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Syrian Prime Minister defects, flees to Jordan
Hotair ^ | 08/06/2012 | Ed Morrissey

Posted on 08/06/2012 11:31:34 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

Another Arab dictatorship looks ready to collapse, and this one might have the biggest impact of them all. The embattled Bashar Assad regime in Syria lost its Prime Minister overnight, as Riyad al-Hijab fled to Jordan and announced his defection:

Syria’s prime minister defected to Jordan on Monday, according to news reports, becoming the most senior official yet to quit the embattled government of President Bashar al-Assad.

A statement read on the al-Jazeera Arabic news channel that was described as coming from Prime Minister Riyad al-Hijab said he had resigned to protest his government’s harsh tactics as it escalates its efforts to crush the country’s 16-month-old rebellion.

“I am announcing that I am defecting from this regime, which is a murderous and terrorist regime,” the statement said. “I join the ranks of this dignified revolution.”

State television from Damascus reported that Assad had "fired" his Prime Minister after less than two months on the job. They didn't make that claim about General Manaf Tlas, who bailed out of Syria a month ago to the day. Apparently, it’s hard to keep good help when bombing their cities.

The appointment of al-Hijab looks curious in retrospect. The Post notes that al-Hijab came from a town that has been in open rebellion for more than a year, Deir el-Zour in the east. Given the strong ties of tribes in Arab culture (a lesson that the US learned the hard way in Iraq), why would Assad have appointed al-Hijab in the first place? That would have been a huge red flag, unless Assad is so desperate for allies that al-Hijab was his only option, or at least the best of a bunch of high-risk choices. If that’s the case, then his regime is closer to collapse than many may have thought.

Is that good news, though, or bad news? Watching Iran’s closest ally and terrorist enabler fall will certainly give us momentary satisfaction, and hopefully might disrupt Hezbollah enough for Lebanon to free itself from their grip. Assad played a vital role in propping up the terrorist organization, in partnership with Iran. However, what replaces Assad will almost certainly be worse (via Jen Rubin):

The day Assad falls, there will be an explosion of anger not just against him and his inner circle, but against all Alawites, his minority sect (about 12 percent of the population), and against those Christians who long ago decided that an alliance with Assad was their least-worst option. The jihadis will take the lead in this butchery — and make every effort to remain leaders thereafter. …

Such concerns have policy implications. To stop Assad’s carnage as soon as possible requires providing material support to Syrian rebels — very carefully and probably covertly. We want our Syrian friends — we do have some — in possession of more money and guns. That will not only help them defend themselves against Assad’s troops now, it also will enhance their strength vis-à-vis other factions later. What’s more, Obama has said many times that we are at war with al-Qaeda. Surely that implies we should not permit al-Qaeda to get the upper hand — not in Syria, not in Iraq, not in Africa, not anywhere.

When the fighting is over, the last thing we should want to see is the rise of yet another strongman. A regime dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood would be no victory for freedom either.

Clifford May has more optimism about the endgame than this excerpt suggests, but he urges intervention by the US in the rebellion in order to guarantee a better outcome. Given what we’ve seen so far from the Arab Spring — the rise of jihadis and the Muslim Brotherhood — we could hardly do worse. However, given our track record on interventions, I’m not sure we’d end up doing much better , either. In Iraq we did, but only at a huge cost in resources and time, and even then our gains may well prove temporary. In the first Afghanistan intervention, we made matters much worse, which is why we’re in Afghanistan now. Without an overwhelming force in place , I’d say that an Egypt outcome after Assad falls is probably our best-case scenario.


TOPICS: Breaking News; Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: alassad; flee; hijab; jordan; syria

1 posted on 08/06/2012 11:31:42 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Jordan? Why not Iran, their buddy?.............


2 posted on 08/06/2012 11:35:02 AM PDT by Red Badger (Think logically. Act normally.................)
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To: SeekAndFind

Another state closer to Global Caliphate. :)


3 posted on 08/06/2012 11:36:54 AM PDT by Tzimisce (THIS SUCKS)
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To: SeekAndFind

These guys are jumping the Good Ship Assad faster than the Good Ship Obama...


4 posted on 08/06/2012 11:40:48 AM PDT by donozark (Follow the cigar smoke, find the fat man there.)
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To: Red Badger

Let’s see if I can guess that one.

Iran is now sending in its own troops to shore up Assad. They are “disguised” as Pilgrims going to some mosque that just happens to be on the way to the fighting zones. Problem is, the Pilgrims in buses are being picked up between the mosque and the battle fronts.

Idiots like Pelosi and the Bamster boxed us in with their attempts to play nice with the Assad regime. Basar will be offered as the sacrificial lamb if the current power structure has any chance of surviving this one. Bottom line is the MB will be in charge of that mess as well.

So now you question why he is going to Jordan? I would hope your comment was meant as sarcasm.


5 posted on 08/06/2012 12:07:17 PM PDT by mazda77 ("Defeating the Totalitarian Lie" By: Hilmar von Campe. Everybody should read it.)
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To: donozark

It hasn’t made big news yet for some reason but did you hear that Cass Sustein is leaving his post as Regulatory Zsar and going back to Harvard?


6 posted on 08/06/2012 12:09:38 PM PDT by mazda77 ("Defeating the Totalitarian Lie" By: Hilmar von Campe. Everybody should read it.)
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To: mazda77

It was.........


7 posted on 08/06/2012 12:11:46 PM PDT by Red Badger (Think logically. Act normally.................)
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To: mazda77
Yes. Perhaps he will take more of Obi's crew back to Harvard with him? Moscow perhaps?

Just reading some blog stuff off Aljazeera...Supposedly one of Assad's gunship collapsed a building full of Iranian "pilgrims" being held by FSA. 4 dead, others wounded. Entire building "pancaked." That is what is being said. No idea if true or not. If so? Tensions have definitely been ratcheted up several notches...

8 posted on 08/06/2012 12:21:12 PM PDT by donozark (Follow the cigar smoke, find the fat man there.)
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To: donozark

Yep, we are way beyond the excrement hitting the air transfer device.


9 posted on 08/06/2012 12:32:18 PM PDT by mazda77 ("Defeating the Totalitarian Lie" By: Hilmar von Campe. Everybody should read it.)
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To: SeekAndFind

-——he urges intervention by the US in the rebellion in order to guarantee a better outcome-——

His statement is based on the fallacious assumption that US intervention could guarantee any outcome much less a better outcome.

The immediate outcome is preordained by Turkey and the GCC with Qatar and Saudi Arabia in lead roles. Jordan has undoubtedly been heard but is weak and unable to project power. There has been no outcry from Iraq and it can be presumed to be on board as well.

No one knows with certainty what will happen but those noted will not permit the worst case scenario. The purpose of the exercise is to stabilize and go forward. The purpose is not to antagonize and drift backward.

There is no desire to terminate the regional growth with an enemy in the new Syria


10 posted on 08/06/2012 1:36:01 PM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... Present failure and impending death yield irrational action))
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To: Red Badger
RE: "Jordan? Why not Iran, their buddy?............."
Because he is a Sunni Muslim. I hardly think he would feel comfortable in Iran. Jordan is open for the most part and a safe place for him to go. And obviously next door for the exit routine.
11 posted on 08/06/2012 6:33:14 PM PDT by Marine_Uncle (Honor must be earned.)
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To: Marine_Uncle

Good to see you’re on the ball my FRiend, he’s obviously a coward who knows his sunni co-religionists would cut his throat for being who and where he was.
That’ll teach Assad never give a sunni an even break, if you want to keep your country.
The place is overrun with ‘palestianian’ scum.


12 posted on 08/06/2012 7:32:54 PM PDT by Fred Nerks (Fair Dinkum!)
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Click

13 posted on 08/06/2012 7:41:31 PM PDT by RedMDer (https://support.woundedwarriorproject.org/default.aspx?tsid=93destr)
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To: Fred Nerks
Yo Fred. Hope all is well with you and yours down under. Soon you will enter spring. I'm sure that shall please your soul.
The Assad family where pretty clever over the past fifty or so years to keep things in place, as your well aware. A little allegiance, here, a little there, a lot of Soviet techniques to keep the folks in line, some minor bloody put downs from any group who dared to challenge them, went a long way to keep them in power over the years. I suspect a lot of those that reach the cream level at the top are not so Hell bent on specific differences within the various sects in Islam.
But this one is a bit of a puzzle to a small extent for me. I have to admit I know nothing about this particular guy other then what we have read over the past hours about him from different sources.
I'm sure he will be somewhat protected in Jordan. He got out alive.
14 posted on 08/06/2012 7:58:57 PM PDT by Marine_Uncle (Honor must be earned.)
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To: Marine_Uncle

Someone identified him as a sunni. If he is, he was a man in the wrong place and at the wrong time if he thinks his co-religionists are winning. He was serving the infidel master. Alawites are infidels.
And if he’s right, woe betide the christian community in Syria.
But I can’t see the Russians allowing the ‘rebel’ scum take the country over.

Spring sprung two days ago, it’s wonderful...


15 posted on 08/06/2012 8:25:38 PM PDT by Fred Nerks (Fair Dinkum!)
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To: Fred Nerks
RE: "But I can’t see the Russians allowing the ‘rebel’ scum take the country over. ......Spring sprung two days ago, it’s wonderful..."
Good for you folks. Hope your spring is perfect climate to your liking.
Yes Fred. I also think about the Russkie angle on things for one of their long held puppet states. As for your comments on the religious aspects, ahhheeeemmmmm Sills would use the pronoun "cult", heh heh, no problem with your comments.
Time for this old guy to sign off and hit the rack. Do have a great day. Tis midnight at this point on the globe.
16 posted on 08/06/2012 9:05:14 PM PDT by Marine_Uncle (Honor must be earned.)
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To: Marine_Uncle

http://www.vision.org/visionmedia/article.aspx?id=58363

excerpt:

Assad is a member of the Alawite faith, an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam that has dominated Syrian politics through more than 40 years of his family’s rule in a country that has a Sunni Muslim majority. He is supported by Shi’ite Iran and by Lebanon’s armed Shi’ite Hezbollah movement.

The Sunni-ruled Muslim Gulf Arab states have called for rebels to be armed and Turkey has provided them with a base, angering Damascus and prompting Syrian state television on Sunday to refer to the rebels as a “Turkish-Gulf militia”.

It said the bodies of Turkish and Afghan fighters had been found in Aleppo, without giving details.


17 posted on 08/06/2012 9:26:07 PM PDT by Fred Nerks (Fair Dinkum!)
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To: Tzimisce
Yes, Obama is simply carrying water for the House of Saud, Qatar, Bahrain, and the UAE in their drive to indirectly crush all threats to their troglodyte take on a ‘religion’ fused with absolute state feudalism.
18 posted on 08/07/2012 2:26:35 AM PDT by Abiotic (The ship of democracy, which has weathered all storms, may sink through the mutiny of those on board)
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To: Red Badger

Apparently, the Ayatollahs are POd at them for failing to crush the rebellion. They backed a losing horse, and are waiting at the finish line with a 10 guage.


19 posted on 08/07/2012 2:51:27 AM PDT by Eleutheria5 (End the occupation. Annex today.)
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To: Eleutheria5

Iran is probably playing both sides against the middle here. Whichever side wins, they will be an ally............


20 posted on 08/07/2012 6:45:10 AM PDT by Red Badger (Think logically. Act normally.................)
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To: Red Badger

Prime Minister defecting to Jordan means that Assad is losing, has all but lost. The rebels, now most likely to win, will be allied with Iran, if they know what’s good for them, or can find no better ally in the MB. Oddly enough, I’m rooting for them to find a better ally in the MB. Divide and avoid getting conquered.


21 posted on 08/07/2012 6:52:13 AM PDT by Eleutheria5 (End the occupation. Annex today.)
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To: Eleutheria5

Meet the new boss.......Same as the old boss...........


22 posted on 08/07/2012 7:10:11 AM PDT by Red Badger (Think logically. Act normally.................)
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To: Fred Nerks
Thanks Fred. I have followed the deal with the Big and Little Lion for years in the Russian puppet state of Syria.
I was referring to the Sunni Prime Minister who just deflected as whom I was not familiar with. But that's ok.
No response required. I just wanted to clear up my perhaps poorly worded sentences from yesterday.
23 posted on 08/07/2012 7:46:11 AM PDT by Marine_Uncle (Honor must be earned.)
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