January 2, 2017

THERE IS NO SYRIA:

Syria's future with or without Bashar al-Assad (John Bell, 1/02/17, Al Jazeera)

There are recent reports that Russia, Turkey and Iran are looking at a formula whereby Assad will leave after the end of his current term, possibly replaced by a less problematic Alawite. [...]

We may be looking in the wrong place. There may be a more subtle question that steers the gaze away from the man: How can Syria evolve over time in a direction that is healthy and enriching for its people?

Given the need for stability and a less radical positive evolution, one can imagine the possibility of a "benevolent dictator", someone who holds the fort, while permitting enough space for a better system to come about.

They address both sides of the conundrum; a modern Haroun Al Rashid or China's Deng Xiaoping come to mind, as exemplars.

However, there is little evidence that Assad or other tyrants are such figures - it would seem they are in power for their own benefit, period. Indeed, such figures, effectively "philosopher-kings" are rare and societies risk much betting on their arrival.

It's the deeper societal and cultural work, not the Assad conundrum, that's required to move Syria slowly, but surely, towards health.

Posted by at January 2, 2017 5:48 AM

  

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