[Marxism] Wallerstein: why al-Assad remains in power

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Feb 17 07:46:04 MST 2012

"The Syrian Impasse"
By Immanuel Wallerstein

Friday, February 17, 2012

Bachar al-Assad has risen to the heights of being one of the least 
popular men in the world. He is denounced as a tyrant, indeed a 
very bloody tyrant, by almost everyone. Even those governments 
that refuse to denounce him seem to be counseling him to curb his 
repressive ways and to make some sort of political concessions to 
his internal opponents.

So, how is it that he ignores all this advice and proceeds to 
continue to use maximum force to continue political control of 
Syria? Why is there no outside intervention to force his removal 
from office? To answer these questions, let us start with 
assessing his strengths. To start with, he has a reasonably strong 
army, and up to now, with a few exceptions, the army and other 
structures of force in the country have stayed loyal to the 
regime. Secondly, he still seems to command the support of at 
least half of the population in what is increasingly being 
described as a civil war.


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