Cole : “The Syrian Regime Will Likely Fall, but it Could Take Time” (WorldView Show)

I was interviewed by Denis G. Campbell of the UK Progressive for his internet news and affairs program, the WorldView Show, and the exchange has just been posted. We mainly talked about the ongoing violence in Syria and its regional implications, and about the plight of the Palestinians.

5 Responses

  1. Prof. Cole as always you have excellent points on all matters including your opinion and forecasting the Syrian demise. The only thing that I don’t agree with you, but I was pleasantly surprises to hear you going about it a tad bit softer this time around is the possibility of US involvement in Syria. It seems to me that previously you used to strongly assert that US is not involved or minimally involved, but this time you seem to have reevaluated your stance on that, and at least you give the possibility that US might be “covertly” involved. I assume the evidence is so very obvious that could no longer be ignored or denied.
    I also think that you could have done a little bit more in the way of forecasting, as I am sure your knowledge on this subject allows you to recognize Syria as being the gatekeeper and a last bastion of modern Arab nationalism, and a microcosm of Arab frustrations not only with each other but with the West.
    For whatever reason you have refrained to point out the imminent & possible clash between Sunni Wahhabi elements who are the main fuel of the “rebels” (with or without US blessing and support), and the Shiites, Alawites, Brotherhood and host of other sectarian elements.
    If the Sunni opposition to the Assad regime should get the upper hand in the civil war, the indiscriminate retaliation against Alawites would be extreme. With this incredible amount of “bad blood” between the at least these two sectarian communities, Syria might be looking at undergoing a Balkanization similar to the one of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
    Not mentioning or at times even down playing the role/involvement of the US and outside players, your fair analysis is missing a big chunk. Stating that in a year or 18 months after fall of Assad, Syria is going to have a parliamentary election and all would be alright, not only is a wishful thinking, but reminded me of what Ilan Peppe’ the great historian said in regards to the Israeli/Palestinian dilemma, when he said, how can we talk of the peace process based on demarcation of 1967 and completely disregard what happened between 1948 and 1967?!!!
    This very important question by Ilan Pappe’s made his argument/analysis very sound and complete. I just wished that you would have explained it a little more.

  2. Excellent infromative interview on several levels, two of which are the situation in Syria and also the plight of the Palestinians. Another is highlighting the pusillanity of Obama with respect to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    One observations: West Jerusalem and the 78% if Palestine where not given to Israel in the 1947 General Assembly Resolution. Israel was given about 55% of Palestine and Jerusalem was to be administered by the United Nations. West Jerusalem and the remainder of the 78% of Palestine were taken, within a year of that Resolution, in a wave of ethnic cleansing that consisted of the expulsion of around three quarters of a million Palestinian people. According to Ilan pappe, 531 Palestinian villages were blown up or bulldozes as well as 11 urban Arab neighborhoods. We will never know the total nimber of Palestinian civilians were slaughtered.

  3. Watching this interview, it struck me how quickly things are moving.

    To take one example, look at Turkey’s relationship with its neighbors. Just a few years ago, they were on excellent terms with Syria, Israel, and Iran. Now…not so much, and it’s not because there has been some major political reorientation in Ankara.

    • Yeah. I expect Turkey will be on good terms with Syria again after the Assad regime is ousted. Iran? Possibly even before the mullahs are ousted (they’re nothing if not practical). Israel? Its politicians are driving it straight down the path of international isolation and eventual destruction; it’ll be a South African style pariah state within 10 years, but the real question is whether it will manage the sort of escape which South Africa managed. I don’t expect it; there aren’t enough good Israelis left thanks to selective immigration and emigration.

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