An interesting analysis of Iran and Syria by Conrad Black from
Conrad Black Jul 21, 2012 – 6:15 AM ET | Last Updated: Jul 21, 2012 9:43 AM ET
Syrian officers carry the coffins of former Syrian defence minister general Hassan Ali Turkmani, Defence Minister Daoud Rajha and Assef Shawkat, the brother-in-law of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, during the national funeral on Friday.
The assassination on Wednesday of the Syrian defence and deputy defence ministers (the latter of whom was President Bashar Assad’s brother-in-law) and a senior general, raises interesting questions, and not just about the life expectancy of the blood-stained Assad regime.
The rules of thumb in insurrections are that if the regime won’t fire live ammunition at the insurrectionists, and isn’t a democratically chosen government, it is in serious trouble; if it does give the order to fire and the order is not followed, it is doomed; and if it gives such an order and it is followed and the insurrection continues, the regime will not last indefinitely, as conscript forces won’t shoot on their own people for long.
The Shah of Iran and Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, like Louis XVI, never gave the order to fire, and fell. Nicolae Ceau?escu gave the order in Romania, and was executed himself instead. Muammar Gadaffi gave the same orders, which were partly carried out; but with a little foreign intervention, the defections soon got out of control, and he was overwhelmed, captured and murdered. Assad has followed the same course as Gaddafi, and has lasted longer because of the solidarity of his 11% Alawite minority and the failure of the West to do much to assist the rebels (aside from inanities like United Nations missions).