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TAHA ÖZHAN

TAHA ÖZHAN > A new phenomenon of Assadism!

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We are witnessing the undoing of the Baath regime for the second time in the last decade. The first Baath regime dissolved at a great cost to the Iraqi people and the region. That it was removed through U.S. occupation came at a cost more than its value. These costs are still being paid and will continue to be paid in the long run. The second Baath regime, Saddam’s neighbor and ideological relative, is taking its last breaths. The best evidence for all this is that even Baath apologists have started to talk about what is to come more than what is happening today.

It is necessary to examine carefully what Bashar al-Assad apologists who repeatedly claimed that the Baath regime was there to stay, had public support of around 55-60 percent of the population and that nothing in fact was happening in Syria are saying today. Those who insisted that al-Assad was there to stay for a long time, after a bomb went off in Damascus, moved onto the second propaganda phase. Now we are to hear repeatedly how Syria shall be divided in the post-al-Assad era. However, an elementary level of historical, political economy, demographical, geographical and political knowledge will reveal just how shallow these fear-inducing analyses really are.

If these observers had a sense of history, they would have known that these “statelets” were but a set of still-born projects that the West conceived over the past century. With a basic idea of political economy, they would know that Syria barely managed to support itself let alone a number of polities. Demography would have informed them what both population density and a dispersion of different groups signified. According to geography, they would have seen that the Syrian ethnic-sectarian distribution was a prime number. Finally, an elementary skill in political interpretation would have helped them establish that separation was a scenario undesirable to all cost-paying actors at home and abroad.

But of course, one is not to expect any such basic and primitive capacity from these analysts. After all, we are talking about people that go around disseminating the embarrassing idea that the Baath regime could survive in the region’s new atmosphere. We do not expect these anachronistic actors to offer us fair and ethical observations. Now is high time for the al-Assad apologists’ provocations.

The slightest conflict will lead them to construct sectarian states. They are going to create a civil war from tensions in Lebanon. An overdue Kurdish nationalism’s unconscious steps shall lead them to contemplate a Kurdistan. Looking at a handful of people taking over the border region, they will go ahead and invent a Salafi state. Based on the childish analysis that “Turkey can or cannot intervene,” they will claim that Turkey – involved in almost every part of Syria – is really a meaningless, powerless actor. They shall argue that Iran is such a great and mighty power if Israel rushes to the Baath regime’s aid and plays rockets with Hizbullah. The outcome, however, remains the same: the Baath regime that slew tens of thousands of people is not coming back!

July/27/2012

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Blue Dotterel

7/27/2012 4:02:56 PM

The Assad government has already instituted democratic reforms that are at the very least equivalent to those of Egypt and Tunisia, and far in advance of Saudi and Qatar who are trying to overthrow the Syrian secular regime. That the US ignores these reforms only underlines that it is not democracy and the protection of the Syrian people that interests the US, it is the destruction of the secular Baath party that it wishes, and the destruction of Syria as a sovereign nation.

Sam Steel

7/27/2012 1:52:55 PM

So the writer's conclusion is that Syria will not split because it will not be viable or desirable? are you kidding me? Where did you learn politics? If there is any effort or possibility for Syria to break up into tiny "statelets" it is exactly because it will not be viable or stable. This is exactly in the same "spirit" as the Palestinian two state solution, where a Palestinian state will never be able to stand on its own two feet. Same here, this is the new middle east project

Yousif Yacoub

7/27/2012 11:46:28 AM

I agree with you that Baath regieme belongs to the previous century. No, let me more clear, it does'nt belong to our planet!. However, I don't agree with your comparision between Iraqi and Syrian Baath. Iraq Baath ( Sunni ) has killed as many as 1,5 milions of his own people and caused 3 regional devastating wars. In contrary, Syrian Baath ( Alawiti) played an crucial role in the regional stability and in the face of Israel by supporting the resistance in Libanon and Palestina.
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