Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Obama Administration Choice Of Opposition Group in Syria, Signals The End Approaches -- But Then What?

Barry Rubin writes that now that the Obama administration has recognized the Syrian opposition as the "legitimate representative" of the Syrian people, the Obama Initiative Marks the Beginning of the End Game

He notes that although Obama's announcement has little immediate effect, it does carry with it certain implications. Among them:
  • This is happening after the US switched its allegiance from the Syrian National Council (SNC) -- which was about 100% controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood -- to the the Syrian Opposition Council, "which is about 40 percent controlled by the Brotherhood", so there is at least some hope of a non-Islamist regime taking over in Syria.

  • Rubin notes that whatever may be said about the problem of backing dictatorships, the Obama administration did back the Bashar al-Assad in Syria [who can forget Hillary calling Assad a reformer?], before changing sides and backing the opposition, similar to what it did in Egypt -- illustrating that:

    • It is possible to support a dictatorship, and then turn around and support the opposition if a big enough challenge arises.

    • According to Rubin, "what’s most important for U.S. interests is not whether the Americans want to befriend an opposition but whether the opposition once in power wants to befriend the Americans. If they are Islamists, abandon hope of that happening."

  • The Syrian opposition group that we are being told is the true representatives of the Syrian people is largely a product of the US and Western patronage and power, with some discussion with the Syrians themselves. In fact, The Syrian Opposition Council does not really represent Syrians -- firstly because there was never actually a vote, also because the Council itself has little influence within Syria. Neither does it have the weapons -- it will however have control over the economic aid from the West in the future. Rubin notes that this by itself is not enough for the basis of a post-civil war government.
Rubin analyzes the six distinctive ideological camps in Syria which make the situation so complicated and comes to the conclusion, based on the group that is most likely to win out:
The battle isn’t yet lost but things don’t look great.
Read the whole thing.

It appears that after all of the bloodshed, even after there is a resolution of the situation, Syria is in for less than a happy ending.

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