August 4th, 2012

Mic

A not-so-secret authorization

Obama authorizes secret support for Syrian rebels

First of all, that's hardly a surprise and I don't know what's so "secret" there (since it's known by everybody). Assad is in a similar situation to the one Gaddafi found himself in the last months of his rule. Of course, Syria is not Libya, it's a much smaller country and much more densely populated, more diverse ethnically and culturally, and meanwhile more homogeneous in terms of government control over the territory and the populace, as the central power and the military have a very firm grip.

Many would argue that for Assad, the writing is already on the wall. Well I'd be more cautious about that, though. It's still very unclear how long he'll hold to power. A couple of weeks ago the FSA were looking very likely to bring the regime down, but the army has since hit back very hard, including with aircraft and tanks, and they've regained much of what they had lost. In fact, as Fareed Zakaria said on The Daily Show, the rebels have hardly held a single city for more than a day.

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