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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #21)

Sun Jun 30, 2013, 09:11 AM

29. Good points. My response:

1. "probably understates", "there are likely ..."

Since their numbers are rough estimates, it is certainly probable that they are high in some cases and low in others. If there are other studies done by reputable organizations, they should be part of the conversation as well - whether they show numbers similar to CAP's or significantly different ones.

2. "All these numbers are estimates, as the report's author concedes."

Quite true. I would not expect accurate numbers in the middle of a civil war. (I would not want to be a census worker in Syria right now).

I respect CAP as a progressive organization and think they have done their best to inject facts into the policy discussion - even when "facts" are just the best estimates they can make.

It is not like they are using republican tactics of making up "facts" to support a predetermined policy choice. CAP opposes foreign, particularly American, intervention as more likely to make things worse rather than better. Like most liberals (and liberal organizations) they try to rely on facts (or as close as they can get to them) rather than on fear, emotion and "convenient facts" that happily support the policy that one prefers.


3. "While I don't want to deny that there was a democratic upswelling to which the government responded harshly, I have to wonder how much of that is left in these various rebel factions."

I largely agree with you. I think the "democratic upswelling" is still there but it gets pushed far into the background (hopefully not extinguished) in the middle of such sustained violence. The longer this civil war has gone on, and the longer it continues into the future, the less of a factor the "democratic upswelling", which I agree was present at the beginning, becomes.

While I believe that foreign involvement will make things worse not better for the Syrian people, it does bother me that Assad's "harsh" response to the outbreak of democratic sentiment in 2011 will prove to be a "successful" tactic - not the Syrian people, of course, but for Assad's continued rule.

His tactic proves to other dictators that if you use the army to put down democracy movements, particularly in the Middle East, you may be unpopular at the beginning but, as time goes on, the repression will bring out the most violent wings of the domestic opposition to you and attract "really bad characters" from elsewhere.

Voila! You are no longer the bad dictator opposing a "democratic upswelling" but a great sectarian leader opposing religious fanatics. Now that you have won the PR battle, all that is left is for the army to win the military battle. With a continuing supply of tanks, planes and ammunition that should not be too hard. There is a lesson here for dictators everywhere.

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Arrow 38 replies Author Time Post
Purveyor Jun 2013 OP
Comrade Grumpy Jun 2013 #1
formercia Jun 2013 #2
Comrade Grumpy Jun 2013 #4
formercia Jun 2013 #16
Comrade Grumpy Jun 2013 #22
joshcryer Jun 2013 #25
Sand Wind Jun 2013 #31
Comrade Grumpy Jun 2013 #32
Sand Wind Jun 2013 #33
Comrade Grumpy Jun 2013 #35
Sand Wind Jun 2013 #3
Comrade Grumpy Jun 2013 #5
jzodda Jun 2013 #6
rpannier Jun 2013 #20
pampango Jun 2013 #7
indio55555 Jun 2013 #8
Sand Wind Jun 2013 #10
Purveyor Jun 2013 #13
Sand Wind Jun 2013 #14
Purveyor Jun 2013 #15
pampango Jun 2013 #30
jzodda Jun 2013 #12
pampango Jun 2013 #17
joshcryer Jun 2013 #26
jzodda Jun 2013 #11
John2 Jun 2013 #18
pampango Jun 2013 #23
Sand Wind Jun 2013 #24
Comrade Grumpy Jun 2013 #21
joshcryer Jun 2013 #27
LineLineLineLineLineNew Reply Good points. My response:
pampango Jun 2013 #29
joshcryer Jun 2013 #36
PaulKersey Jun 2013 #9
quadrature Jun 2013 #19
joshcryer Jun 2013 #28
EX500rider Jun 2013 #34
cgrissomb Jun 2013 #37
David__77 Jul 2013 #38
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