A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
October 1 , 2007 The State of Assad?
President Assad gave an interview to the BBC today. In that interview he admitted that Israel had attacked something in Syria early in September. Assad stated that Syria will respond at a time and method of its choosing. He made it clear that the Syrian response might not be militarily, but might respond in another way instead.
Israeli observers watching the interview stated that this is not the same Assad that we have seen earlier this year. Since the end of the last year’s Second Lebanon’s War, Assad has seemed self-assured and confident. This disposition was missing from today’s interview in which he seemed edgy and concerned. Syrian opposition leaders have increased their calls for a revolt against Assad. In addition, posters opposing Assad have begun to appear on Syrian streets. What the effect would be of the fall of the Syrian regime is unclear but the possibility of this happening should certainly be considered a reality.
There was a troubling incident yesterday in the IDF when a group of women soldiers refused to get on a bus to the army base near Gaza that was hit recently by a Qassam. The protest, it seems, was inspired by parents of the soldiers. Leaving aside the stupidity of placing soldiers in a place that is vulnerable for no apparent purpose, if the IDF goes down the road where parents can influence their children to not follow orders is very dangerous indeed. Two years ago there were the soldiers who refused to partake in the disengagement from Gaza because their Rabbis told them not to. Now soldiers do not go to places their parents fear. To paraphrase: this is no way to run a railroad.