The Mideastwire Blog

Excerpts from the Arab and Iranian Media & Analysis of US Policy in the Region

Win-Win Scenario Really? Whether the Syrian regime collapses or not…

From a June 11 Al-Jazeera interview with Ali Yunus, a US affairs political analyst, from Washington. Yunus said: “…So far, I think the US Administration is dealing with the regime and the situation in Syria according to two possibilities. The first possibility, according to this administration, is that if the Syrian people are successful in toppling the regime of the Al-Asad family, then the administration will give financial, political, and economic aid to the new regime, as was the case in Tunisia, Egypt, and as is currently the case in Libya. In the post-Bashar al-Asad era, the new US rhetoric will emerge supporting democracy, freedom, and pluralism in Syria. The second possibility for which the US Administration is preparing, and will benefit both ways, is that if Bashar al-Asad is successful in remaining in power and is victorious over the Syrian people, even though this will be at the expense of killing thousands of Syrian people, then this administration will also benefit as Bashar will emerge victorious from this battle but will also be an outcast i! n the international arena. He will appear a war criminal and will be weak. This weakness will motivate him to offer large concessions in order to remain in power, such as giving up pressure cards that he possesses, such as the Hezbollah or Hamas cards. He may also give up the alliance with Iran in order to remain in power. Moreover, he may be prepared to offer concessions to Israel and to engage in peace talks under Israeli terms. This happened in the case of Umar Hasan al-Bashir’s regime. In order to strike Sudan off the US sanctions list and prevent the International Criminal Court’s decisions from being activated, Al-Bashir agreed to the secession of Sudan and the separation of the south from the north.”

“…The US Administration will win, whether Bashar al-Asad remains in power or not. If he does, then he will be very weak and restrained. If he abandons his position with Iran, then this will weaken Iran’s negotiating position on its nuclear programme with the United States. Bashar al-Asad will be very submissive to the US Administration and will offer huge concessions that no one could have imagined…”

— This is wildly wrong for several reasons – and an enormously dangerous set of ideas to proffer. The central reason is that Syria is NOT Sudan – it can bring to bear (with relative ease) a tremendous amount of countervailing power. In other words, Syria has the capacity to be extremely disruptive.

— SECOND, this regime will NOT and does NOT bargain over existential matters from positions of weakness – If it is North Koreanized, it will likely churn out events to rejigger the balance of power THEN POSSIBLY negotiate.

— If the US really is thinking as this analyst suggests, we are in a for a rude awakening… and soon.

Written by nickbiddlenoe

June 13, 2011 at 11:16 am


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