A British Arabist's Advice for Syrian rebels


Devastation in Homs is proof that Syrian rebels don't have the firepower to beat Syrian army, but they have other ways of removing the Assad regime.



Chris Doyle runs an outfit called  CAABU, the Council for Arab-British Understanding, and he knows the Syrian situation as thoroughly as anyone outside official channels in Britain does.

You can listen to a very interesting interview Doyle gave to Guardian blogger Haroon Siddique here (scroll down to 2:21 p.m.).

He is critical of the Syrian National Council's emphasis on fighting the Assad regime with fire rather than entering negotiations. "The reality is the regime is militarily pretty strong but politically and economically weak. And the opposition groups should really be trying to expose these weaknesses and not playing to its strengths."

He thinks the SNC is kidding it self if it thinks it will be armed by the outside world any time soon. He urges them to develop a coherent political program and theorizes that then the international community will force the Assad regime into negotiating their exit from power.

He's right about opening up a political front but that last bit I'm not sure about. When dictators psychologically think of themselves as the state they rarely go peacefully.