Saturday, November 26, 2005

The Lion's Coalition!

So the Syrian President is busy these days making all sorts of overture to the Muslim Brotherhood, a development that is currently being touted by some as a sign of openness on part of the ruling clique.

The President’s new strategy, it seems, aims at playing at the anti-American tendencies of both the Islamists and the nationalists in an attempt to build a broad coalition that can enable its regime to survive whatever sanctions and isolation that will be inevitably imposed on his regime, the recent decision to cooperate with the UN probe notwithstanding.

As shrewd as this strategy might seem at first, there is, in effect, one major problem with it, which probably more than enough to make it absolutely useless. For while anti-Americanism is alive and well in all the relevant quarters, mutual trust is sorely lacking. Yet, trust-building is one more thing that this regime has never been good at. Consider in this connection the President’s latest speech where he lambasted the opposition, threatened further crackdowns and failed to make any promise for reform.

So, unless the Islamists and the nationalists are not only anti-American but stupid as well, no such coalition will likely emerge anytime soon. As such, whatever opposition figures should choose to join the regime at this stage in its defiant stand vis-à-vis the international community, such a step will be more likely premised on fear or greed, and in some cases, the personal naivety if not downright stupidity of the particular figures involved. For, while the opposition as a whole may not be judged as being stupid, there are always qualified individual cases around.

So, my advice will be to all those who care to listen is:
don’t wait for the regime to survive much longer and start planning for the day after, it's not going to be too long now. And do plan openly and publicly, let the regime know how irrelevant it has become. This will only hasten it demise.