Syria: On 6 August, just days after the government declared Damascus nearly rid of rebel fighters, a bomb detonated on the third floor of Syria’s state television and radio building in Damascus, leaving several people injured, according to Syrian state television.
Comment: The Syria opposition’s tactics resemble those of the Afghan mujahedin who fought the Soviet forces. As long as they remained diffuse and confederated, they never presented a center of mass or central structure that the Soviets could target. They could execute bombings and ambushes at will, but never win the conflict until massive US, Saudi, and Pakistani assistance to the “muj” made the fight too expensive for Moscow to sustain.
A major difference is the Damascus government has no safe haven to which to retreat. Syria’s information minister denounced Saudi Arabia and Qatar for providing individual weapons and ammunition but said the weapons are not sufficient to bring down the government. Small arms and individual weapons fail.
Politics. Prime Minister Riad Hijab, a Sunni Arab, defected and fled to neighboring Jordan, a Jordanian official and a rebel spokesman said Monday. Supposedly several other ministers and some more one-star generals defected as well.
Comment: These defections signify that Syria’s Sunni elite, which heretofore has cooperated with the Alawites, has now rejected President Asad’s reform program. Hijab was named prime minister as part of the political reform program. This increasingly becomes a fight to the death for the Alawites, who are holding on and holding together.
Phi Beta Iota: Politically-speaking, the Industrial Era has been characterized by artificial boundaries imposed at the point of many weapons, with minorities elevated to serve as proxy rulers for their colonial benefactors, who nurtured corruption and tolerated genocide as acceptable costs of control and resource capture. That era is now over. It will take 50 years – a half century – for the 5,000 secessionist movements world-wide (27 of them in the USA) to assume their inherent independence under natural law, but this is inevitable. Repressing publics with force is no longer affordable. Integrity and legitimacy – as well as demographics – will define the 21st Century.
Philip Allott, The Health of Nations: Society and Law beyond the State (Cambridge University Press, 2002)