Some claim that dialogue will kill the revolution. Others assert that the armed struggle has already killed the revolution, but what’s really killing the revolution is failure to coordinate and to realize that a revolution, by its very nature, is a multi-track venture, involving politics and culture, as well as bullets.
Who’s the Boss?
Speculations by some regime insiders, which they expressed on social media over the last 24 hours, assert that the Assad regime’s claim that a research facility was attacked by Israeli jets rather than a military convoy reveals that the regime in fact had no idea that Hezbollah operatives in Syria were arranging for transfer of sophisticated weaponry to their bases in Lebanon. If this is true, then, Syria is truly becoming a theater for operations by external forces of all kinds at this stage, and Assad, as I have argued earlier, is only a necessary but disposable placeholder at this stage. In the background, Iranian advisers must be busy setting up a new system designed to outlive regimefall and keep Iran’s relevant to the unfolding processes through the creation of a loyalist militias made up mostly of Alawite recruits.
A Political Solution?
I am all for a political solution at this stage, but those who call for such a solution then say that an arms embargo on both sides is necessary to enable it fail to understand the psyche of the combatants, especially those on Assad’s side. The reality is the real obstacle to serious talks in Syria is the regime itself, much more so than rebel intransigence or opposition incompetence. The Assad Camp still believe that events can be rolled back and that the regime under Assad leadership can and should survive. The idea of compromise is not an acceptable outcome for them, because they have long developed a belief that concessions, marginalization and defeat amount to the same thing. This mentality cannot be challenged until military realities on the ground have dramatically changed in favor of the rebels, including finding ways to neutralize Assad’s air superiority. Until this happens, no serious dialogue, hence no political solution, is possible.
Increased militarization at a time when opposition leader, Moaz Al-Khatib, has come out in favor of a conditional dialogue, might seem counterintuitive to some, but that’s only because their basic proposition about this conflict tend to be theoretical and fundamentally flawed. In fact, now that the international community has a credible partner in Moaz Al-Khatib, one who is willing to bravely go against the prevailing assumptions in his camp in order to seek resolution to the current crisis, the international community can now begin to seriously hedge its bets on the opposition. Facilitating a flow of weapons into the hands of moderate rebels will only enhance Moaz’s standing among them, allowing him to emerge as a leader with relevance on the ground, capable of delivering on promises when the time comes for transitioning beyond Assad rule.
Now more than ever, we have to think outside the usual box. Arab media report that Moaz Al-Khatib will be taking part on Friday in a meeting putting him together with American VP, Jo Biden, Russian FM Sergei Lavrov and UN envoy Al-Akhdar Al-Ibrahimi. It will be interesting to see what comes out of this.
Despite the ongoing shelling of their town, members of the local town council of Daraya, Damascus Suburbs, held their first even press conference, and briefed attending journalists on the conditions in the town and the nature of ongoing clashes with the regime http://youtu.be/nz7D2gcLw-g Rebels vow to continue their resistance. Scenes from the ongoing clashes in Daraya: a sniper targets but misses a local photographer http://youtu.be/BZlNO4Uw3II Attacking the regime’s marauding tanks http://youtu.be/ph37HXg6gqw keeping them at the outskirts of the town http://youtu.be/v7z0VsWd8pI But more than 80 days of bombardment have taken their toll http://youtu.be/HDuTbiKKvjE
Elsewhere in Damascus City, local activists in Al-Qadam find a number of unidentified bodies belonging to people who seem to have been summarily executed by pro-Assad militias http://youtu.be/VCRL3lT9W7o And the pounding continues http://youtu.be/duimowBab10 , http://youtu.be/I13fz43fVcg , http://youtu.be/L7cPdTePhHU Homes catch on fire http://youtu.be/S02UmBodu54 The neighborhood of Midan is also targeted http://youtu.be/uvyBRSgCHCI Nearby town of Harasta, Eastern Ghoutah, witnesses intense clashes http://youtu.be/CIG83nJh4Jw , http://youtu.be/ba1kK4Jbuhg
The attack on the town of Karnaz, Hama, continues http://youtu.be/7hv5zbE82D4 , http://youtu.be/fHClovDNtj8 , http://youtu.be/dm4MjvOEHCs Rebels try to take down overflying warplanes http://youtu.be/jXuykqdU_-g
In Aleppo City, locals hold a mass funeral for the 80 victims of the Boustan Al-Qasr massacre http://youtu.be/fQc5oBZ92EI , http://youtu.be/jKS2zBzwfH4