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1 Page 3 in the Binder of Women  Tue, May 17, 2011 4:38:00pm

Gracias for this update.

I've been thinking of D. Parvaz. Just a crazy dangerous situ for reporters.

2 researchok  Tue, May 17, 2011 4:59:16pm

Ditto on SS remarks.

A Syrian update would be nice but I imagine there are a lot fewer resources for that.

3 Daniel Ballard  Tue, May 17, 2011 7:06:17pm

Good series of Pages.

4 lostlakehiker  Tue, May 17, 2011 7:44:06pm

What will happen in Syria is probably entangled with the Libyan situation. If Gaddafi loses, that will undermine the confidence of Mr. Assad. If he somehow pulls through and wins, Assad will know that no crime will be too much for the world to stomach.

The West has good cards to play in its effort to stave off humanitarian disaster in Libya. NATO has close-by air and naval bases. Tripoli is somewhat cut off from outside help from the bad guys. The main road runs to Tunisia and Egypt, and neither nation is any friend of the Gaddafi regime.

Syria has in Iran a more powerful friend, and nearer at hand. While Turkey is a member of NATO, it's not clear that Turkey would embargo Iranian help to the Syrian regime in the event of armed conflict between the U.S. or NATO and Syria. Syria, unlike Libya, can play the Israel card.

Also, unlike in the case of Libya, NATO is already busy [in Libya, but still.]

And finally, and more important than all the rest, the Syrian government has a far stronger military than Gaddafi ever had. Its loyalty is more certain too. All in all, the West faces daunting obstacles. Maybe it's not entirely impossible to bring the needed change by military means, but our finances are a mess, our armed forces have too much to do already, and ---it would likely be a tough job.

The Syrian people cannot realistically hope that the U.S. or NATO will come to the rescue with tanks and bombers. If Syria is to win free of Assad, it will have to be because the soldiers of Syria go over to the side of the people.

Since their officers have many reasons not to, this cannot be confidently expected either. Sigh.

5 ProGunLiberal  Tue, May 17, 2011 8:06:08pm

re: #4 lostlakehiker

Also, a real big elephant in the room: Russia has a base there. Latakia I think.

6 theye1  Wed, May 18, 2011 9:32:45pm

re: #4 lostlakehiker

Nobody important wants the Rebels in Syria to succeed. The West and Israel will only offer distant moral support (and even then their was a lot of feet dragging), Russia and Iran will likely offer material support.

An unstable Syrian regime would likely have devastating geopolitical consequences.

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