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Gaddafi dead, Bashar al-Assad next?

Interesting Article: Col Gaddafi killed: Bashar al-Assad will be next to fall, declare Syrians by RICHARD SPENCER / Dubai published Thursday, October 20, 2011

An interesting article discussed the fall Gaddafi and the impact it will have in Syria. The article mentioned that the moment a vegetable seller set himself on fire in protest in Tunisia, the Arab Spring was on its' way. Hosni Mubarak (Egypt) struggled on until removed by the army, peacefully in the end, and is in prison and on trial. After that, the uprising against Gaddafi began, as an immediate response to the fall of Mr Mubarak. Now Syria stands alone, so is Bashar al-Assad next?


Zane el-Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia, the first president who was forced out by popular outrage this year, back in January, chose exile in Saudi Arabia. Ben Ali has not been heard from since. Mubarak chose to stand and fight in the courts. But he now risks lying on a stretcher in a metal cage. Presidents Bashar al-Assad of Syria and Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen are struggling to hold on to power. Assad first tried concessions, but soon abandoned that initiative and went onto kill at least 3,000 demonstrators. Saleh nearly left office in a bomb attack, but survived with severe burns and sought treatment in Saudi Arabia. What will Bashar do next I wonder, especially after Gaddafi was expected to spend years hiding in Libya’s vast desert directing a counterrevolution; that clearly ended quite the opposite, as seen in the video footage of his last moments. Walid al-Tabtabai, a member of the Kuwaiti Parliament, wrote on Twitter: “Ben Ali fled, Mubarak was imprisoned, Saleh was burnt and Qaddafi was killed; notice that the fate of dictators gets worse every time. I wonder what gloomy fate awaits the criminal Bashar”. If Bashar is thinking his time won’t come, read my entry about the increasing militarization of the Syrian opposition (blog entry: Syria could be slowly slipping into civil war! http://thegreenbadgesolution.blogspot.com/2011/10/syria-could-be-slowly-slipping-into.html). If one were to imagine how Bashar would fall, we would have to take into consideration the help that was received by the Libyan opposition to fully understand that a little help goes a long way. For example, Gaddafi's final fall came from a multitude of people working together, NATO forces designated Gaddafi as a military target after the former Libyan leader’s forces started firing on civilians as they tried to escape Sirte in a convoy of up to 100 vehicles. An American drone and an array of NATO eavesdropping aircraft had been trained on his Sirte stronghold to ensure he could not escape. Gaddafi probably broke his rigid rule of telephone silence and could have been overheard using either a mobile or satellite phone. Voice recognition technology would have instantly picked up any call that he made. A Predator drone, probably flown out of Sicily and controlled via satellite from a base in the U.S, probably struck the convoy with a number of Hellfire anti-tank missiles. Moment’s later French jets, most likely Rafales, could have swept in, targeting the vehicles with 500lb Paveway bombs or highly accurate AASM munitions. Gaddafi might have fled to a pipe nearby to avoid the bombs being dropped on him, or he could have simply been in the convoy suffering from a bullet wound to his neck. In either case, as the footage shows, he was captured alive, bleeding, and was most likely executed by the rebels upon his capture. Bashar can probably expect the same if he ever did decide to hide out, but the wheels seem to be in motion already for his downfall. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), said on Thursday, "the death of Muammar al-Qaddafi today shows what's in store for the leadership of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime, which will probably be the next group of tyrants to be thrown out of office and potentially killed....if you're the leaders of Syria, you're looking at today's events as a preview of what your future may hold". Sen. Rubio added, "I believe that dictators in that region are unsustainable, the Syrian regime is doomed and it's just a matter of time, whether it's weeks, months, or even a year, their position is unsustainable. The people there want a better life. They're tired of living under this ineffective, incompetent, and repressive regime. And so, I think their days are numbered." He called on the Obama administration to ratchet up the pressure on the Syrian government and redouble its efforts to convince other countries to do the same. Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) has also been mentioning Syria lately and even endorsed the idea of an internationally imposed no-fly zone over Syria. Lieberman's position represents growing frustration on Capitol Hill with the Obama administration's inactivity on Syria -- despite the actions of Ambassador Robert Ford, who has been meeting with activists and who was confirmed Monday as the U.S. envoy to Damascus. For example, Senate Foreign Relations Middle East subcommittee chairman Robert Casey (D-PA), while not endorsing the idea of a no-fly zone specifically, mentioned on October 4th, that the administration needs to "step up" the pressure on the Syrian government. "We've got to be much more determined in our efforts to put increasing pressure on the Syrian government," he said. "I realize the sanctions have been in place for years but because of the nature of this slaughter, we have to consider stronger action.... It's clear that sanctions alone aren't working." I think with all these comments from the hill, Bashar has very little time on his hands, especially with the Syrian protestors now having access to arms from military defectors. I think the best quote about the Middle East comes from Professor Cole of the University of Michigan; “The real lesson here is that there is a new wave of popular politics in the Arab world, people are not in the mood to put up with semi-genocidal dictators.” Al Bashars' time is coming, his end will be dramatic, and it’s just a matter of how long.

References:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/21/world/africa/qaddafis-death-and-the-lessons-of-the-arab-spring.html
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/8839964/Col-Gaddafi-killed-convoy-bombed-by-drone-flown-by-pilot-in-Las-Vegas.html
http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/10/04/syrian_no_fly_zone_has_joe_mentum
http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/10/20/rubio_to_syria_s_bashar_al_assad_you_re_next_buddy

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