Thursday, 4 December 2014

Three lessons learned from the Syrian conflict

' "Assad or else we burn the country." Huge swaths of Aleppo were leveled and depopulated as Assad's air force dropped more bombs on the city than it had in all of Syria's wars against Israel. Other parts of Syria that the regime's militias could not re-conquer, such as Raqqa in the east, were allowed to fall into the hands of the terror group the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).
That is what passed for a "political program" on the part of the regime. In almost four years of war, it has not been able to implement even the tiniest political, economic or social reform in either civil society or the armed forces. It has no political vision to offer its supporters other than to exploit the terrifying vision of a rampant ISIS and other less well-defined "threats" and conspiracies.
The Syrian opposition may have gotten numerous proclamations of "friendship," but except in a very few cases, they were very shallow and superficial friendships indeed. Meantime, money, arms and mercenaries poured in from Iran, Russia, the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah and assorted sectarian "soldiers of fortune" from Iraq to Afghanistan, all with the sole aim of sustaining a regime that would otherwise have collapsed.'

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