2012 December 09 Sunday
Assad Regime End Game: Hole Up In Alawite Mountains?
Check out the Christian Science Monitor's piece on the 3 options for Hafez Assad as the rebels make gains against the Syrian military. Assad is supposedly now a hostage of the Syrian military which is dominated by Alawites who are focused on preventing their own massacre by the eventually victorious Sunnis. Shiites and some other religious minorities have some of the same concerns.
Also working against a more formally established enclave is the fact that not all Alawites support the Assad regime. Some may prefer to cut a deal with the opposition rather than link the fate of the community to that of the Assads. Even Assad’s home town of Qordaha, 15 miles south east of Latakia, has reportedly seen some intra-Alawite unrest between supporters and opponents of the Assad clan.
The article says most Alawites haven't benefited from the regime and the Alawites are poor and live in a mountainous region near the coast. If Assad had built them up and helped them demographically dominate a coastal city (basically by making them affluent enough to buy up a city) he could have redoubt that isn't cut off from the sea. But no.
The Assad family, under Bashar’s 12-year rule, has “all but seceded socially and economically” from its roots and has done “precious little” for the Alawites which remains one of the poorest communities in Syria, says Fred Hof, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and former special adviser for transition in Syria at the State Department.
Once some Sunnis come to power will they create an Islamist constitution and oppress women and non-Sunni sects? Will the Syrian economy be any more efficient with less ownership by leaders? Or will it be even worse in the long run?
Once the Sunnis are victorious the anti-Assad alliances could fall apart.
By Randall Parker at 2012 December 09 07:58 PM
Hafez Assad doesn't have very many options any more
"Will the Syrian economy be any more efficient with less ownership by leaders? Or will it be even worse in the long run?"
The economy of any country that has udergone a U.S. invation, whether open or by means of supporting coup terrorists, never fully recovers really. Take a look at Lybia then and now, Irak then and now, etc.
U.S. foreign policy compares a lot to an HIV-possitive rapist. First, it destroys, and then it also leaves the nasty infection.
When the U.S. finishes raping Syria, the nasty infection will linger for decades. That's pretty forseeable.
Check it out wrote: "The economy of any country that has udergone a U.S. invation, whether open or by means of supporting coup terrorists, never fully recovers really. Take a look at Lybia then and now, Irak then and now, etc."
American foreign policy is not perfect, but there are counterexamples to your observations: After the United States invaded Germany (to be specific, West Germany) as the outcome of World War II, the result was that economies of both Germany and Japan not only recovered but actually improved dramatically compared to what they were before World War II. On the other hand, East Germany, which was invaded by the Soviet Union, did not show much innovation or improvement, and soon after the East Germany and West Germany were united, this time East Germany dramatically improved, thanks to the system of democracy in Germany established by the Americans.
Similarly Italy was also invaded by the Americans after World War II, and there was significant improvement in Italy also.
In fact, all European countries that were under American influence after World War II, there was significant improvement.
Thus, I have the impression that those countries that had intrinsic problems could not improve after any intervention, and this was not simply the fault of the American foreign policy, but also due to other local reasons.
Even the fascist Germany had some previous experience with democracy and individualism, and so after World War II, it was possible for Germany to recover culturally and economically. But consider countries like Saudi Arabia or Iraq, these countries never had experience with democracy (on the contrary, for thousands of years they only knew tyranny one way or another), and such countries would take more time to adapt to democracy even after it is forced upon them from outside, and sometimes they would find it more preferable to switch to another system of tyranny.
Here's an HBD Dictionary:
Are you serious?? Do you want me to post all the invations, interventions and massacres perpetrated by the U.S. during its two centuries +?
Don't you get me started, pleeeeease!
"Will the Syrian economy be any more efficient with less ownership by leaders?"
Lybian and Iraki economy were far more efficient with their former leaders, weren't they? Now, it's a mess.
Don't get me started on the record the U.S. holds in atrocities, Wolf-dog.
Don't tell me about the "benefits" that U.S. invations bring to the countries invaded. I think you'd end up embarrassed.
Check it out,
What I am saying is that there is a difference between the Western and other cultures. After World War II, not only Germany but most of Europe was severely damaged, but despite the American influence in Europe, Europe became better than ever. Why did Iraq not become civilized like Germany, because after World War II Germany was even more severely destroyed than Iraq after Saddam lost power? The reason is because the Iraqi people that you are talking about did not know anything better than a centralized tyranny, and Saddam Hussein was the best system that they had. Note carefully that thanks to Saddam, the large Christian community of Iraq felt protected (in fact many top people in Iraq, like Tariq Aziz were Christian Arabs) but as soon as Saddam lost his power, most Christians in Iraq started to leave the country because the Iraqi people started to discriminate against them.
By contrast, despite the horrible fascism in Germany, as soon as the Nazi government lost power, democracy flourished because German culture had previous experience with democracy before Nazis. So the culture of the local people makes a big difference.
Otherwise I agree that it was better to keep Saddam Hussein in power, since at least Saddam maintained stability in Iraq, and he was against religious extremism.
That's a great point: "...After World War II Germany was even more severely destroyed than Iraq after Saddam lost power."
In 10 years, they were able to clean up the war devastation and build a better society than could be achieved in hundreds or thousands of years in most modern countries around the world.
In 1848, John Stuart Mill wrote: "An enemy lays waste a country by fire and sword, and destroys and carries away nearly all the movable wealth existing in it; all the inhabitants are ruined, and yet, in a few years after, everything is much as it was before.” (Source.)
I believe Americans no longer run their foreign policy. This is obviously Israeli foreign policy. Destroy all strong men in charge then fracture the counties involved between the various tribes. Hmmm... sounds like Americas policy for itself. It should be good for all the countries that try this. Diversity and all that. ;)