Syria Marks The Second Anniversary Of The Uprising
Few Protests Occur On Second Anniversary of Syria’s Uprising
On Friday, Syria marked the second anniversary of the uprising with little fanfare – just a continuation of the violence which has claimed more than 70,000 people and produced more than a million refugees.
But there were signs in recent days that support for Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad could be weakening, namely the defection of a high-ranking general.
Following his departure, Maj. Gen. Mohammed Ezz al-Din Khalouf, the head of logistics and supply for the Syrian army, told the Arabic news network Al Arabiya that his defection involved a “coordinated planning with different factors of the Syrian revolution.”
Planning For A Post-Assad Syria
The Obama administration is already in the planning stages for a post-Assad Syria in the hopes of repeating the chaos which has plagued Iraq. and while Assad’s demise has been described as imminent on more than one occasion, the discussion continues of how to prevent further civil unrest.
Daniel Serwer of Reuters adds to the discussion with some suggestions on how to prevent further blood-letting once Assad is removed or leaves power.
Serwer’s lengthy list of recommendations includes involvement of the international community on a supervisory level, a quick stabilization of the Syrian economy (which certainly will involve the international community), provision of a safe haven for minorities and providing an administrative process for settling disputes.
Tensions Increase Between Syria and Lebanon
Meanwhile, tensions continue to rise as Syria warned neighboring Lebanon that it must “prevent these armed terrorist groups from using the borders as a crossing point, because they target Syrian people and are violating Syrian sovereignty.” Syria added that it would not hesitate to fire on Lebanon if the incursions continued.
Hoping to ease the unrest, Lebanon’s President Michel Sleiman said he had tasked Lebanon’s army with “the arrest of any militants intending to
fight (in Syria), whether for the opposition or not,” according to Middle East Online.
Continued Calls For US Intervention
Two years of war has produced frustration among those who have long supported a firmer hand in dealing with the Assad regime. The Washington Post editorial board is one of those voices.
“The means to prevent this implosion are the same that could have stopped the ignition of the civil war: aggressive intervention by the United States and its allies to protect the opposition and civilians,” asserted the editorial.
China’s President Declares Commitment To “Chinese Dream”
Chinese President Xi Jinping used the opportunity of his keynote address to the National People’s Congress to pledge his commitment to the “Chinese Dream” and to pursue a “great renaissance of the Chinese nation.”
In a nationally-televised speech, Xi told his audience that “what brings our people together now is a fate we all share — to make the country rich and the people happy.”
The speech may have been rhetorically significant, but it was the transfer of power which occurred during the Congress that will have most impact globally.
The new leaders possess more exposure to the Western world than their predecessors, a fact which Zhu Feng, a professor of international relations at Peking University, tells The Wall Street Journal could mean that China will be “more cognizant of how the world reacts to China and that they will be more active in seeking changes.”