On Sunday 29 July, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Jim Middleton spoke to Vali Nasr, a professor of international politics at Johns Hopkins University, concerning the situation in Syria.
Nasr insists that the fall of the regime will not
lead to democracy as the rebels are not democrats. Furthermore, "this is an uprising," he says, "that is becoming increasingly bloody, it's now essentially a sectarian war between a minority Alawite regime and its Christian and Kurdish allies and the majority Sunnis. This is no longer really about democracy. And liberal democracy does not emerge in these kinds of circumstances of violence and fratricide."
Nasr also gives voice to the concern widely held by Christian advocates that should the Assad regime fall, there will be no way to "prevent a massacre of the Alawites and the Christians and those Sunnis who supported Assad".
As Nasr notes, what is happening in Syria is what has happened in Iraq. "The very jihadists who used to go from Syria to Iraq have started to come back from Iraq into Syria. . . It's not clear as to who will prevent al-Qaeda from setting up shop in various little emirates across Syria the way in it did in western Iraq after the collapse of the Saddam regime."
He warns that if Syria "collapses in a bad way," the whole region will be impacted. "None of the countries around it will be immune from impact. And some like Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq would be vulnerable to much more than a minor impact; the reverberation and the aftershocks could completely destabilise those countries. . . The fight in Syria will not stay in Syria. It will go to Lebanon, to Iraq, to Jordan."
Nasr notes that Iran's influence "has diminished and it will diminish further," while adding, "but the change of government in Syria is not going to be clean. It's not going to be that a pro-Iranian government steps down and a pro-Saudi one takes over. Syria is going in a direction that probably there will be no winners and everybody will lose."
I highly recommend this eleven minute interview to anyone interested in formulating a clearer picture of the Syrian tragedy.Is Syria Falling into the Hands of Al-Qaeda?
by Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute
July 27, 2012