Kinsman: What would be the regional fallout from the end of Assad’s regime?

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August 28, 2011
Jeremy Kinsman
Former ambassador to the European Union and high commissioner to Britain

The regime will inevitably fall to the democratic forces sweeping young people in the region. Hopefully, Syria will bind together as a democratic state and retain its pluralist and secular personality. A democracy in Syria would be great news for Lebanon and bad news for Iran.

Western democracies cannot continue to fear change to the status quo because of wider strategic issues. It has been a costly illusion that repressive stability equates to security.

Assad has gamed Syria’s role as a “confrontation state.” Israeli government folk are said to fear that a populist democracy in Syria would be more sympathetic to the plight of the Palestinians. They probably would be but that is increasingly likely to be the case for everybody. The solution to that is for Israel to work genuinely on the problem, not to hang hopes the status quo can be frozen on the survivability of dictators.