Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Smorgasbord closed forever says this opinion: "Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to Syria’s new strongman, 'a different' Bashar Assad"

"... Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to Syria’s new strongman, Syrian President Bashar Assad. The “wimp” has exited stage right. He has fallen on the sword of a media that elevated his opponents. And from the ruins and battle smoke that continues to hover over Syria’s cities — Assad has risen; Assad the Stubborn, Assad the Survivor, the man whose premature obituaries were greatly exaggerated.Bashar Assad is preparing to put up a fight in Damascus, just so that he can stay. Despite all their good intentions, plans by Europe and the White House to arm the rebels or provide logistical assistance are unrealistic. They won’t bring down the Syrian regime. They’ll just end up adding to the awful bloodshed there.
Last month [May] the Syrian army and its adjuncts in Hezbollah and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards successfully curbed the rebels’ advances. They managed to take back control of the key city of Qusair and to prepare for the decisive battle for Aleppo. The rebels may have won the propaganda war, but Assad won the battle....
Beyond the personal issue, it is time to reassess the situation. Was the European decision to lift the embargo on arms shipments to the rebels a wise move? Was it helpful? Is it in the interests of the European Union to help Islamist militias like Jabhat al-Nusra, which is actually a branch of al-Qaeda that dreams of uniting Syria with Iraq and perpetuating the bloodshed and massacres?
Given the way the Syrian crisis was managed, it looks like everybody came out a loser. ...  someone else went for the win.
By "someone else" I mean China and Russia, but mainly Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stood on their hind legs and announced to the world, “We will not let Bashar Assad fall,” and indeed, Assad is showing clear signs that he’s here to stay, and for much longer than two weeks. In the battle between the superpowers, Putin beat Obama. He beat him in a big way.
And then there is another major player in the region: Israel.
Israel spent a long time sitting on the fence. According to news reports, it had been providing some assistance to the rebels, though not in any orderly way, until one fine day it attacked from the air. What came of that? Bitter tensions between Israel and Syria, and a northern border that could blow up at any moment.
So what’s the final conclusion? Should Israel and the West file all their plans for the “day after”? Should they prepare for a Syria led by a different Bashar Assad? It seems to me as if there is no choice but to accept Bashar Assad in his new incarnation. As a leader, what didn’t kill him made him stronger.
Almost all of us, and by that I mean all the journalists, reporters and commentators, based our analyses of events in Syria on false images that we created ourselves. [THE SMORGASBORD!]
The time has come for us to mend this distorted picture and to present a very different reality, one not based on wishful thinking or fantasies, but on the facts on the ground.
The sooner we do that, the better..."

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