As the Arab League votes unanimously to extend its failed mission and issues a useless call on Assad to cede power to his VP, battles continue to rage in Rural Damascus, Idlib and Homs, for the Assads have no interest in leaving, dialoguing or compromising.
Sunday 22, 2012 – The day was dubbed by activists “Russia is killing our children”
Today’s death toll: 22. The Breakdown: 3 in Homs City, 2 in Idlib, 1 in Deraa, 1 in Deir Ezzor and 6 in the Damascene suburb of Douma where clashes between loyalists and defectors continued for a second straight day. Fatalities were also reported in and around Rankous, a town to the North of Damascus, where clashes between defectors and loyalists were also reported. At night, loyalist troops who have been regrouping over the last few days, embarked on another attempt at invading the restive town of Zabadani.
Defections and ensuing clashes with loyalist troops were also reported in the town of Managh in Aleppo Province.
Snowy conditions in Idlib, Aleppo and Hama did not prevent people from organizing their daily rallies. But the cold is making life extremely difficult I most protest communities where fuel supplies are short or nonexistent.
The Tree Cannot Hold
Professor Fouad Ajami reminds us of the following quote by Henry Kissinger in regard to hafiz Al-Assad’s negotiating skills and survival instincts:
“Assad never lost his aplomb. He negotiated daringly and tenaciously like a riverboat gambler to make sure that he exacted the last sliver of available concessions. I once told him that I had seen negotiators who deliberately moved themselves to the edge of a precipice to show that they had no further margin of maneuver. I had even known negotiators who put one foot over the edge, in effect threatening their own suicide. He was the only one who would actually jump off the precipice, hoping that on his way down he could break his fall by grabbing a tree he knew to be there. Assad beamed.”
Indeed, Bashar seems to be intent on following in his father’s footsteps, and he has just taken a wild jump off the precipice. But there is one major flaw in his calculations: The passage of time has ensured that his regime has grown too fat and that the tree trunk k too dry and hollow to hold his weight. In short, the tree will not hold.