrested and even children have been arrested and tortured, that is the level of Syria's viciousness. I have no sympathy for anyone in Syria, they are all our enemies, but I would like to see Assad and his 40 year-old regime destroyed and removed. That would be a major defeat for our main enemy Iran, that until now has supported the Assad regime. But, of late, even Iran and Turkey have been advising Assad to make concessions to the Syrian people. A meeting of the Arab League was called last week specifically to pressure Assad to compromise, but even that was split and unable to come to any clear conclusion. Also, the Security Council of the UN is split on Syria. How many must die before there is any form of unanimity, say 5,000 or 10,000? Most serious commentators agree that Assad cannot come back from where he is now, no amount to force can restore his regime to its former power, which means that his time is numbered, but the Syrian people just have to suffer until he is removed. Like Libya there will have to be a violent insurrection against his forces.

I foresee two possible outcomes to the present situation. First, Assad will be overthrown and there will be a civil war in Syria between the pro-Iranian Alawites and the pro-Arabian Sunnis, who are the majority (88%). Second, there might also be an uprising in Jordan, and a civil war between the pro-Hashemite Beduin and the Palestinians who constitute a majority (70%). Neither of these states can continue to exist in their present form forever.

Some have concluded that the deal to release Gilad Schalit with Hamas represents some sort of breakthrough in the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. Nothing could be further from the truth. The only reason that Hamas decided to go ahead with the prisoner swop was that Israel was standing firm on the principle of not releasing any major goaled terrorist leaders and Pres. Abbas of Fatah was gaining a lot of publicity for his initiative of applying unilaterally to the UN for Palestinian independence. Not wanting to be left out, and gradually losing popularity in the Gaza strip, Hamas needed to make some kind of move and the release of their prisoners is a very popular move among Palestinians. But, actually the release of 1,000 committed terrorists can only impede the peace process and the re-commitment exhibited in the Hamas rally in Gaza to the use of violence is definitely against any peace process. Hamas will only use the "armed struggle" to achieve their oft-stated aim of destroying Israel and kidnapping other IDF soldiers, everything else is "pie in the sky."


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