The Suffering In Syria

Jun 16 2012 @ 7:38am

Slate features a dispatch from an anonymous reporter in Syria who thinks the regime is wobbly:

New signs emerge every day now that the revolution is closing in on Damascus. A collapsing economy is delivering nothing but shortages and soaring prices, driving the discontented middle classes toward the revolution. Free Syrian Army checkpoints occasionally appear now on main highways, mere miles from the capital. The airport road, always of great symbolic and strategic importance, has at least twice fallen, if briefly, to the rebels. Bold assassinations of infamously cruel security chiefs are taking place in Damascus' nicest neighborhoods. The regime no longer has the military capacity to crush the rebellion everywhere at once. 

David Rohde is less sanguine:

A bloody stalemate has emerged. As the opposition receives more arms, it is slowly gaining control of rural areas but unable to seize cities. Government forces and militia, in turn, have grown more brutal. Bosnia and other conflicts show that the longer the fighting drags on, the more bitter the postwar divide. More important, as the Sunni-Shia fighting escalates in Syria, it is destabilizing Iraq, Lebanon and other neighboring countries. The risks of a regional conflagration are growing.

Hayes Brown explains why Moscow, not Beijing, is the critical location for any sort of successful diplomacy on Syria.