The Lion’s Wall!

I actually subscribe to the “Pushed to the Wall” theory. But, naturally, my interpretation of it is less regime-friendly than that of others. My version of the theory stipulates that Bashar & Co. simply lacked the necessary leadership skills and vision to be able to chart a new set of policies for the country vis-à-vis Lebanon, the peace process, and internal reforms, and that it was this mediocrity of theirs that pushed them to the Wall. 


Had Bashar introduced a limited package of political reforms upon his arrival to power, and had pulled the Syrian troops out of Lebanon earlier on and on his own initiative, he would have been hailed as a hero by now, both by the Syrian people, most opposition groups included, and the by the international community. The EU would have rewarded him with the signing of the Association Agreement in addition to a generous aid package, and the Bush Administration would have found it virtually impossible to isolate him.

The only reason why Bashar does not find himself in this situation right now is his own lack of imagination, his own inability to be a real statesman. If he was pushed to the wall, this happened on account of his own mediocrity, and the parallel mediocrity of all his supporters and advisors in that narrow decision-making circle he set up for himself. When push came to shove, none had a clue as to what could be done other than falling back on old habits, which naturally, included crackdowns and assassinations. By enabling this process, Bashar was trying to posit himself as a credible leader to the people in his own little circle, as well as to some figures in the Old Guard as well.

Indeed, ever since Bashar’s rise to power, he was hard pressed to prove himself to those that enabled his accession. Satisfying them was his primary concern, the demands of the opposition or the expectations of the Syrian people were not very high on his agenda. Concern for the well-being of people is never high on a dictator’s agenda anyway.

This is why he was so willing to turn his back on the opposition mere months after his (s)election. This is why he was always unwilling to even consider dabbling with the existing system of decision-making in the country, be it on the political, economic or security level.

Indeed, he did seem to have sincerely believed that the country’s economy can be reformed by decrees, another testament of his naivety to say the least. But the failure of this amateurish and wishful attempt of his put him face-to-face with his real dilemma: the regime is the major impediment to reform, yet reform is a regime-ender.

Ever since then, that is ever since Damascus Spring came to an end, Bashar could do nothing but run in circles, circles with a continuously shrinking diameter, transforming himself into a wall-hugging dictator. Bashar’s story with the Wall began long before Hariri and Jumblatt’s rebelliousness. It might have begun ever since he was born really, after all he was a dictator’s son, and his second choice.

The only thing that kept Bashar in power all this time, and that still keep him in power today, is the fact that others in regime were no less mediocre than he is. They are even too mediocre to organize a coup for crying out loud, albeit a well-packaged coup has a good change of receiving both internal and international approval.

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Regarding developments in Iran, Hoder has a very intersting post today that supoprts what I have been saying about Ahmadinejad.

8 thoughts on “The Lion’s Wall!

  1. Excellent! We agree on the fact that the regime in general and Bashar in particular are responsible for this mess ! At least you do not subscribe to Joshua Landis’ latest post in which he said that Jumblat & the Lebanese were to blame for this political fiasco!

  2. That’s a pretty accurate explanation and i totally agree with you. Do you realize that since he came to power its just been an era of “nothingness” as i’d like to put it, at least on the internal front. Really, nothing goes on, all the decrees are never implemented because of corruption and the fact that power is concentrated within a very few hands. Then you read on SANA that a friendship agreement was signed with Sudan, and the arab parliament held a session asserting the syrian people’s rights blah blah blah blah!!! For fuck’s sake, do we have to live with that shit for another 30, 40 years? It is really absurd the people won’t rise up, even violently i mean. Let’s be hoenst here, we are a pretty wild population, have you seen Syrians fight? why can’t they take their rage on this regime for a change? The only way its do-able in our country is if all the Sheikhs on friday tell the people to rebel, they will.

  3. SyrianJuice,To be honest, this was really lame.First, never go to a fight unprepared…Second, you want the shieks to ask the people to rebel? are you grazy? don’t you remeber what happened in the 80s? Bashar would love to see that happen again, he will crush it, and will secure 30 more years in power like his dad did.you re really stupid

  4. Syriana,i don’t think i made my point clear enough and you ended up calling me stupid. Do you really think i would advocate the sheikhs to do such a thing? the last thing on my mind is to bring religious affiliates into government. I was just saying that this seems the only way the people will actually mobilize, i’m against it, but i think its reality. When Keftaro issued a fatwa telling people to go fight in IRAQ (yes i know it was with government backing), the people reacted and did as they were told. It’s sad that these are facts, the problem is we can’t find a way to communicate to the masses cuz clearly the media is in their hands.

  5. Syrianjuice,Thanks for making your point clearer.It will take time before the syrians learn how to speak up. we need to make noise and keep making noise.I take “stupid” back.

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