History's End

History will end only when Man does

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  • Thursday, February 24, 2005

    Come the Revolution

    Discoshaman, of the Ukranian blog Le Sabot Post-Moderne, is hoping for a democratic revolution in Syria and Iran, as compared to external regime change by the United States.

    Farid Ghadry, president of the Reform Party of Syria has a good column in the WashTimes today.

    "The next U.S. step, following the withdrawal of the U.S. ambassador in Damascus, must be to open a front against the Syria Ba'athists in their own backyard. Not a military front, far from it, but a popular civilian offensive. The United States should aim to create the same disequilibrium in Syria that the Syrian Ba'athists so readily encourage elsewhere."

    The US should be doing everything it can to foster democratic revolution in Syria and Iran. My Iranian activist friends all talk of the importance of the Farsi channels beamed in from LA. These still struggle for money to stay afloat, from what I understand.

    These two regimes teeter on shaky foundations -- lots of guns, little real popular support. The US should be doing everything it can to give them a shove -- cultivating expats, supporting internal resistance groups, broadcasting the truth night and day through radio and TV.

    What do we have to lose? Will Assad and the Ayatollah start supporting terrorists or the Iraqi resistance or something?

    My response to this was that there has never been a successful revolution in country with strong and loyal security services that didn't cause massive bloodshed. In fact, few revolutions like this can and do occur. Ironically, Iran is one instance, with the Shah being overthrown in 1979, despite his still having relatively strong and loyal security services. My suspicion, though, is that they weren't quite as strong and/or loyal as is generally believed. When the security services are loyal, especially to the point of death, to the leadership of the country, its nearly impossible to launch a successful revolution. It will most likely be put down, brutally, as in the case of Hama. The only way to overthrow the regimes of Syria or Iran, or in fact, any other authoritarian government, is to either undermine their security services , or invade and destroy the regime.

    This fact is most easily observed in Iraq. The Shi'ite Revolution in 1991 (scroll down) was crushed because Saddamn's security services, in this case the Republican Guards, were still intact, and loyal to him. No revolution was possible in Iraq, simply because Saddam and his supporters were too strong. Only open war could destroy the Saddam Regime. The same is true for Iran and Syria. As long as their security services remain loyal and competent, an internal revolution is not possible.

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