Saturday, July 2, 2011
From the Washington post "How the Syrian regime is ensuring its demise
The Assad regime is counting on a sectarian survival instinct, confident that Alawite troops — however underpaid and overworked — will fight to the bitter end. The majority will find it hard to do so. After enough mindless violence, the instincts on which the regime has banked could push its forces the other way. Having endured centuries of discrimination and persecution from the Sunni majority, Alawites see their villages, within relatively inaccessible mountainous areas, as the only genuine sanctuary. That is where security officers already have sent their families. They are unlikely to believe that they will be safe in the capital (where they feel like transient guests), protected by the Assad regime (which they view as a historical anomaly) or state institutions (which they do not trust). When they feel the end is near, Alawites won’t fight to the last man in the capital. They will go home.