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Date

December 7, 2012

Bunker mentality in Syria

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH:
décembre 07 2012, 05:24 | 0 Comment(s)

DEVASTATION: Residents stand among debris near buildings damaged when a Syrian air force fighter jet loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad fired missiles at Binsh, near the northern province of Idlib, on Saturday. Picture: REUTERS

DEVASTATION: Residents stand among debris near buildings damaged when a Syrian air force fighter jet loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad fired missiles at Binsh, near the northern province of Idlib, on Saturday. Picture: REUTERS

WITH one miscalculation after another, President Bashar al-Assad has reduced Syria to a charnel house and his regime to a bloodstained gang with no aim save survival. Judging by their stark warnings, officials in the UK and the US genuinely fear he could crown his litany of crimes and misjudgments by unleashing Syria’s chemical weapons against his enemies.

Assuming he is a rational actor, concerned for personal survival, there should be no question of him choosing such a course.

But there remains a nagging fear that he could have passed beyond the bounds of rationality. By now “bunker syndrome” might well have taken hold in Damascus, where al-Assad’s armed forces have been reduced to fighting for control of the international airport; for a few days last week, all telephone and internet connections with the rest of the world were abruptly severed.

Even if al-Assad remains rational, no one can be sure that he still controls Syria’s chemical arsenal, which is one of the largest in the world.

As history shows, a dictatorial regime is most dangerous when its final convulsions begin.

SOURCE

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Syrians call for protests against any UN peacekeepers

December 6, 2012  

Syrian activists called online for nationwide protests on Friday to reject any future UN deployment of blue helmets in the strife-torn country, as rebels inched closer to the capital amid raging violence.

“No to ‘peacekeeping’ forces in Syria,” was the slogan announced for weekly Friday protests, according to the Syrian Revolution 2011 Facebook page.

Ever since the outbreak of a popular revolt against President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011, thousands of protesters have taken to streets in towns and cities across Syria to call for the fall of the regime.

As Syria’s conflict has evolved, weekly slogans agreed by activists have been designed to express the mood among dissidents.

Last week, international peace envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi said the country “very, very urgently” needed a ceasefire and a large peacekeeping force.

Anti-regime activist Omar Shakir said “the notion of a peacekeeping force as a solution for Syria has been in the air for some time.”

“We want to deliver a message not only to the international community but also to the Syrian political opposition that nobody on the ground would accept the deployment of blue helmets.”

“Peacekeepers would mean Syria would be split in two, into pro and anti-regime areas. We are against the partition of Syria.”

“The [rebel] Free Syrian Army is advancing at high speed towards the capital. If blue helmets are deployed, that would enable the regime to stay in power.”

As violence has intensified, the number of protesters taking to the streets on Fridays has waned, but demonstrations have nevertheless continued to take place.

-AFP

For the latest developments on Syria, follow @NOW_Syria on Twitter or click here.

To read more: http://www.nowlebanon.com/NewsArticleDetails.aspx?ID=464282#ixzz2ELgHceAV
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