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Assad's Illusions

April 14, 2012

No doubt President Assad believes he has accomplished something with his attacks on hostile neighborhoods. But how does he measure this success?

In a civil war one succeeds by destroying the enemy's military, and Assad hasn't accomplished this to any substantial extent.

As an autocrat, Assad succeeds when he terrorizes people into silence and obedience. He hasn't succeeded at this either.

As a political leader he succeeds when he wins hearts and minds, and this surely hasn't been one of his successes.

Assad appears to be holding to illusion, which doesn't bode well for the future. People with illusions often have difficulty working toward goals beneficial to themselves and others. Assad will try to defend his gains no matter that those gains are illusory. In the near future there will be no confession that he hasn't accomplished anything. There will be no free and democratic election and he will not be stepping down from power and going into exile. Instead there will continue to be silly smiles and a continuation of his assaults on hostile neighborhoods, killing more people, using those he calls terrorists as an excuse. Rather than living in peaceful retirement, he is likely to die as many butchers before him have: violently.

Copyright © 2012 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.