Saturday, July 21, 2012

The [no] Case Against an Alawite State

Here is another speculative wishful-thinking "Syria analysis" by Joshua Landis. 

This is at best an apologetic, brimming with the usual tendentious unconvincing and misleading hagiographic material, by one who made career out of these sorts of shameless panegyrics. Here is a quick sampling of distortions, omissions, and outright historical howlers: 

1- "After the French conquered Syria in 1920..."  Really?  "[T]he French conquered Syria in 1920"? Actually, as in "conquered," conquered Syria? If "conquest" there was, it was one of former Ottoman Provinces in 1918 (not 1920), which were cobbled together by the British in 1936 to form what then became the template of a future Syria.  What the French "conquered" were in fact League of Nations mandated Ottoman Territories, not a coherent cohesive "Syrian" entity, which were actually "conquered" by Hejazi Sherifian forces (Faysal and his gangs.)  The French wrested back (under a League of Nations Mandate) what was conquered by Faysal.  But why bother with trivialities?  

2-  "Bashar married a Sunni Muslim in an attempt at nation-building and to stand as an example of integration..." Really? Whatever happened to marriage for love?  Specially for one long touted as a Westernized (computer-geek) liberal reformer iconoclastic eye-doctor, by this very same analyst? 

3-  "Assad has done nothing to lay the groundwork for an Alawite state.  There is no national infrastructure in the coastal region to sustain a state: no international airport, no electric power plans, no industry of importance, and nothing on which to build a national economy..."  I won't mention Basel al-Assad International Airport, or Syria's only deep water harbors in Lattakieh and Tartous (which Landis himself refers to as "port cities" in his piece), and will let those who have visited Syria recently weigh in on the dishonesty of this statement. 

The rest--like "no country will recognize the Alawite state"--is a big colossal yawn!!  As if when faced with an existential crisis the Alawites are going to fret about international recognition.

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