Beyond the Cusp

March 20, 2012

Could Syria be Reaching Endgame Finally?

Much of the news this past weekend informed us that the protests, revolution, civil war, government slaughtering its own citizens had reached its first anniversary and was heading into its second year with little hope of an end in sight. But does this pessimistic outlook actually reflect the reality in Syria? The answer to that question is actually still up for debate and the answer is completely dependent upon ones interpretation of events. So, let’s take a look at the facts and their implications for the immediate future.

 

The shelling has persisted on a daily basis with the ferocity and casualties, though undetermined by observers, appear to continue to climb steadily. It has come to light that the Russians have continued to supply President Bashir Assad’s forces with the necessary weapons of war though protesting that these supplies are not being used against the people. The flow of refugees fleeing the carnage into Turkey has prompted Turkey to consider clearing a buffer zone to accommodate the increasing numbers in order to keep them separate from the native population so they can be returned across the border once the violence has concluded. On the other side, it has been announced that Saudi Arabia will be sending arms and supplies to the rebel forces in order to facilitate an improved possibility of their being victorious. Along a similar line, Iraq has closed all transport access across their lands to Iran preventing direct land supply to President Assad. This has been seen as possibly slowing or preventing Iranian heavy weapons shipments as well as cutting deeply the number of ground forces which could be provided to Assad. Adding these points to the rest simply makes the case for continued violence without end. These have been the subjects the press has emphasized and the picture painted by them is extremely bleak.

 

Despite all the news reports with their heavy emphasis on the end of civilization is upon us reporting, there is some news which may be indicative of an end coming into sight. Towards the end of 2011 we witnessed the defection of some low and middle rank officers and larger numbers of enlisted troops bringing their weapons and strength to the rebels. This has continued into 2012 and has also begun to see the defection of higher ranked officers with some of the General rank officers now changing sides. Once the Generals begin to depart for safe zones where they will be beyond the reach of any vengeance from the rebels or going further and joining the rebel cause, that is the sign that the game is lost for the existing governance. This has been happening and took a measurable uptick this past weekend. I am not about to predict that the slaughter and violence in Syria will be ending imminently, but I will predict that we are entering the endgame and the rebels appear to be gaining the upper hand. My best guesses would place the end of the Assad dynasty in Syria should occur before the end of May, and with his fall the end of the major fighting. What follows is not as easily predicted and will depend on whether Assad is captured along with much of his remaining upper echelon of people. If that should be the case, then we will most likely witness some form of trial similar in nature and whose outcome will be just as predictable as the trials of the Egyptian leadership currently still proceeding. If Bashir Assad is offered safe asylum by Russia, Iran or any other country, then we are very likely to see extensive and prolonged purges and the hunting down of people who held any position of relative power in the Assad government for quite a while. This will continue until either the people tire of such or sufficient blood has been spent towards paying for the suffering under Alawite rule in Syria.

 

Should I be correct and the rebels take control over Syria, this will not be a victory for the Western nations beyond Syria no longer being an Iranian proxy. The new Syria will very likely form a strong bond with Egypt as the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists will be in command and ruling both countries. For a better picture of what this will likely resemble one need go back no further than the United Arab Republic (UAR) which existed from 1958 through 1961. The relations between Egypt and Syria remained tight even after the unity collapsed into separate rule until after the Yom Kippur War in 1973. The final nail in the coffin of their relationship came with the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel signed by President Sadat and Prime Minister Begin on the 26th of March 1979. Should these two countries which are perched on opposite ends of Israel once again merge their foreign policies, this will not bode all that well for Israel as eventually they will once again attempt to annihilate the Jewish State. The fall of President Assad will bring an end to what some have named the Year of the Presidents where revolutions removed numerous “Presidents for life” from their ruling perches in the Arab Middle East. Will this then usher in the possibility of the Year of the Kings where many other Muslim countries may be next for uprisings and possible civil wars? It’s the Middle East; you didn’t foolishly expect an end to violence, did you?

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

December 2, 2011

Herman Cain and a Modern Day Lynching

Herman Cain has been taken through the wringer, put up wet after a hard ride, and virtually every other trite phrase denoting being viscously torn apart and dismembered just for having the audacity of running for public office and having made some less than perfect decisions in his life. Before you start to rant about how his actions deserved exactly the treatment he received, look into a mirror and imagine what could be dug up from out of your past should you have the raw nerve to place your past before such review as has been done to Herman Cain. I know that my life would not pass such muster and when I ran for United States House of Representatives in Maryland’s 8th District I passed each day thanking G-d that my past never was dug up. I attribute this to the fact that as a third party candidate I never really posed a real threat that couldn’t be squelched simply by denying me the opportunity to appear in the televised debates or get an interview with any of the talk shows. Had I become an actual threat I would very likely been given very similar treatment as Herman Cain received. But I understand why Herman Cain decided to run; because if you believe it, then you commit and run for it. The sole reason Herman Cain has received such scornful and degrading treatment was due to the fact that he had actually come to be a viable candidate to a position which only those who have paid their dues and know how the game is played. Herman Cain, as his success in the real world has shown, is not a person who would allow himself to be persuaded, let alone controlled, by those who hold real influence over most of those in our political class. Simply put, Herman Cain had become dangerous.

Regular people can attain high office, but not before they have been in the political system and have accepted the unspoken rules of the game. Everything you have thought was wrong with our political system is probably true to some extent. Very few of those who are in politics, especially in Washington, are completely independent of all outside influences and can honestly represent those who elected them. Actually, they are representing those who got them elected, just not those who voted. Our politicians really do make up, as Samuel Clemmons once stated, the best government that money can buy. The other truth we will always be living with is that you cannot take the money out of politics any more than you can take the politics out of money. Those who have the money will pay in order to retain their wealth and the politicians will do their bidding as long as they get the funds for campaigning. Why do you think that there is no tax on wealth, only on income?

For most people, at some point in their lives they have been involved on some action that can be displayed in such a manner as to prove disastrous to any political campaign. Even politicians who have lived their lives knowing that any discretion can and will be exploited by their opponent come the next time they run for reelection still are unable to live a squeaky clean life. Herman Cain just seems to have had a bit more indiscretions than can be excused and probably did not believe that his history would rise up and bite him quite this hard. Where Mr. Cain might have survived the initial revelations as they had remained nameless and since there had been settlements paid by the National Restaurant Association thus placing the entire events under a gag order, thus was very likely the reason Mr. Cain was unable to discuss the particulars and the accusers remained nameless. Once his Achilles’ heel was found, Herman Cain’s entire campaign was vulnerable and soon to be doomed. I have only sympathy for Mr. Cain as he will very likely now need to pay a very steep price in his personal life and some of his most important relationships will need a great deal of repairs and attention. I wish Herman Cain the best with the efforts that will be necessary in order to return calm to his life and repair some of his most important personal relations. His campaign is likely over and nothing he will be able to do will resurrect his campaign short of a miracle. I believe in miracles and hope Herman Cain gets his miracle in his personal life and he is able to sooth and calm the storm that surely is coming in his life with family and friends. He has a tough road ahead and my advice is to return to private life and work to retain as much of his life as he is able to salvage. It was a noble effort and best of luck.

Beyond the Cusp

August 22, 2011

The Only Real Difference Between Libya and Syria, A Look Back

Many people have given numerous long and twisted explanations on the major differences between the revolt in Libya and the one in Syria. In the end, the main point usually revolves around blaming the United States, Europe, the European Union, and/or NATO. The blame is placed on the West because the West has supported regime change, or at least those actively seeking regime change, in Syria with bombs and tactical support while they have only supported the Syrian people with sanctions against Assad and his henchmen and a lot, and I mean a real excess king of a lot, of high sounding words praising the sacrifices the Syrian people are suffering in their protests to remove Assad from power. So, while the West is bombing Gaddafi and his troops and infrastructure, the West is lauding and praising and talking a good game against Assad while the Syrian people die in the hundreds. So, thus far the basic reason given for the difference in how the World, meaning the United states and the West as nobody else is ever expected to do anything about these matters, is that the West has used active support in Libya and passive, moral support in Syria. Well, no duh. That is the question simply rephrased, not an answer.

So, what is the difference between Libya and Syria? The difference is guns. The Libyans who decided their tyrannical leader had to go grabbed guns and took to the streets and started shooting anybody who represented the government. The West is very sensitive to any situation where the people take to the streets and start to shoot government personnel. This may have to do with the fact that the main country behind the West taking an active role in anything, that would be the United states for those in doubt, has a citizenship that may not have better arms than the government, but they have more guns relatively spread throughout the entire country in the hands of the people. This little fact tends to make the American government really motivated to stop as quickly as possible any conflict where the people grabbed their guns and went to war with their government. More often than not, the United States will tend to support the people in the streets fighting to overthrow their usually excessively insensitive and possibly even oppressive government rather than support the government against the people. This might be due to the people in such cases often are the underdogs in such a fight, or it could be that rebel forces usually have great abilities at camouflage, until they pull up their gun, they look like normal, every-day citizens; while the government troops all wear uniforms and are easily identifiable by such.

Now, on to the obvious difference. The Syrian people decided, probably out of necessity and a lack of available firearms, that they would attempt to remove their now obviously brutal dictator through nonviolent demonstrations. They might have been thinking, “Bashar Assad is a well-educated man who studied to be an ophthalmologist, he would not be inclined towards violently suppressing our demonstrations.” Even if that was not part of their rationale, whatever their reason for initially using nonviolent means to remove Assad from power, they should have figured out their error by now. Since the Syrian people did not take to the streets with guns and start off by killing every government representative in sight and have yet to take this step, then there must not be any urgency seen to aid their peaceful protests with bombs and other violent means. The United States and the West respect the Syrians wish for a nonviolent revolt and are giving the Syrian people nonviolent support. Where this line of rationalizing may not actually be thought out as much as a reflexive reaction, we might see this more of an unconscious reactionary choice more than the plodding result of unfeeling, callous government functionaries. So, the conclusion is that if the Syrian people would like to receive a more active involvement by the rest of the World in their struggles to remove Bashar Assad, they should give serious thought to arming themselves and taking the fight to the streets with as much vigor as they can muster. This may not seem like the best available option, but it must be better than being gunned down in the streets and the World simply reacting by declaring that Assad is not a very nice man. I believe this is filed under the adage of help yourselves and perchance others will be more likely to help you.

Beyond the Cusp

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