Monday, May 30, 2011

To and Fro

Syria continues to have trouble suppressing the protests demanding the ouster of the regime.

The question I had about how loyal the army would be has been answered. The bulk of the army is not willing to kill civilians. but they are willing to stand by while others do the dirty work. So the regime must shuttle loyal (and willing to kill) troops and secret police (with gangsters in support) from hot spot to hot spot, quelling unrest and moving on. But while they can clear these population centers, they don't have sufficient forces to hold them. So unrest reignites when the loyal forces move on. Promises of reform have not been believed. But the protesters haven't gotten any traction to actually overthrow the regime.

Hezbollah and Iran have sent gunmen and advisors to help Assad win. It hasn't been enough.

The question is, how long can this go on before the nominally loyal troops decide that they can't bear even to stand by and watch others shoot at civilians? I imagine watching foreigners killing fellow Syrians has to be tough to swallow, especially.