Could Syria be worse post-Assad?
July 27th, 2012
01:24 PM ET

Could Syria be worse post-Assad?

As the U.S. considers what to do if Syria's president falls, a former director of the C.I.A. says the Obama administration should look to the lesson of Iraq.  Gen. Michael Hayden, who was appointed to run the C.I.A. under President George W. Bush, writes on CNN's Opinion page that  the mistaken approach post-Saddam Hussein is an important warning when it comes to Syria:

We should not allow the dramatic power of the most visible narrative, the struggle between oppressed and oppressor, to drown out the sad reality of another less noble story line - namely that this is still, at least for now, a sectarian conflict.

That this is the dominant narrative, the one that is most controlling and the one we should pay most attention to, is suggested by Vali Nasr's 2006 post mortem on Iraq. Nasr observed that we mistakenly "thought of politics as the relationship between individuals and the state" rather than recognizing "that people in the Middle East see politics also as the balance of power among communities."

We would do well to keep that in mind as the Syrian end game approaches. We should accelerate work to get the minorities into the game against the regime, hastening its end and broadening its opposition. The Christian and Kurdish communities have historic ties to the West that should play to our advantage in this.

Read Hayden's story on CNN's Opinion page

Filed under: Assad • Iraq • Middle East • Opinion • Syria
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. George Patton

    The answer to the above question is yes, especially if they put in another pro-Western stooge and tyrant like Mubarak of Egypt or Saleh of Yemen!!! Let's just hope that that doesn't happen! Besides, the U.S. doesn't need to rule Syria in any manner or form since it already has Iraq and Libya!

    July 28, 2012 at 12:27 am | Reply
    • Derigible

      The United States did not "put" either of those rulers "in place".

      July 28, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Reply
  2. kommy

    It will be worse, much worse, it will come back to the sponsor countries and haunt them on their own soil.

    July 27, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Reply
  3. Honesty

    Yes , it will
    USA , western world, Israel... Logic is like this:In syria they are called rebels but in afganistan the same ones are called terrorists!!!By the way the source is one and were created and supported long time ago first by the british intelligence al wahabi deal with Saudi and oil and protection... then the USA took the lead and that role of course a dirty role to fuel and fund extremists to serve its interests oil , and against russia soviets...etc and also the west and israel of course with the help of gulf countries saudi qatar... from the time of Brzenzki era ... and now turkey and the new islamist H.Clinton and neighboring countries to syria...But they claim to be innocent of all that and that makes me really laugh... specailly the media jazeerah arabyiah online websites...oil funded media, and CNN BBC...The problem that people are not stupid, and they know the truth, People got used to their lies and know their double standards, it is becoming really old.... they are doing this again and again and for a greater intertest and geo political interests gas and pipe lines... and maybe even exporting their huge financial problems , but till now syria and russia proved them wrong and know their intentions. Lastly what goes around comes around , it is just how nature and things work. I would advise the west and usa to stop funding and fueling those extremists and clean the mess that they created and to stop allying with the strict gulf like saudi kuwait and qatar... Syria is against any extremist and they fight them, and in Syria
    they allow women to drive and they call christians, christians and have many churches and respect them they do not call christians kouffar going to hell therefore christians should be killed this is what saudi or pakistan or.... do and have, I really do not understand why the US and UK and ...are funding and allying with the obvious wrong side, the public should fight their corrupted lobbies and their blind interests.

    July 27, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Reply
  4. Islame

    Of course it will with Islame.

    July 27, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Reply
  5. saeed

    well usa and britain are doing this because they are losing out to china economicaly even in science and technology usa and britain have lost out to china so they lie. usa and britain want to steal the oil in syria thats why they are doing this they are bankcrupt. even iran has gone high tech everything fronm space rockets to nuclear power stations generating electricty.

    July 27, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Reply
    • saeedTheTowelHead

      Baaaaaaaaaaah, Baaaaaaaaaaaah, Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaddy?

      July 27, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Reply
    • Fearless Freep


      Did your camel pee on you again ?
      The last time you tried to "touch" your camel,
      he bit you.

      Syria has enough oil to start your moped.
      You silly towel head.

      July 28, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Reply

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