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Governments and Pundits Got it Wrong: President Asad Is Here To Stay

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17-December-2017

For six years, the pundits got it wrong. Now realizing that President Asad is here to stay, they are staying quiet.

For six years, the pundits got it wrong. Now realizing that President Asad is here to stay, they are staying quiet.

By Alamdar Khadr

The war in Syria has been on-going for years now. For most of the years that Syria has suffered from a foreign-backed war imposed on it, most government leaders – including former President Barack Obama – as well most, if not all of the mainstream media pundits from CNN to Fox News agreed that President Bashar al-Assad’s days were numbered.

In 2011, Fox News reported on a whole barrage of U.S officials who believed President Asad’s days were numbered.

In 2012, war hawk Hillary Clinton said that the sand was “running out of the hourglass” when it came to President Asad. She said more specifically:

 “The sand is running out of the hourglass,” and went on to say, “There is no doubt that the opposition is getting more effective in their defense of themselves and in going on the offense against the Syrian military and the Syrian government’s militias. So the future, to me, should be abundantly clear to those who support the Assad regime: the days are numbered.”

In 2012 when Barack Obama was battling it out against Mitt Romney for the presidency, also claimed President Asad’s days were numbered:

The claim was even made over 6 months ago by the Trump Administration’s Rex Tillerson that Asad’s future was “uncertain” and hence numbered.

This wasn’t specific to U.S officials only. Regional players like Turkey and its mass media were claiming the same thing. A whole host of Turkish newspapers, along with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed that his days were “numbered”.

The MSM, including news sources like the LA Times is now admitting that these pundits were all wrong. Instead of admitting their mistakes, the pundits are just remaining quiet. The LA Times correctly writes:

How strange, then, that we haven’t heard many pundits acknowledge their mistakes; they’re not itching to atone for having almost forced another regime-change mission based on discredited analysis. The now-defunct conventional wisdom was not only stubbornly anti-empirical, but unmoored from the political science literature. With few exceptions, international relations scholars seemed content to stand back and watch think tank pundits do the day-to-day Syria analysis while ignoring the red flags dotting the research landscape.

A major source of Asad’s weakness came from having to battle multiple fronts. However, as extremists had their sources depleted along with direct involvement from the Russians and the Iranians, President Asad was able to turn the tide in his favor by effectively defeating ISIS in Syria and isolating most of Al-Qaeda into the Idlib province thus reducing the majority of the multiple fronts he was fighting to just a few. It is now a matter of time until Asad begins to chip away at the last remaining strongholds of al-Qaeda once it completely finishes off ISIS as a credible threat in the country.

Alamdar Khadr is a blogger at the World Shia Forum. He lives with his family in the United States.

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