Assad’s Staying Power Unknown To Obama

the late President Hafez Assad, was killed in a car accident in 1994, Hafez Assad, who was killed in a car accident in 1994, was grooming is inexperienced son Bashar the presidency. Since Bashar was not really trained in military and political affairs and the workings of the state, instead Bashar was studying ophthalmology in England.

The elder Assad reduced his political philosophy to seven principles to safeguard the security and stability of the state and ensure the continuity of the Assad dynasty. Those seven principle were drilled in hiss’s son’s mind!

1. Syria must maintain and further strengthen ties with its allies. Particularly, Iran and Russia. Hafez Assad wanted to ensure that Iran and Russia realize that their national interests will depend on the longevity of the president and the Alawite sect. Thus, explaining Iran’s and Russia’s unmitigated support of Assad.

2. Syria must safeguard its role among the Arab states as the champion of Arab nationalism by remaining true to the Palestinian cause, taking a leading role in Arab affairs, and obscuring its own dependence on outside powers.

3. Syria should not provoke Israel. Syria if they provoked Israel would sustain another humiliating defeat akin to the 1973 war. In addition, Syria should never relinquish one inch of Syrian territory in exchange.

4. Syria must always maintain a dominant role in Lebanon and continue to support Hizb’allah as the conduit serving its strategic interests.

5. Syria is made up of several sects and thus being the country’s interests will be best served by tacitly playing one sect against another while sparing the Alawites.

6. If loyalty is to be maintained, the president should select nearly all the party elite, military high command, internal security, and intelligence services from the Alawites. The Alawites should be lavished with material comfort but must always remain dependent on the president’s good graces. Thus, they will be loyal!

7. The president should appear to be a “benevolent” leader and must never tolerate any challenge to the regime and must crush any uprising against it.

The above principles should have been a wake up call to the U.S. on how Assad would govern and how he might react to unfolding events.

Upon assuming the presidency, Bashar Assad was initially inclined to institute some political reforms. He was stopped, however, by his military and internal security who firmly opposed any serious reforms saying that the more you give, the more the people would want!

My question is, how could the Obama administration be oblivious to the most obvious political underpinnings of the Assad regime?

Obama never really understood the source of Assad’s staying power and ignored the operative doctrine which was passed meticulously from father to son.

The Obama administration has badly underestimated Iran’s determination to support Assad to the last Syrian soldier and that Russia will never abandon its only ally in the region.

In addition, the U.S. intelligence community failed to assess how the rebels would grow as a result of the prolonged conflict and why Assad’s survival is central to Hezb’allah’s own.

The rebels will not attend the Geneva talks unless Assad steps down and Iran is excluded, and Assad made his government’s participation conditional upon ending all outside support to the rebels. However, Obama does not seem to understand this point.

However since the U.S. opposes Iran’s participation and that Russia feels strongly that given Tehran’s deep interest in Syria, its presence at the conference becomes critical to enhance the prospect of a lasting solution.

The irony is that although the conference is being held, there is no solution that could possibly satisfy all the stakeholders in the outcome of the conflict, including the assortment of rebel groups who do not see eye to eye, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Russia, the U.S., Turkey, and other nations bordering Syria.

Meanwhile, as long as the destruction of chemical weapons is underway, Obama, being weak, is not likely to act while the number of casualties killed by conventional weapon continues to escalate. Casualties in Syria have now exceeded 120,000 and thousands of children dying from malnutrition and lack of medical care.

In addition, nearly seven million of the Syrian population have become refugees or internally displaced in surrounding countries.

Only the U.S. can bring about changes in Syria. Like it or not, the United States remains the anchor of global stability and Obama just shows a lack of leadership!

The lack of American leadership allowed Russian President Putin to seize the leading role and to place Russia in a position that may well determine Syria’s future on his own terms.



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