[I was interviewed today by the Fars News Agency on Western predictions of the imminent fall of the Assad Regime in Syria.]
Q. The West claims that the rebels will soon announce victory over the Assad regime. What is your take?
A. The Assad family is probably near the end of its reign in Syria. Because of the depth of the hatred a large part of the Syrian people hold for that regime, even many of those Syrians who oppose a regime change do so more out of fear of the aftermath of such a change then to any affinity for the current rulers. However, it is difficult to see any sound basis for Western predictions that Assad’s fall is necessarily imminent. Although defections at high levels in the military continue, I believe the pace is slower than it would be had the original peaceful nature of the uprising been maintained. Had the Syrians been able to maintain a primarily peaceful resistance, as the Iranians did in their struggle against the Shah, I believe that many more members of the armed forces would have abandoned Assad by now as the Iranian army abandoned the shah, leaving the dictator without support. Now that it is a civil war, many potential defectors understandably fear the consequences of a successful coup. Nonetheless, as the inability of the status quo becomes increasingly obvious, I expect more and more Syrians will prefer the risks a rebel victory poses of an enhanced position of imperialist powers on the region and of Gulf state influence in their country, as well as risks of sectarian and ethnic violence and even of terrorist organizations beginning to operate against Syrian society, to the increasingly intolerable state terrorism by which Assad is trying to suppress this revolt.
Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, Ph.D.
Minaret of Freedom Institute