Monday, March 21, 2011

Syrian opposition

There are two weaknesses for the Syrian opposition that one should bear in mind.  1) Despite all the rhetoric in Israel and the US, both countries prefer the Asad regime to any alternative because they really appreciate the tight control it exercises over the borders.  Israel worries about the consequences of chaos scenario like Iraq in Syria and the impact it would have on Israel; 2) that the Syrian opposition rarely act in unison in Syrian cities and towns.  I was once making a presentation about my paper on the Syrian opposition under Hafidh Al-Asad in a class on Syrian politics and society at Georgetown University taught by the great, Hanna Batatu.  After I finished and in response to a point I made, Batatu looked at me and said: when in the contemporary politics of Syria did Aleppo, Hama, Hums, and Damascus move together?  I did not have an intelligent answer, I remember.