‘An imminent fall of the Assad regime is not an inevitability, but it is a distinct possibility.” –James Miller in a devastating analysis today at Enduring America. I agree.
ITEM: the regime hasn’t won a single battle since September but the opposition ha won dozens.
ITEM: Rebel victories have been lopided wins with half the garrison defecting beforehand.
ITEM: Many other regime “strongholds” especialy in the north are either on the verge of fallling or of becoming surrounded.
ITEM: Assad is rapidly losing his only remaining offensive weapon–air power.
ITEM: Damascus airport may soon be closed or fall to the enemy.
ITEM: Assad has cut off the internet to deter growing demoralization and defections in Damascus & elsewhere.
Miller doubts the latter will work and so do I. Dictators like Assad and Khamenei cannot seem to grasp what should be obvious by now: In the modern world, one’s lies, failiures and bad needs cannot be hidden from the people unless you want to live like North Korea will all the economic and military disadvantages that entails. Constant lying magnifies contempt and alienates the public to the point where nothing such regimes say has credibility, even when true, and the worst rumors become absolute fact.
Bad news will out. Assad’s troops already know how things were going at the time the internet was shut off. As time passe, they can’t help but notice the missing planes, copters and fellow troops or the rate at which they go missing.
For several nights now, rebels have attempted to take the airport. As Miller notes:
…should Damascus airport fall all sense of normality would be gone…Now it appears that the challenge may be serious enough to close the airport — maybe for good. The news has already shaken the confidence of the international airlines, hesitant to send their people and planes into what looks like a warzone.