When ICG briefs, we all should read! and…. think

International Crisis Group

The International Crisis Group (ICG) most recent middle east policy briefing No 31 on Syria, titled “Uncharted Waters: Thinking Through Syria’s Dynamics” is  a demonstration of  the brilliance of Peter Harling, the ICG’s Project Director, for Iraq, Lebanon and Syria.  The report, linked above is a must read by anyone interested or involved even if remotely to the Syrian revolution. Below, i will only present a part of the report’s conclusion, and hope that all of us get the chance to read it and comment on it. I received it yesterday, but was not able to view my email until now.

 Conclusion (part of it), please read the full report here

That the current crisis and future transition present enormous risks is not a reason to defend a regime that offers no solution and whose sole strategy appears to be to create greater hazards still. Optimally, this would be the time for third-party mediation leading to a negotiated transition. Yet, there is little sign of that either. The recent Arab League initiative rightly insisted that the regime end its attacks against peaceful protesters. But popular demonstrations are precisely what the regime fears most, making such an undertaking virtually unthinkable. The League has demanded – and the regime in principle accepted – the dispatch of foreign observers. But the authorities have far more to hide than to put on display; they will acquiesce only to the extent outsiders corroborate the existence of armed groups and only insofar as they are prevented from documenting security forces’ crimes. The regime also has pledged to hold municipal elections and reform the constitution, but neither step comes close to matching the depth of the crisis.

Even rhetorically, the regime is not suggesting willingness to compromise. Al-Dunia, its semi-official television station, is more belligerent than ever. In his latest interview, Assad flatly denied that civilians had been shot by the security services; by his count, the sum total of 619 victims comprised protesters accidentally killed in crossfire with armed gangs; individuals targeted by sectarian attacks; and loyalists. Meanwhile, conservative estimates put the number of fatalities at 3,500 (excluding members of the security services and army), most as a result of regime violence.


Posted on November 25, 2011, in Syria. Bookmark the permalink. 57 Comments.

  1. Aboud,

    I hope your right. I’m just an uninformed observer thousands of miles away.

    The decision makers, hopefully, know what’s really going on.

    The last gasp of a dictator is to take the innocent population down along with him…

  2. AP

    “The last gasp of a dictator is to take the innocent population down along with him…”

    Yes, Hitler in his final days carried out orders for a scorched earth. His underlinings disobeyed him.

  3. Iran is the one pulling Hizballah’s strings, and it must want to keep that card in play at least until they get nukes (or get attacked). They won’t allow Hizballah to risk itself for Assad. I’m pretty sure Nasrallah is getting a tongue-lashing from the Mullahs right now over the incident, just like he got after 2006.

  4. Aboud,

    Hitler was a crazy man who was voted into office. He had a lot of grandiose ideas and many thugs at his disposal. The first thing he did to grab power was to change the laws and disband democracy. That is why state laws and checks and balances are so important. Laws,police, armed forces all have to work together so if someone goes off the deep end, the highest officials can be thrown in jail.

    Arab despots like Gad-fly, Saddam, and Assad all believe they are better than others and that the Arab people they supposedly government serve them. Arabs can be killed, mutilated, abused, tortured, and disgraced without these evil thugs batting an eyes because they have come to believe they are super-human.

    The time has come to bring them down to Earth.

  5. • I second Aboud, such a photo cheers up every decent human and tells you those people are on it rather wasting our time showing fabricated videos. Thanks OTW.

    • I hope not for a full scale war but since it’s a proxy war I can’t see why Persians won’t play their tools. At the end of the day it’s win-win scenario for Persians as long Arab blood is spilled in abundance.

    • Let’s examine closely the latest statements by Ahmet Davutoğlu “Turkey did not want military intervention in Syria but was ready for any scenario to deal with President Bashar al-Assad’s violent crackdown on popular unrest, including setting up a buffer zone to contain any mass influx of refugees” This message completes the photo of SNC & FSA above.

    • I know we talked about it many times but still I’m in total confidence that whoever provides consultation to the regime is working for the revolution. Expelling Father Paolo from (Deir Mar Moussa) monastery out of Syria is nothing but a stark example of stupid PR management eh, so Betho is defending the Christianity in Syria!!

    • I reckon there might be a push to revisit UNSC before the end of the of 2011 year but I might safely assume that there won’t be any on ground action till after Xmas and even maybe till late Jan, the later the better for both the French and American presidential campaigns.

    • According to my travel agent’ understanding (not confirmed yet) the Arab flight ban will only impact the Syrian Airways. i.e. not allowed to use any Arab airports.

  6. True

    “I know we talked about it many times but still I’m in total confidence that whoever provides consultation to the regime is working for the revolution.”

    LOL! That, and the Mualik Video Fiasco. Ghaba’oqun Ensurna.

  7. A new post coming up in few minutes

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