February 12th, 2012
10:28 PM ET

# Zakaria: What's next for Syria?

By Fareed Zakaria, CNN

We need to ask ourselves three interrelated questions about Syria. First, what is likely to happen there? Second, what should the United States do about it? And third, what is the broader impact of instability in Syria? I’ll tackle each question in turn.

What is likely to happen?

Bashar al-Assad drew an unfortunate lesson from the Arab Spring: Don’t waiver; don’t make concessions; don’t show weakness. In al-Assad’s eyes, Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak vacillated in his response to protests and ended up in prison. Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi wasn’t ruthless enough and ended up dead. Al-Assad has chosen to be brutal.

If you look throughout history, you’ll find that such brutality often works. The killings in Tiananmen Square did disperse the pro-democracy movement in China. For more examples, look at Hungary in 1956 or Czechoslovakia in 1968.

Read: Arming the Syrian opposition is risky.

History suggests that al-Assad might be successful, except for one fact: The Syrian regime is truly isolated and weak. It doesn’t have a lot of money and it doesn’t have a superpower sponsor like Hungary and Czechoslovakia did.

Syria’s main patron is Iran. But there must be limits to Iran’s economic support. Iran is facing serious financial pressures of its own. I don’t doubt Syria’s intention to crack down, but I do question its capacity to fund its crackdown indefinitely.

For these reasons, I think we’re going to see a low-grade civil war in Syria for the foreseeable future. The government will not be able to fully suppress this revolt. The opposition will prove unable to completely overturn the government. The stalemate could go on for a long, long time. For examples of this, look at Yemen in the 1970s, Lebanon in the 1980s, or Somalia in the 1990s.

What should the United States do?

The United States should try to help the forces of democracy and freedom in Syria. But we don’t know who the opposition is, exactly. Does it favor democracy? We only know that it is opposed to a brutal dictatorship. That entitles it to some support from us, but we need to learn more.

For now, I think we should continue isolating the Syrian regime. We should help Syria’s opposition politically and perhaps economically. I would not, however, advocate arming the rebels or embracing any other kind of military role for the United States. That is a big leap and it is not clear that military intervention will succeed.

Read: Should the West intervene in Syria?

First of all, such intervention would be viewed as unilateral. It would be very different from the situation leading up to the Libyan intervention, which came after the Transitional National Council in Libya, the Arab League, and the United Nations endorsed it and after the Europeans agreed to do the heavy lifting.

We have to think carefully about when and where the U.S. uses its military power. It should be in places where we feel the costs are not high, the dangers are not huge, and the likelihood of success is reasonable. There is no point in getting involved in a military intervention that is going to be a fiasco, ultimately won’t work, or will backfire.

What is the broader impact of instability in Syria?

The regional or global consequences of low-grade civil war in Syria are limited. Syria is not an oil-producing country. It is not right next door to the Strait of Hormuz. It is not a vital supply route. Syria has been an isolated country for a while.

In today’s world of trade, globalization and interdependence, political instability in one country tends to get cordoned off. I was stunned during the Iraq War at how complete chaos in Iraq had no discernable effect on the economies of nearby Jordan, Turkey or the United Arab Emirates. All of these places are a 45-minute flight from Iraq. But while Iraq was in a complete meltdown, these neighbors were booming. As far as I could tell, the only effect of the Iraq War on their economies was that it boosted real estate prices in Amman, Dubai, and Istanbul because a flood of Iraqis were buying up real estate.

Read: Three military options for Syria.

In a similar way, we aren’t seeing major regional or global repercussions of the violence in Syria.

The only country that is really affected by instability in Syria is Iran. Iran has gone all-in backing al-Assad’s regime. So to the extent that we’re seeing a slow motion collapse of that regime, the situation becomes increasingly expensive for Iran and associates Iran with repression, brutality, and failure.

What to watch

Repressive regimes usually start their downward spiral when internal divisions open up. So far, you haven’t seen that in Syria. The regime’s base has stayed intact. The Nobel Prize-winning economist and international relations theorist Thomas Schelling writes about a “focal point” - the one thing that everyone can agree on in a regime. The Syrian regime endures because it has Bashar al-Assad as its agreed-upon head. He serves as a “focal point” just as the young Kim Jong-un does in North Korea. Neither has all of the power, but they are the common denominator that all powerful factions in the country can agree on.

Read: How Syria differs from Libya.

Once you see army defections, cracks within the intelligence apparatus, and the fracturing of the business elites, then you’ll know that the end is near. At that point, the United States might want to reevaluate its options.

However, we should also keep in mind that while al-Assad is brutal and Syria is a mess, Syria after al-Assad may be even worse. Syria could end up being Libya on steroids.

For more of my thoughts throughout the week, I invite you to follow me on Facebook and Twitter and to visit the Global Public Square every day.

 Post by: CNN's Fareed Zakaria
Topics: From Fareed • Syria

###### soundoff(173 Responses)
1. Michael Shepard

Fareed Zakaria, how disappointing that you would interview on your program about Syria Eliot Abrams. Abrams was guilty of lying to the US Congress during his testimony during hearings of the Iran Contra scandal. He escaped only by a pardon from President George Bush senior. I understand that President George W Bush brought Abrams back, but that hardly makes him an acceptable figure. During the Israeli war against Lebanon in 2006 Abrams performance was deplorable. He was supposed to help mediate between Israel and the Lebanese - who were not to blame in the struggle. Instead, he bullied Lebanon's leader, Sinyora, and worked to delay the ceasefire until the terms were agreeable to Israel. This man is not a reliable objective source about Middle East matters.

February 12, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Reply
• Zakaria

well, i sent out ton of fliers to some of those important people in the world. Since he is the only one that accepted. so he is like my only choice?

February 13, 2012 at 12:40 am | Reply
• Big George in Big D

Your spelling and grammer are horrible – that gives you away!

February 13, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
• dave

Big George, 'grammar' is with an 'a'.

February 14, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
• j. von hettlingen

Yes, Elliot Abrahms believes in military might and interventions. He doesn't care for the Middle East except for Israel.
Fareed, I do believe there are forces within Syria who are waiting for the right moment to topple Assad. Meanwhile – unfortunately – atrocities will continue to unfold. True, as long as Assad is supported by certain pillars of the society, his regime endures. I do think Syria wouldn't be worse off without him, despite fear of a "Lebanonisation" of the country. The Syrian crisis does have an impact on regional stability as the Levant had always been the stage for many struggles between diverse ethnies and sects.

February 13, 2012 at 6:54 am | Reply
• rick

too bad you are disappointed in the messenger because the message is not the one you desire. The message appears accurate and Zakaria's opinion is significantly more relevant than yours

February 13, 2012 at 7:27 am | Reply
• Moya

What CNNs political guru, Zakaria wants everyone to know is that the Syrian people might as well just call it a day and bow down to the seemingly invincible power (According to Zakaria) of the pencil neck butcher of Damascus Bashar, his masters in Iran and his partners in crime Hezbollah.

I’d like to make it clear that the overwhelming majority of Syrians despise Assad, his family, slaves and regime. They would be much happier meeting their maker than spending another day under this psychopathic mass murderer’s rule

The Assad’s gang of thugs is about to break, with or without the help of the United States, but for the US to insure a stronger standing in the region and to help manage the break so it doesn’t hurt more people, I suggest a couple of surgical strikes over a period of two to 3 days will guarantee sending this creep (Assad) and his family straight to hell, or Tehran.

February 13, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
• H57

Michael you are way off base. Where the h^ll do you get your information? Arab comic books??????

February 13, 2012 at 8:31 am | Reply
• duke

Abrams did not lie. He side-stepped the questions and tap danced better than the morons in the dem. congress. For this they were very angry and went after him. In a way I admire him.

February 13, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Reply
• Nelson

I'm one of the more stringent critics when it comes to misleading information on this site, but Zakaria's articles are one of the few that I actually find interesting, thoughtful, and based in actual content and not the hype of the rest of the blog that this entire site has basically degraded into.

At least the commentary he offers is actually contextually and factually useful, unlike for example Navaerette who basically spews reverse hate speech while holding down his own race and can't seem to voice opinions on anything other than immigrants and mexico, for which he has very little realistic perspective on.

Fareed, on the other hand, provides much more non-trash content.

February 13, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Reply
• Aaron Goldfarb

The Mossad and Zionist elements in some Western intel are the foreign snipers in Syria who are both organizing the Facebook public protests, then shooting those naive Syrians who show up to the protest.

The world knows this. This is Mossad Israeli Jew dirty ops.

February 15, 2012 at 1:16 am | Reply
• XLighter11

Arabs are always killing each other, it is none of our business, only recently Muslim Arabs were killing Black Muslims at ther rate of 10,000 a month in Darfur and that is after two million were killed in the south, everywhere they are killing and will continue to do so.

February 15, 2012 at 10:10 am |
2. SyrianForever

Zakaria,

You just don't get it. You provide the worst analysis on Syria ever. Before the Syrian Uprising you said that Syria will never experience a revolution. Guess what you turned out to be wrong!!!.....Also the Syrian regime has lost control over many parts of the country as per Arwa Damon's report which I watched on CNN before reading your silly article. You really don't understand Syria in particular and the Arab world in general. Your analysis on the Arab Spring has been terrible. I think your are better off working for MTV.

February 12, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Reply
• rick

no facts to rebut Mr zakaria's opinions? figures

February 13, 2012 at 7:29 am | Reply
• Neutral

True Rick. No figures to refute. Although I dont agree with all the points set out in this blog, I do believe that when it comes to Syria and the current crisis the CNN is the least biased TV channel. I can hardly remember another Channel starting its report on Syria by pointing out that there are two stories and both can be true or untrue. Unlike other western Tv channels (take for Example CBS news) the CNN does not start the report by reducing the story to " an army against civilians" saga and then shows off its correspondent in Syria explain how the armed rebels (the so-called civilians) raid the pro-government areas. Keep it up please CNN so that I wont lose my trust in everything called media. (A Syrian Citizen)

February 13, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
• Rich

@ Neutral: "CNN does not start the report by reducing the story to " an army against civilians" saga"

From my reading of their coverage, that's exactly what they're doing. That iReporter "Danny" they kept using as if he were an actual journalist (i.e., no rebuttal or other side of the story) was the most glaring example.

February 14, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
3. wjeri

The United States police officer of the World has to end. Every U.S. Embassy around the world has a mission. These missions are not to save the lives of peoples in those countries as you may believe. But, how the U.S. can benefit or achieve from every foreign country. Yes, like the Borg on Star Trek. The U.S. wants what others have in order to sustain its prosperity and gains.

February 12, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Reply
• Big George in Big D

you are so full of crap its pathetic!

February 13, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Reply
4. Mark J

No US troops Period. Kinda like Libya, air support, intel. but no troops.

February 12, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Reply
• Moya

I agree; a couple of surgical strikes should do it. Don’t forget that this dictator was responsible for the murder of many US troops in Iraq. His masters are the rulers of Iran. Last but not least don’t forget that his partners in crime are Hezbollah, the terrorist group responsible for the murder of 241 American marines back in 1983 in Beirut, Lebanon. This is a golden opportunity for the US to guarantee a bigger say in the Levant, weaken Iran and dismantle Hezbollah while helping free the courageous Syrian people from the triangle of death (Assad, Iranian regime and Hezbollah).

February 13, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Reply
5. Zakaria Fareed

Obama is a Muslim. Wars, Lies, Nobel Peace Prize.
All perscriptions of Islam.

February 12, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Reply
• wayne leposavic

You said Obama is a Muslim. Please explain

February 13, 2012 at 1:29 am | Reply
• NoMoLies

No explanation needed. It's obvious this is a troll. He'she only posts the most inflammaotry comments to elicit a response. As a kid this troll must have been so deprived of attetion he can't help himself/herself.

February 13, 2012 at 9:32 am |
• JimB

interesting comment. Not one word is true. says something about you, doesn't it?

February 13, 2012 at 1:38 am | Reply
• JJ

For those of use less perceptive, can you clarify this statement?

February 13, 2012 at 7:19 am | Reply
• nabillion

stop using fareed's name and go herd your farm you hick.

February 13, 2012 at 9:22 am | Reply
• Joe

This has to be the worst attempt at Haiku I've ever seen.

February 13, 2012 at 10:21 am | Reply
• relians

zing!

February 14, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
• dave

perscriptions-not even and English word people.....

February 14, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Reply
6. rsb

While all this may be true, you do not mention the one biggest thing standing in the room- the morality of standing by and watching so many people- old and young, men, women, and children, being slaughtered with no real albility to defend themselves as they are civilians. Though I would agree things are not clear as to what the opposition is but things are crystal clear that the brutality is a horrific monster. Do we just watch civilians be slaughtered? You only spoke of "our interests" but I think the morality of it all may be one of our biggest interests.

February 12, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Reply
• Kazi

Thank you! at last someone showing why we the human species are not like animals.

February 12, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Reply
• kate65

Animals only kill for food. An obvious difference between "animals" and "humans".

February 13, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
• skarphace

kate65: well, humans are animals. We are just more sophisticated. For example, you are wrong: animals kill for a variety of reasons in addition to killing for food.

February 13, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
• skarphace

Animals will kill to protect their young.

February 13, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
• skarphace

They

February 13, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
• skarphace

kill

February 13, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
• skarphace

to

February 13, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
• skarphace

reduce

February 13, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
• skarphace

comp

February 13, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
• skarphace

eti

February 13, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
• skarphace

tion.

February 13, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
• skarphace

Sorry, but I had to find out what the offending word was in my comment that was making it so the CNN bot was not allowing it to post. Apparently, you cannot say the entire word comp eti tion. Why that word would be offensive, I have no idea.

February 13, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
• skarphace

Here is my post as it was meant to be, with the offending word broken up:

kate65: well, humans are animals. We are just more sophisticated. For example, you are wrong: animals kill for a variety of reasons in addition to killing for food.

They kill to protect their young. They kill to reduce "comp eti tion". They kill to settle territorial disputes. They kill out of anger. They kill out of fear.

Sure, they don't kill for political reasons, but saying that animals only kill for food or that humans are not animals just makes you look ignorant. Read a science book or two, please. And no, the Bible is not science.

February 13, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
• Mara

Civilian will be slaughtered by intervention too. Over 30000 people died in Libya by NATO attacks. Why do you think that it is just bad when Assad kills people but OK when NATO or US kills them?

Read this report from Arab States observer and then you will understand that Fareed is right. The opposition is just unknown and it is not possible to trust them. Intervention will kill more people. So it is more reasonable to help them politically.

http://www.columbia.edu/~hauben/Report_of_Arab_League_Observer_Mission.pdf
Specially read number 74. People do not want intervention. They want mediation of Arab countries.

February 13, 2012 at 12:13 am | Reply
• Dave

30,000 in a densely populated cities like in Libya is not bad considering it was guerilla warfare. And if NATO had done nothing then you would be complaining about 50-80,000 dead that Qadaffi killed himself because he was a nutcase. Sorry the world doesn't work like the mind of a 5 year old like yours

February 13, 2012 at 5:44 am |
• Rich

30,000? ALL by NATO, or total in the civil war? Please clarify, before I lower the logic boom on you.

February 13, 2012 at 10:44 am |
• skarphace

Mara: NATO was in no way responsible for 30,000 civilian deaths in Libya. If you believe anything close to that, then you have fallen for the pro-Gadhafi propaganda. If you want the real figures, ask the Libyans how many civilian deaths NATO was responsible for. You will find the number is probably less than 100.

The vast majority of civilian deaths in Libya came as a result of pro-Gadhafi forces.

February 13, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
• rick

when did Jihad concern morals?

February 13, 2012 at 7:30 am | Reply
• NoMoLies

You missed the whole point, dude- the whole article is all about WHY an intervention is likely to be futile even if it is backed by the most noblest and altruistic of all moral ntentions. Think "Operation Iraqi Freedom" think Libya where tens of throusands of people died AFTER NATO intervention (I'm not sying by NATO bombs; I'm saying in the conflict that ensued). Sometimes us wanting to do a good thing doesn't make it so. And besides dude can we even afford it?

February 13, 2012 at 9:41 am | Reply
• kls817

Do you remember what happened when the brutal dictator Saddam Hussein was removed. Was everyone suddenly at peace? No, that's not what happened – the "people" started killing each other in sectarian violence. Assad might be brutal, but as Zacharia noted, the alternative might be even worse. Plus, American soldiers would be killed as well.
Stay out of Syria.

February 13, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Reply
7. scott o'canada

I don"t beleive your name is Zakaria. This is Rush, isn't it. Actual, the real Zakaria has it spot on. And all indications are this is exactly what will transpire. I would prefer an approach with a ;ittle more testosterone attached to it. I think if enough pressure is applied by a coaltion, we will eventually see the spillover eventually into Iran. When that happens, that will be the final domino. Let's just insure they don't have "the bomb" by then.

February 12, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Reply
• NoMoLies

Dude, consider this- the US is broke okay. For all the testosterone you speak off we are having an economic erectile dysfucntion – we can't hold it up. We left Iraq, we are leaving Afghanistan. Now you want us to intervene in Syria – for what ? to back an opposition we know nothing about? And you are positive these pople we might lierate are not going to turn back against us. Read the coumn first before you start getting a h...d-on

February 13, 2012 at 9:49 am | Reply
8. Brad76

There is no greater defense for Israel than the regions peoples, just as intended.

February 12, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Reply
9. Matt

As I said the other day, leave it to al-Qaida. Someone depending on how it turns out will have to invade the place in 20 years like Afghanistan. But that is then this is now and after all the Syrians deserve their freedom and not to be butchered. So if the place becomes radicalized, it is not because they don't deserve freedom or freedom caused it. We caused it, by doing nothing which created the situation that led to the radicalization of the population. It is not reason for Assad to stay in power to prevent it, the world caused it and someone will have to deal with the blowback in years to come. The drama of Afghanistan and Iran is traced back to Carter and Syria will be traced back to Obama. The objective for the US is to make sure the blowback is directed on someone else, and one thing Obama is good at is blaming others.

February 12, 2012 at 11:32 pm | Reply
• Tom

Matt, Iran is traced back to Carter? What? Do you even know your basic Iranian history? Tensions with Iran can be traced back to when Great Britain and the US orchestrated the overthrow of Mossadegh in order to prevent the nationalization of the oil industry. 1979 was blow-back for our meddling in the region. We should STOP involving ourselves in these actions. Al Qaeda is backing he revolt, when will we learn our lesson!

February 13, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Reply
10. ReBemol

The armed rebels a.k.a. FSA (Free Syria Army) are getting support from their Al-Qaeda brothers, their Wahhabi brothers in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and their Salafi brothers in Lebanon … The FSA has 30 some battalions all named using Islamic figures from the early days of Islam and none named by a patriotic Syrian figure … Anybody still has a doubt that :
Armed Rebels = FSA = Muslim Brothers + Wahhabis + Al-Qaeda members + Salafis
These armed rebels have hijacked the early peaceful protests and the democratic reforms … They are not after democracy and freedom … They are after revenge and establishing an extreme Islamist state in Syria … For those of you who want to support them, go and fight with your Al-Qaeda brothers, otherwise just wake up and smell the coffee … If you support these guys, you are supporting Al-Qaeda.

February 12, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Reply
• Lilbit

Seriously?? If you go to an internet cafe in Syria to post on message boards and such, everything you type is sent to Assad's government. He has restricted the international press from having access to most of the country. Anyone caought speaking against the government can face prison, torture or death. That is your idra of reform?

February 13, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Reply
• skarphace

Why should the rebels not name their factions after Islamic symbols? They are Muslim, afterall, and this is a war between Muslim factions (Shiite vs Sunni).

Also, the world should abandon the rebels just because al Qaeda has come out in support of the rebels? What kind of logic is that? We should support who we are going to support regardless of whom al Qaeda does or does not support.

Think of the repercussions of such a policy: if al Qaeda does not want the West to support an uprising, they will just support it themselves to make sure the West does not. Does this make an ounce of sense to you?

February 13, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Reply
11. Hasai

"....[Syria] doesn’t have a superpower sponsor...."

*Cough-cough*Russia*Cough-cough*Red China*Cough-cough*
*Cough-cough*So long as they keep making a profit selling Assad arms, anyway.....*Cough-cough*

February 12, 2012 at 11:54 pm | Reply
• skarphace

Well, so far Russia an China have backed the al Assad regime for economic reasons. However, we will see how long that lasts if al Assad keeps slaughtering his people.

My prediction is that more the AL and EU countries start pushing for intervention, the less intent Russia and China will be on protecting the al Assad regime. In particular, if the regime itself starts falling apart, (as Fareed notes such has not happened yet), then we will find that both Russia and China are very weak sponsors.

February 13, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Reply
12. Pet Ra

Don't forget that we did help ben laden, taliban al queida against the soviets. Lets not make the same mistake.

February 13, 2012 at 12:02 am | Reply
• skarphace

Good point. If we make it obvious that American intervention is for the purposes of cold war politics, then there will definitely be blowback as there was with our support of al Qaeda and Saddam, as examples.

February 13, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Reply
13. freedomofspeech

How come there is no report on the saudi journalist deported from malaysia to saudi for insulting the prophet.What about the freedom of speech and rights. Even a court order agaisnt extradition was ignored as if he was a top terrorist.

February 13, 2012 at 12:20 am | Reply
• skarphace

Malaysia has been walking a tightrope for sometime and continues to do so. On the one hand, they are a majority Muslim nation. On the other hand, they have a more-or-less secular government. That is, the government has civil laws that are separate from Sharia Law.

This balancing act prevents them from taking stands like protecting accused people from other countries. The last thing Malaysia needs is political tension with other Muslim nations.

February 13, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Reply
• Tahir

Freedom of speech should not be only against prophet Mohammad, it should be for all cases.One cannot speak against Holocaust of Jews in Germany(for example). You get prison if you speak against Holocaust. A Muslim scholar was immediately deported from Germany for speaking against gays so what type of freedom of speech you are talking about. Freedom of speech does not mean that you can talk against prophet Mohammad.The west also don't like the freedom of speech of Iranian president. Why you always make people fool in the name of freedom of speech.

February 15, 2012 at 6:02 am | Reply
14. warmap

i lived the Beirut war, and witnessed everything you hear in Syria. Homs being a special case of deliberate hell.
the question is what is the purpose of bombing.

in Beirut the same people were arming allies as ussr allies, today it's the same.
Russia is a close friend, they have been scratching each others back for decades.

Assad owes it to himself, and Syria and Russia.and china. and they want him to stay hes the only one left to buy Russian arms. Nobody buys Russian arms besides a few countries .......... its complex. believe it or not Israel wants Assad bad. he did not shoot one bullet over the Golan in 35 years.

in the end its the same thing the US did in Iraq ....... they slaughtered 100,000 people to oust one guy. today its a bloodbath they don't care.......... this is a classic of domination war ........... nothing new.

what will happen? knowing things few do, i say there is no humanity, no feelings these guys are writing history .. thery
think its ok to die history never changes ........... this will drag until Russia and China stop sending arms ...
its not Assad its them. plus if he betrays them and leaves, who will hide him ? asylum ? Russia ....

February 13, 2012 at 12:23 am | Reply
15. Jon

The other thing Assad has going for him, unfortunately, is the sectarian divisions within Syria. The Alawites probably saw what happened to the Sunnis directly after the Iraq war. At this point, they most likely know they have too much wrapped up in the regime to truly oppose it.

February 13, 2012 at 12:24 am | Reply
• Lilbit

Assad and all others in a position of power in Syria are Alawites, which also composes about 15% of the population. They hate the Sunni's who make up about 45% of the population..

February 13, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Reply
• RasPutin

74% are Sunni

February 13, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
16. maj

A military solution unfortunately seems necessary but it is certainly not the USA's place to confront the Russians in Syria.The Arabs seemed to have cared enough about fighting for Palestinians for the past 60 years.
So why the hesitation now? Does it really matter if human rights are violated by an infidel or one of your own?

What is preventing Jordan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, or Islamic brothers in Indonesia from putting military pressure on this ruthless dictator?

Jordan is too poor, Indonesia is too far, Turkey is not Arabic, and the rest of them appear to be lazy spoiled oil barons unwilling to wear uniforms and tote guns so that they could at least police their own neighborhood.

It might be deplorable that half starving Bangladeshis are cleaning Kuwaiti toilets for their masters, but isn't it too much to ask that young Americans continue to spill blood for these Bedouins turned billionaires?

Those living free on oil pay checks are keen to live a life by proxy. That's what rich people do. Wretchedly poor Bangladeshis might not have a choice, but Americans do. Toilets are one thing, but another war?

Even Israel, if it truly had a humanitarian heart, could use this opportunity to liberate the opposition for its own future well being. No. Even Israel expects a kid from Arkansas to lead a coup d'tat against the Syrian leader.

And, Iran? Is their regime so heartless too? If the Iranians marched on Damascus to liberate the rebels would anyone argue with them? Whether Iran or Israel made the effort, their soiled reputations would be washed clean.

America's heart is big, but it needn't be bigger than any that is in much closer proximity. Even a Norewegian or French intervention makes more sense than an American one.

Yes, the Syrian crackdown is outrageous. But those that should be screaming the loudest- their Arab brothers- are showing no courage at all. Muslims are all too ready vilify non believers, but the true villains are the cowards surrounding Syria.

If the Americans can't see the hypocrisy of pan-Arabia I guess they will just have to die another day for misplaced causes.

February 13, 2012 at 1:09 am | Reply
• Avi

I agree with you that the US should not go at it alone and that others should care enough to go in and make some order. however, I don't think Israel should be the one going in. Attacking Syria now will only strengthen Assad's position and will be used as an excuse to rally the population against a common enemy. The violence and crackdown will be swept under the rug and the oppression will continue. No, Israel should stay completely out of it. If Israel wants to help they should do so through Turkey and support the refugees flooding the Turkish border...

February 13, 2012 at 5:22 am | Reply
• Dino Droppings

Stupid comment.
There is nothing in the article about Israel.

February 13, 2012 at 7:19 am |
• skarphace

Dino: Avi was responding to the original comment by maj which did include a mention of Israel.

And I agree with Avi. Isreal will not get involved directly. Under the al Assad regime, Syria has not been friendly with Israel, but neither have they been antagonistic. They may be allies with Iran, but they have not directly threatened Israel. If the al Assad regime falls, there is absolutely no guarantee that the replacement government will continue this hands-off policy towards Israel. Therefore, the chance of Israel supporting the uprising is slim to none.

February 13, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
17. Rz

There are plenty of nations run by reasonably benevolent and democratic governments that are facing major problems. Just look at Greece for example. And look at Egypt and Lybia following their so called revolutions. And look at Iraq and Afghanistan following their so called deliberation. Eventually, it seems to return to the same old country but under a different leadership with the same old problems that just either manifest themselves differently or have a new names.

Simply put, we are entering a global phase of civilization where governments are failing their people. And where a nation can no longer afford or sustain good government, the wealthy and/or corrupt will try to take over (both locally and abroad). The collapse of what we will call the "lesser" nations is only the beginning of the phase.

Syria, Afghanistan, Irag, Iran, Lybia, etc, all being democratic nations with reasonably benevolent governments in power.

February 13, 2012 at 1:53 am | Reply
18. David

>> don't waiver
Waver, not "waiver."

February 13, 2012 at 2:10 am | Reply
19. J Taylor

i cant speak about the war, but 1 bullet stops al-assad.

February 13, 2012 at 2:38 am | Reply
• skarphace

Maybe, but most likely not. Assad is propped up by the Altawites, who control the government and the military. If al Assad were assassinated, they would still fight for power.

February 13, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Reply
• Tahir

What about applying 1 bullet rule for Iraq war. It was also possible to stop the killings of so many Iraqi people with your 1 bullet rule. The person did not get this 1 bullet and killed millions in Iraq and now living happily. Don't write such foolish things which when one applies to yourself can't be accepted.

February 15, 2012 at 5:29 am | Reply
20. allah

who cares!
let them fix their own problems
or if we DO interven-nuke the country!

February 13, 2012 at 2:42 am | Reply
• Prodigal

A typical response from from a right-wing bent US citizen... "If we can't beat \em, NUKE em!" Who needs tolerance, new ideas, or change of any kind .... we are Americans and cannot fathom there are real people outside of your country that you do NOT have the right to mess with ......

Simple question: What gives you the right to think like that? Hopefully it is just lack of grey matter... but sadly it is a sentiment that is all to popular..

February 13, 2012 at 4:30 am | Reply
• Professor Richard Conn Henry

Excellent response to ugly ideas.

February 13, 2012 at 5:52 am |
21. ForSyria

Al-Qaeda is the beigest part of opposition in Syria (see the last statement of Al-Qaeda new leader), so, obviously USA is supporting Al-Qaeda now … great!!! This is the democracy for sure… I am sad for you USA

February 13, 2012 at 3:01 am | Reply
• skarphace

Who are you kidding? Just recently, the al Qaeda leaders came out in moral support of the rebels. This in no way means that al Qaeda have people in Syria fighting, much less that al Qaeda makes up the majority of those Syrians who are being killed.

What you are spreading has a name: propaganda. This makes you a pro-Assad propagandist.

February 13, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Reply
22. ForSyria

Al-Qaeda is the biggest part of opposition in Syria (see the last statement of Al-Qaeda new leader), so, obviously USA is supporting Al-Qaeda now … great!!! This is the democracy for sure… I am sad for you USA

February 13, 2012 at 3:02 am | Reply
• Tahir

The statement of Al-Qaeda leader can be misleading. What he is saying does not means what he likes.These tactic statements can mislead people.HE may be a US or Syrian agent.Think why Osama was not captured and brought to justice in a court but killed directly.There was a possibility that a Pandora box will open and people will know the lies of US Government just like the Iraq case of weapons of mass destruction, so Obama killed Osama.

February 15, 2012 at 5:18 am | Reply
23. Marc

I think it's obvious what the outcome would be should the rebels succeed, the only alternative is the Muslim Brotherhood backed by the Saudis and I can't help but to link what happened in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya to the situation in Syria, in this case, Assad is the better alternative in my opinion.

February 13, 2012 at 3:24 am | Reply
• skarphace

Well, I would predict that the Syrian citizens would be glad that you have no say in the matter, then.

February 13, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Reply
• Aaron Goldfarb

The Syrian "opposition" in exile are just paid greedy, corrupt, neocon sellouts. Who are paid with the $15 Trillion dollars of US debt. Sure you can buy, bribe and corrupt a small minority criminal segment in a population in difficult economic times. How many corrupt, criminal, Syrians did some of that$15 Trillion dollars buy?

The sad, pathetic, remembrance of this whole Bay of Pigs type fiasco, will be innocent, naive, Facebook protesters who showed up to get killed by the Mossad organizers of these protests, that will be the pathetic legacy for history.

February 15, 2012 at 1:22 am |
• Tahir

Why are you so worried about the gladness of Syrians.Go to Africa and spend your tax money there, there you can make more people glad.Why Americans are always worried about the gladness of Syrians and middle east people.Africa is calling you for a long time make them glad.

February 15, 2012 at 6:08 am |
24. John Smith

Fareed's influence is puzzling to me. I just find him mostly uninteresting.

February 13, 2012 at 3:51 am | Reply
• Tahir

Journalists always do puzzling thing to get what they want.Have you forgotten the puzzling things before Iraq war.Journalists puzzled Americans and made them believe that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. About Iran they have also puzzled the people and have made them believe that there is no other solution but to destroy Iran.

February 15, 2012 at 5:09 am | Reply
25. Farhan Zia

Fareed Zakaria – what a weak logic you have given for the reason you think Russia is supporting Syria because there are protests in Petersburg and other Russian cities and Russia is worried about it? Well, if this logic is correct then probably US should be more worried about it then Russia because of all the "Occupy" protests. Would you like to say something about it?

February 13, 2012 at 4:36 am | Reply
• Tahir

The protests of Wall street can't produce the same thing as the Syrians protests can produce in Russia. Behind the Wall Street there is no strong American media mafia but behind the Syrian and Russians protests we have a strong media mafia.Syrians protesters are charged due to protests of Egypt and Libya and this may charge Russians also so Russia should crush the Syrian movement to stop its protestants to get charged.Putin did the right thing for him.

February 15, 2012 at 3:50 am | Reply
26. Gamil

Nöthing they alll gonna die and the World will stand and Look how they die ,After Syros don't Care if i See any White Christina die

February 13, 2012 at 5:10 am | Reply
27. Professor Richard Conn Henry

"Don't waiver" Got you at last! "Don't waver" is what you meant!

February 13, 2012 at 5:36 am | Reply
• Professor Richard Conn Henry

And congrats to David, who caught Fareed before I did.

February 13, 2012 at 5:38 am | Reply
28. Tars Tarkas

Political analysis is very similar to the economic one for one reason: economists perform an economical prognosis, and then come up with a myriad reasons why (or why not) their prognosis was right/wrong. Frankly, from afar, this situation in Syria is appalling, but as is frequent in these cases, there's much blabla and very little action. Reading all that's written on the subject, the bottom line seems to be there's very little to be done, or better said, very little will to do what has to be done. Maybe then, for all procrastinating actors in this drama, it seems you all prefer to build a 50ft wall all around the country, and then make sure nothing goes in or out for a couple of years. Then come back, tear it down, and try to sort out what was left. Quite frankly, none of the powers that be have any interest in intervening, other than protecting their own selfish interests. This goes both for east and west. Meanwhile, the carnage goes on.

February 13, 2012 at 7:07 am | Reply
29. Alan

Syria produces both oil and gas. £400,000 barrels crude per day. Over 300 billion cu ft in 2009 gas. Not the world biggest supplier but enough to fund its arms purchases.

February 13, 2012 at 7:15 am | Reply
30. Short Trip To Tomorrow - BRB

Al Assad will be assasinated.
The new boss will be the same as the old boss.
The Syrian people will suffer.
The new regime will not be in bed with Iran.
That was the plan all along.
Regime change.

February 13, 2012 at 7:26 am | Reply
• Tahir

Just like the Iraq plan

February 15, 2012 at 6:09 am | Reply
31. Brutality?

Fareed.

Hats off to you. Once again you have proven to be the sane, measured voice in the chaos that is unfolding. I agree with you for the most part. No one wants people killed. Intervening will get more people killed. And the end result very well may be continued opression – see Egypt.

Force change by all means, but the change needed is from near civil war to peace, from people getting killed to no-one getting killed. Then talk and transition all you want.

If it is wrong to 'kill your own people' then is is wrong for the rebels as well. There are a lot of 'unconfirmed reports' flying around and reported as fact. You have also to wonder why the Regime as it is called, will simply stop killing protesters – unarmed protesters – and in tens and dozens – to what effect – when they can simply de-escalate the situation by backing down, even temporarliy. Is it that armed protesters are firing at government forces and they return fire? I do no claim to know, just to point out the obvious.

You are wrong about Gadaffi – he was hailed, coddled, all but canonized by the EU and USA until the Russians wanted to establish bases in Libya and he was going to give it to them. "Brutality works" – yes, by brutally refusing Gadaffi's offer for peace. Ultimately is it Gadaffi who tried 'peace' not brutality and peace did not work.

Do you call the 100 + cruise missiles and untold tons of bombs brutality? Do you call shooting an unarmed man in the back of a pickup truck brutality?

You guess what the ordinary men, women and children who see these things think. Imagine.

Asad is one man. He may go. The murderous, war-mongering machine that NATO and the EU has become will go on.

Now that is brutality.

February 13, 2012 at 7:34 am | Reply
32. Khaed

Mr Zakaria's analysis for the situation in Syria can not be considered to even be an analysis of an amateur. His comparison of a possible stalemate to that in Lebanon in the 80's is something to laugh about . The situation doesn't resemble any situation experienced in any arab country during the latest upsides or throughout history. The Assad regime is the one who pushed the people to get armed the army defection are serious and effective and the Lycian style intervention would prove much easier in syira's case . Whole kaddafi was about to crack down the revolution in less than month by his military , assad's forces haven't been able to aka full grip of any of the cities and the Fsa guerilla warfare has seriously harmed the regime. big defection in the militar will not happen unless some big commanders feel that the international community is serious about the regime change and until then the semi civil war will continue . Mr Zakaria do your homework please

February 13, 2012 at 7:47 am | Reply
33. CNN needs to make it so we can't post under different names each time.

There, I said it. People are abusing it!

February 13, 2012 at 7:48 am | Reply
34. Tr1Xen

Leave it to Russia to make a bad situation worse.

February 13, 2012 at 7:51 am | Reply
• Tahir

And give it to USA to get benefits from this worse situation.

February 15, 2012 at 5:34 am | Reply
• Mike Houston

So?

February 15, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
35. Badly-Bent

I think you nailed it correctly this time!

February 13, 2012 at 8:13 am | Reply
36. Archie Herman

Fareed Zakaria : is an amature jornalist that either shoots his mouth about things he is totally ignorant of: stating Syria is land-locked country!!! he should be fired from his job right now. Also Fareed is a little stooge for Obama, and this is a fact! Alqaeda are the terrorists who are causing the problems in Syria,not the Syrians. These Salafest thugs are from
Saudi Arabia,Qatar,Eygept and Lybia, paid and supported by Erdokhan,Obama's buddy, and by the royal Saudis who
are paying for Obamas election and re-election. Fareed Zakaria can fool no one period,not even my little poodle!

February 13, 2012 at 8:21 am | Reply
• rick

I'm impressed with the facts you cite in your response, especially the fact that you agree with your poodle.

February 13, 2012 at 8:25 am | Reply
37. Rz

Religion, "the church", can be, and still is a powerful influence over people and governments. Though most nations of the world have opted to more or less clearly separate "religion" and "state". And everyone knows that the separation of religion and state for the Christian world did not come easy, nor without significant turmoil (to say the least).

The separation of religion and state for Islamic nations has been very slow to evolve, and will not come easy. But until it does, everyone can expect to see more of the same, and repeatedly until there is clear and agreed upon separation.

February 13, 2012 at 8:26 am | Reply
38. Barry G.

Please tell me that when Assad and his ruthless regieme is toppled that Assad and his rutless generals won't be allowed to keep any money they have stolen from Syria and hidden!

February 13, 2012 at 9:19 am | Reply
39. barack o'soros

Fareed, you dont mention russia as its superpower patron ...why?

russia just finished reloading syria with arms and has recently completed refurnishing the syrian naval base at tartus...they have also sent warships to syria...so how do you omit russia as its super power backer?

what is it about you fareed that is more interested in obama's re-election rather than saving lives in syria or anywhere else? Is that what you stand for? disgraceful. Stop pretending to be a journalist..all YOU do is shill for obama. Its most unbecoming for a CNN anchor.

February 13, 2012 at 9:38 am | Reply
• pablo

Wasn't the barack o'soros a medium size dinosaur in the triassic period?

February 13, 2012 at 10:19 am | Reply
40. pablo

The devil you know may be better than the devil you don't know. Al-Qaida announced it is backing the rebels. Is it going to be the US and Al-Qaida as allies against Russia and China?

February 13, 2012 at 9:41 am | Reply
• Tahir

USA and Al-Qaeda were strong allies against Russia in Cold war(which was a real hot war in Afghanistan) so what is the problem if they join again against Russia. USA has always used wrong tactics for its interests why not this time.

February 15, 2012 at 3:39 am | Reply
• Aaron Goldfarb

Al Qaeda's US 9/11 branch is led by the Jewish Californian American named Adam Perlman. He is the only US citizen to be wanted for Treason in 52 years by the FBI. That is how deadly the Jewish Adam Perlman is.

http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/wanted_terrorists

FBI wants the Jew named Adam Perlman for 9/11 terrorism and his "Al Qaeda" branch.
http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/wanted_terrorists/adam-yahiye-gadahn

So why would Israel Firsters not side with "Al Qaeda" and its Jewish operatives in ousting Assad from Syria?

February 15, 2012 at 3:49 am |
41. dreamer96

Well you can not compare upraising in USSR, or Russia and China with Syria's brutal crackdown...The USSR and China were massive in size..even Russia is massive in population, military and manufacturing capabilities...and needed to to handled in different ways...and those upraising did effect those countries...the breakup of the USSR was remarkably peaceful and the separation of China from Moscow was remarkably peaceful...and both were helped by the west...And Russia and China while oppressive at times are working to adjust to their new economy and workers rights...It is not the old Russia and China anymore...

Syria is a test of the old way of solving problems and a new wave of Global information...It is not possible to silence all the voices from all the different sides fighting in Syria...Information flows in and out...the west can help the Syrian people live by telling them how to survive...smoke screens can defeat snipers and tanks..and a armored covers made up of scrap metal on 4 wheels can protect a person crossing a street.moving around in the open..The roman's used their shields as a cover to march right up to gates and batter, or burn, them down..Tanks and trucks need fuel, Governments and soldiers need electricity, and communications, water, supply systems to control large populations...they need to guard many sites..leaving weakly guarded sites open to attacks...The Government is not the only ones that can or have read the "Art of War"...

The boarder impact is the people of a country have a right to their own government...and they will have to learn just what that means...no one gets every thing they want...and it's a lot harder then it looks...and all democracies have to watch for foreign money, or domestic money, taking over any democracy...and democracies can be slow to change..not like a dictatorship which can just force changes...that is why some fair dictatorships and kingdoms do survive..by being more fair..more democratic..more even, and sharing in the gains, and losses of a country...more long term in their goals...as democracies should always try to be in order to survive...

February 13, 2012 at 10:27 am | Reply
42. kerry

Getting involved would not only be a blood letting for the USA but also a monetary disaster when we can ill afford it. This is an Arab problem, let them work out their own Arab Spring. Trying to police the world is one reason we are in the mess we are. Bush dragged us down with two wars, lets not make that mistake again. America for Americans. Solve our own problems before attempting to save the world. Lets stay focused on where the real problems are.....in our own home front and back yard.

February 13, 2012 at 10:59 am | Reply
• Tahir

I don't know how many Americans can understand you. Don't talk like Ron Paul you have seen his future.

February 15, 2012 at 4:22 am | Reply
43. Rick

What's next: Obama will continue to "lead from behind".

February 13, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Reply
• Punisher2000

Do you want to send your kids to die over there? If the only thing you can say is nonsense, dont say it.

February 13, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Reply
• Tahir

Obama must lead from the front and bring fresh bottles of blood so that Americans can have a glass of fresh blood in breakfast.The bottles of Iraqi blood are now old and they are not tasting good in breakfast.The blood from Egypt was not enough to serve the three top nations for breakfast.

February 15, 2012 at 3:57 am | Reply
44. Harry Wortz

What's next for Syria? I don't care and neither should any of us. Let their neighbors handle it. It is none of our business.

February 13, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Reply
• pablo

your head is in the sand. The world is a much smaller place than it used to be. What happens over there can affect us directly. This will become more apparent when Iran give nuclear capability to muslim terrorist. We have to be involved in some degree.

February 13, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Reply
• Tahir

You have to have a check on everyone otherwise you will lose control on middle east.There you have a lot of oil and also you have to sell weapons to earn money and jobs for economy. So don't be silly.

February 15, 2012 at 5:02 am | Reply
45. mujib

Assad will fall down soon ,Russia& China is backing for business but not long.They are looking alternative.
when they found they wast Assad.

February 13, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Reply
• Tahir

USA left a lot of its allies after using them so if Russia and china also leave, this is not a big thing. Everyone looks after its interests and then run away.Syrian people will also soon see this side of American face.

February 15, 2012 at 4:58 am | Reply
46. Terrible_Ted

The citizens of every Arab country were celebrating in the streets on 09/11. I say if they want freedom then let them fight for it themselves. Just like we did in our War of Independance. Not one American life should be lost fighting for these people.

February 13, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Reply
• pablo

I believe I recall from history that both France and Spain helped the Americans in their struggle for independence.

February 13, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Reply
47. Punisher2000

Why do Arabs just talk the talk, but dont walk the walk? With their resources they could easily finance the necessary weapons for the resistance in Syria, if not outright intervene themselves. Instead they ask for others to get killed in their place, instead of fixing their own problem. UN help us, US help us, any body, help us. Vast riches require vast responsibilities. Time to stop the talk and act. YOUR people are dying.

February 13, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Reply
• Anchorite

Hmm, same reason the US didn't intervene when Hitler was offing millions of Jews. Same reason they didn't supported the Khymer Rouge, same reason they supported China's crackdown at Tiananmen square massacre when Bush rewarded China with MFN trade status immediately afterwards, same reason the US didn't stop its Israeli ally from trying to conquer and annex Lebanon every time they get a headache or indigestion.

February 13, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Reply
48. Abhi Banerjee

After a long time "Syria" has become a genuine reason to intervene militarily. But we have exhausted all our resources in fighting the wrong wars. A government which kills babies and children while showing an omlette like face [Al-Assad] to the world should be treated with excessive force.
Our economy is now so bad that making another armed assault will put our own babies and childrens future in jeopardy.
Who started the wrong wars? 60% of our dumb American Voters will say Barack Obama and will curse him too. So there is no wonder these same folks did chose GWB for the second time. Ron Paul, the only sane candidate is not winning. Lost case... Syria badly needs a godly intervention but too bad there is no such thing.

February 13, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Reply
• Tahir

Ron Paul will never win.He don't know the American mind set. If you show the Americans the real things they get angry they live in dreams.I don't know why Ron Paul is running for presidency he don't understand simple Americans.He should learn lessons for Bush how he won two elections.He should show Americans bottle of BLOOD. Is Ron Paul American?

February 15, 2012 at 4:15 am | Reply
49. Anchorite

I for one think his analyses are right on the money, mostly because unlike literally everyone else in mainstream or cable news he doesn't let personal feelings, though I know he has them, destroy his judgment about what is going to happen and what we should do. I don't always agree with him, but I can't learn the real picture from anyone else.

February 13, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Reply
50. Ewan Jellyst

Zakaria's rantings disguised as analysis seem to be self serving. We must remember that he has his own axe to grind, which does not fit in with the noble Christian agenda of the USA. So he tries to confuse US and World Christian leaders. In Syria, US will finally lead God's Forces of Christianity to free the millions of lost souls who are praying to God and hoping desperately that US will come to Liberate them and show them the Path to Jesus. And look at what Zakaria has to say? CNN must realise the enemy within. How much do you pay this guy?

February 13, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Reply
• Abhi Banerjee

What Christian foolish thing you are talking about? Developed countries should be free from all religious beliefs. No wonder Democrats are working towards separation of religion and school.
You have two choices
1. Believe in god [with no power]
or
2. Believe in god [Omlette faced Al Assad]

Or believe in Ron Paul!
Vote for Ron Paul
The only sane candidate in America still alive [No Kiddin]

February 13, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Reply
51. Rabbit One

look man – here's what up – as the US does not really know the opposition, does not that signify that this thing should be solved by the self-determination of the Syrians – therefore, we don't confuse things and mess things up – a people anywhere in the world can and will solve its own problems more completely than intervening forces can.

February 13, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Reply
52. skarphace

Animals kill to protect their young.

February 13, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Reply
• skarphace

lol, sry. That was meant as a reply to a previous post. My bad.

February 13, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Reply
53. Greek American

@Terrible_Ted

Ummm I have some bad news for you but Middle Eastern countries weren't the only ones who celebrated after 9/11. They were just shall we say more vocal about it and visual shall we say. The problem remains though is that the US needs to choose battles based on right vs wrong, and not only what helps us monetarily.

February 13, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Reply
54. Tahir

Best way for democracy to flourish in Syria and other parts of world will be when big democratic powers show a democratic behaviour and decide about world matters in democratic way at the UN. USA and other power should show a democratic face by LEAVING VETO RIGHT AT UN and let word decide about world matters in a democratic way.Unless USA and other powers do not show a democratic behaviour, there will be always problems in world and democracy will not prevail.The Champions of democracy are not democratic themselves and are giving lessons to others about democracy.

February 14, 2012 at 10:25 am | Reply
55. Amit-Atlanta-USA

MANY AMERICANS ARE TRULY AMAZED HOW SOME PEOPLE STILL CONSIDER MR.ZAKARIA LEARNED OR KNOWLEDGEABLE!!!!!

The fact remains that NOT only does his UTTER IGNORANCE show off, but also HIS HEAVY BIAS against the US in everything he writes (very subtly though!).

CONSIDER HIS FOLLOWING STATEMENTS :

a) Firstly, a few days ago ASTOUNDINGLY Mr. Zakaria called Syria a LANDLOCKED country!

b) Zakaria – “In today’s world of trade, globalization and interdependence, political instability in one country tends to get cordoned off!!!”

Really Mr. Zakaria? Do you know how the so-called Arab spring spread like wildfire after a Tunisian teacher’s self immolation? That did not happen 500 yrs. Ago!

c) Zakaria – “If you look throughout history, you’ll find that such brutality often works. The killings in Tiananmen Square did disperse the pro-democracy movement in China. For more examples, look at Hungary in 1956 or Czechoslovakia in 1968.”

Again, it’s the 21st century, and there are hardly the kind of super power rivalries that existed before. Today every country’s decision (outside of YOUR Muslim world) is based on economic considerations alone, and NOT ideology (that is unfortunately confined to our country only with the neo-conservatives in the GOP….which I am sure you readily agree with!)

d) Zakaria – “The regional or global consequences of low-grade civil war in Syria are limited. Syria is not an oil-producing country. It is not right next door to the Strait of Hormuz. It is not a vital supply route. Syria has been an isolated country for a while.

Are you scared that with the Assad regime gone, the axis that is building up between Iran, Syria, Hezbollah & Hamas (and now also Turkey) to DESTROY Israel (which is something you fervently dream of !!!) could be disturbed?

e) Zakaria – “We have to think carefully about when and where the U.S. uses its military power. It should be in places where we feel the costs are not high, the dangers are not huge, and the likelihood of success is reasonable. There is no point in getting involved in a military intervention that is going to be a fiasco, ultimately won’t work, or will backfire.”

Most Americans do believe that the US should not intervene…NOT militarily. But it’s rather ABSURD to think that, if we indeed do it will end up in faisco for us. Iraq was surely much different given the ethnic divisons that Iran could readily encash on,, and Afghanistan’s problem is alive & well ONLY NOT b’coz of Iran, but b’coz of PAKISTAN whom we consider an ally.

f) Zakaria – "We have to think carefully about when and where the U.S. uses its military power. It should be in places where we feel the costs are not high, the dangers are not huge, and the likelihood of success is reasonable. There is no point in getting involved in a military intervention that is going to be a fiasco, ultimately won’t work, or will backfire.

Really backfire?

You are TRULY AMAZING Mr.Zakaria!

February 14, 2012 at 10:58 am | Reply
• Aaron Goldfarb

The rogue nuclear terrorist state of Israel will be wiped off the map by China. Nobody can put up with Israel trying to expand into a Greater Israel any more, it is destabilizing the very important oil region.

Israel needs to be occupied by the UN and a Chinese enforced no-fly zone over Israel to stop the Gaza killings.

February 15, 2012 at 1:26 am | Reply
• Mike Houston

Goldfarb, China doesn't care one damn bit about about anything but its own desperate efforts to stave
off Syria-like unrest in China. China couldn't enforce a "no fly zone" anywhere in the world except over
Taiwan or Tibet. China is no friend to anyone anywhere. So quit hoping for a "Chinese solution" to Mideastern
ethnic and civil catastrophes. Nobody is going to wipe Israel off the map. The Israelis will see to that.

February 15, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
• Amit-Atlanta-USA

Mike:

I entirely agree with you. China is probably just the only nation in the world that is pursuing its own agenda and nobody else's. The China of today cares two hoots about ideology, what they are interested in is making themselves rich & big enough (by whatever means they can) to ULTIMATELY challenge the US. That's their one & only goal.

February 15, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
• Tahir

The foolish Americans believed the wrong report of weapons of mass destruction despite Germany and France did not, why they will not believe Zakaria. Still you need any proof of American foolishness.

February 15, 2012 at 6:15 am | Reply
56. Oscar D

I am not very knowledgeable about Syria but isn't this a tribal fight. It appears that the Assad regime is not breaking apart because they are all of the Alawite tribe. The Alawites, a minority tribe in Syria, are afraid if they lose power they will be repressed or possibly exterminated.

February 14, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Reply
• Tahir

According to the rule of democracy minority's voice cannot be heard.Everything is done what majority wants, whats the problem if they face problem.It is you who give lessons of democracy so let the majority do what it wants.

February 15, 2012 at 3:32 am | Reply
57. Rend O. Ayar

Dear mr. Zakaria,
I enjoyed your thoughful analysis of the Syrian crisis. In foreseeing of political development, nobody has the crystal ball but passed events can shed some light as to probable outcomes, although invariably we get suprised by unpredicted endings or under-rated options. As I see it, there are several scenarios which may help one or more parties of interest in this conflict. First, who are these interested parties: Turkey, Iran, Israel, Lebonan,Jordan and to some lesser degree Persian Gulf Arab states, Russia, China, USA, and France and to a lesser degree other Europeans states. Current Syrian regime is acceptable alternative to unknown of rebels for Israel, russia, and Iran. China, is after expanding its grwoing global influence, so by siding with Syrian regime, they want to go against the dominant Western opinion. It does not matter to the what the nature of the conflict is. Overall Syria is not a major source of economic or ideological importance to them. Russia is in similar position with the difference that it is losing footing in the region with no porspect of cultural connection or major economical tie but they were an alternative of military suppler for Syria for 30 years and final point backdoor presence in the Middle East. Israel loves to have a benign enemy on their borders that can be used to its own internal political benefits. Lenbonan is too culturally fragmented to have a long term solid position vis a vis Syria. However, some like Hezbollah needs it as the transit source of arms and political support, others hate it as the bigger brother.So, a change it the Syrian regime structure, creats uncertainly for all of these lebanese groups for a foreseeable future. Finally, for Syrian merchants and wealthy elite, Lenonan is not a safe place to stash away their money. That brings me to the Persian Golf states who benfit from a prolonged Syrian conflict as the safe harbor of Syrians to invest away from Syria.So is Jordan, who has enjoyed economic boom as the result of regime change in Egypt, Libya, Iraq, and Tunesia. Saudi Arabia's take in this mess is to challenge Iran because they are to curtail Shia Iran influence in anywhere they can (examples are ample from investment in religious schools in Pakistan, to the support of Bahrain royal family and not mention their own shia eastern provinces). Iran on the other hand is set to be the main loser if Syria does not put an end to the uprising quickly. A prolonged civil war, will drain Iranian resources in support of the regime the is run by Alavite minority, is a safe point of Iranian and Iranian supported groups such Hezbollah and Hamas and a thorn to the immediate Syria's neighbor, i.e. Israel. Any change in the Syria's regime (unlike Iraq that worked to Iran's advantage) is a devastating blow to Iran's influence in the Middle Easte. So, what's in it for the West? A change of regime in Syria is in my opinion the major factor to exhust Iran. As a quick crash of opposition in Syria is what Iran is betting on, the prolonged low intensity war is their worst nightmare. For the West though, the only minor headache is what to do with an unknown future government in Syria.

February 14, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Reply
• Amit-Atlanta-USA

Rend:

Your analysis is pretty thoughtful, lots & lots of stuff for Mr.Zakaria to fine tune and spread it out as another half a dozen "MY TAKES"!

......That's what he excels in!!!

Having said that: I am amazed you call Mr. Zakaria's essay a thoughtful analysis!

This one sentence itself shows the UTTER LACK OF KNOWLEDGE on Mr.Zakaria's part.

“In today’s world of trade, globalization and interdependence, political instability in one country tends to get CORDONED OFF!!!!!!”

Honestly one of the stupidest statments I have seen from Mr. Zakaria........many of which strangely goes under the raddar with many people who skim through his so-called analysis.

Plz. check my response above.

February 14, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Reply
• Mike Houston

Rend and Amit, the two of you are as "full of yourselves" as Zakaria is.

February 15, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Reply
58. Russ

No one likes what is going on in Syria. Mr. Zakaria has taken a lot of uneccessary verbal abuse from people who don't know what would happen if the US would intervene military. First you have Iraqi Al Queda fighters entering Syria joining the Free Syrian Army. Would you want US special ops folks running into them accidentally? What about Hezbollah? Surely they will rally behind Assad and make sure he doesn't fall. If the US acts; will Hezbollah target US interests around the world and at home in response?You can arm the resistance; but the US doesn't have to do it. It's not as a simple as everyone is making it out be.

February 14, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Reply
59. Ken Margo

I have one Question. Where's Allah? Arab people have no problem raising hell quoting Allah when they feel wronged by others. It's amazing now that Arabs are killing Arabs you do not hear a peep or see a march from Muslims and Arabs. If Allah is as powerful as Muslims and Arabs make him out to be, I can't think of a better time for him to show up and put an end to this.

February 14, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Reply
• Tahir

Allah is giving a tough time to Muslims for their bad habits as Allah did to Jews when they refused Jesus. Muslims are not obeying Allah but the west so Allah can't help them only the west can help them and they are looking towards west for help not Allah.

February 15, 2012 at 3:28 am | Reply
• Mike Houston

What??? If you're representative of Mideastern or Arabic "thought" it is no wonder
that the Mideast is such a mess..

February 15, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
60. pablo

WHo is Zakaria and why does his opinion matter?

February 14, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Reply
• Tahir

Opinion of such people matters. A lot of people including the president will read and can get impressed. Have you forgotten the IRAQ case of weapons of mass destruction. It were these media people who triggered this war despite there was nothing in Iraq and all American believed that Iraq has weapons.Who made people to believe about Iraqi weapons.The same thing these journalists are doing with Iran. Even if Iran stops its nuclear program and submit its will to USA and Israel it will be destroyed like Qaddafi.

February 15, 2012 at 4:48 am | Reply
61. yosef

Unfortunately Zakaria proved to me that he does not know what he is talking about. He never lived there and he has no depth of knowledge about Syria. His analyses are very wrong. He does'n know the syrian people and does not understand the structure of the Syrian Regime. 3 missals to the Syrian Palace will bring the government down. The repressed Syrian people will bring the government down and will not take more than 2 months. There is no way back. The Syrians people only need medical and protection of the vivilians

February 14, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Reply
• Aaron Goldfarb

Al Qaeda is led in USA by the Jew Adam Pearlman.

http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/wanted_terrorists/adam-yahiye-gadahn

The only person wanted by the FBI for treason in over 50 years, is the Jew
behind the US branch of Al Qaeda - Adam Pearlman.

So why would Al Qaeda, filled with Jews, hate Assad and kill Syrian civilians? Answer: To build Greater Israel. Everybody knows this.

February 15, 2012 at 3:58 am | Reply
62. jomo

How interesting, first two bomb plots in two countries that are friends and business partners with Iran by methods used only by Israel before. and the next day some supposed Persian guy explodes himself. Please Israel it's too obvious, lets face it you guys are smart but Mullahs are a step ahead

of you when it comes to be underhanded.

February 14, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Reply
63. Aaron Goldfarb

Do we see Syria arming the Occupy Wall Street protestors with anti-tank missiles, sniper rifles and AK-47's?

- Aaron Godfarb

February 15, 2012 at 1:13 am | Reply
• Tahir

You cannot arm people against US Government it is a terrorist activity.You can arm people against any other Government if you like, this is allowed.The only rule that rules the world is Might is Right, so follow this rule you will have never trouble.

February 15, 2012 at 4:38 am | Reply
• Aaron Goldfarb

Might would like to rule the world, but Justice always wins out. Note the failure of the Roman Empire, the failure of the USSR empire. Notice how nuclear China now supports the Arabs, who have the oil, over the Jews who want to make a Greater Israel. China and Russia are blocking the Jewish UN resolutions, much as the USA has blocked UN resolutions against Israel.

Might is usually never Right. China knows this, this is why China hasn't used nuclear weapons on civilians. Using Might without justice and morals means that Might has no might, no lasting power.

February 15, 2012 at 5:27 am |
64. NAKH

Zakarea, you really should read more about strategies and look to the map of the world to understand that no one can attack Syria. Syria is able to turn the middle east into hell.
one more thing, all reports here on CNN said that All syrians are against Assad, while the truth is that Assad has the support of the majority people.

February 15, 2012 at 10:19 am | Reply
• Mike Houston

NAKH, how do You know what the "truth" is? If Assad had majority support he wouldn't need tanks and artillery to
put down (what began as) civil disobedience. Assad and his military turned it into armed conflict. Assad has revealed
himself to be no better than Saddam Hussein-a dictator who cares nothing for the well being of his people. He needs
to be removed (not by the U.S. but by the Russians)...unfortunately for everyone there is Putin in the way...
Syria's is about to go off the map as badly as has Somalia...

February 15, 2012 at 11:43 am | Reply
65. Seldon plan

I don't think you have considered the relationship between Syria and Iran. A civil war in Syria isolates and weakens Iran. The US sees Iran as the biggest treat in the middle east. An unstable Syria means that the US does not have to look over its shoulder at Syria while it deals with Iran. Hence no US advantage to intervene. In addition, If the US does intervene can it handle military action in Afghanistan, Syria and Iran at the same time. This may seem cold analysis, but its the way i see it.

February 15, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Reply
66. bam bam bam lets bam iran

we must attack iran now before it is too late when we do iran, the other thugs in syria , bashar al kalb and hizboalla the evil parties and terrorists will fall.....

February 16, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Reply
67. Tahir

The best comment I have ever seen.

February 14, 2012 at 10:30 am | Reply