Video: Where will Assad go when the inevitable occurs?

posted at 12:01 pm on December 17, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

The outcome is looking pretty bleak for Bashar al-Assad in Syria — and even Assad’s regime is reportedly acknowledging that fact.  The Associated Press reports that Syria’s current vice-president admitted to a Lebanese newspaper that the army could not defeat the rebels, in an attempt to justify attacks on civilian dissent and support of the rebellion:

Syria’s vice president says the army cannot defeat the rebel forces fighting to topple President Bashar Assad.

The interview with Farouk al-Sharaa in a Lebanese newspaper offered a bleak view of the situation in Syria that is rarely heard from high level government officials who justify the bloody crackdown on dissent as a necessary battle against terrorists.

Al-Sharaa was quoted as saying the military onslaught on the opposition will not lead to definitive victory after 21 months of conflict.

Over the last few days, Assad’s Russian protectors have sent a few mixed messages, too.  The speaker of the Duma pointedly noted last week that the Assad regime was “not up to the task” of governance any longer, although the Kremlin hit reverse on another pessimistic comment from a Russian official over the weekend:

Russia denied on Friday that it has changed its position on Syria, trying to dampen speculation that remarks by a senior envoy point to policy differences in Moscow as the civil war turns against President Bashar al-Assad.

Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, a Kremlin envoy to the Middle East, made unusually pessimistic assessment of the situation in Syria on Thursday when he acknowledged that Assad’s opponents might win.

The United States said the remarks showed Moscow was “finally waking up to reality”. But Russia’s Foreign Ministry said he had merely reiterated Moscow’s view that any resolution of the conflict in Syria must not be based on Assad’s departure. …

Lukashevich said Bogdanov’s remarks followed the same “logic” as the Russian position that no deal should be predicated by Assad’s departure.

But Bogdanov may have stepped out of line by serving up a more openly pessimistic view of the conflict than any other Russian official because he did not realize his comments would be made public.

 

Perhaps we are reaching the final stage of decadent dictatorships — where to run. Nic Robertson has a few ideas about where Assad might find shelter, none of which sound terribly palatable, one ironically so:

Assad wouldn’t want to live in Iran? How interesting, since he’s been the mullah’s errand boy for years in their proxy war against Israel and Lebanon. Assad might be worried about the viability of the mullahcracy, especially given the economic collapse under way there. Saudi Arabia would probably be a better choice, but it’s interesting that Robertson never mentions Russia or China, two of his sponsors on the international stage. Both would probably accept Assad if it came to that pass, and neither are in danger of experiencing regime change.

In the end, though, few dictators see the end coming in time. Tunisia’s Ali was an exception. Most end up like Qaddafi or Nicolae Ceausescu. Such are the wages of oppression and tyranny, and have been from time immemorial. It’s a function of time, not of choice.

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I see the photo shows people over there carrying assault rifles. Can’t they just ban those? Wouldn’t that solve the problem they’re having?

JellyToast on December 17, 2012 at 12:03 PM

If he wises up and bugs out in time, my guess is Russia. While Cuba or Venezuela may offer him refuge, I don’t think he’ll appreciate the climate much (does he speak Spanish?). I don’t see China seeing any benefit in giving him refuge.

Bob in VA on December 17, 2012 at 12:12 PM

To the morque, if he’s not quick about it. Anally raped with a knife, like Khadaffi.

rayra on December 17, 2012 at 12:13 PM

Six feet under.

blue13326 on December 17, 2012 at 12:14 PM

He may retreat to the coast where the Alawites are numerous. The delay may have a lot to do with clearances of non-Alawites from this area.

He likely won’t run to a Muslim state given the way things are going in the world, and neither France or Russia would be too thrilled with him for political reasons. If he is no longer useful then the charity ends. Venezuela might take him, or a sub-Saharan African state if enough cash changes hands.

sharrukin on December 17, 2012 at 12:16 PM

To hell with all the others..

HotAirian on December 17, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Chicago.

rdbrewer on December 17, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Obama hasn’t met a tribal kinglet he didn’t love. Unfortunately for Assad, he had the audacity to oppose Obama’s pet cause, The Brotherhood of the Traveling Head-towels. No honorable burial at sea for this one, that’s for sure.

Archivarix on December 17, 2012 at 12:26 PM

I see the photo shows people over there carrying assault rifles. Can’t they just ban those? Wouldn’t that solve the problem they’re having?

JellyToast on December 17, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Hey, if you ban assault rifles then only the rebels will have assault rifles. Somehow, in this case, I’m okay with that even though the rebels are backed by terrorist groups.

Happy Nomad on December 17, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Video: Where will Assad go when the inevitable occurs?

I’ll take, “Where is hell” for $1000.00 dollars Alex…

The real question is not and should not be where will Assad go, but, what level of damage will he invoke before going there. Will Bashar Assad unloose chemical weapons of mass destruction on Syria and the greater Middle East as he is walking off the world stage?

On the tragic loss of 20 innocent children.

SWalker on December 17, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Russia and China will have him.

What’s with the picture of the Syrian Tea Party on the front page though?

CorporatePiggy on December 17, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Anally raped with a knife, like Khadaffi.

rayra on December 17, 2012 at 12:13 PM

Or Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

Happy Nomad on December 17, 2012 at 12:28 PM

rayra on December 17, 2012 at 12:13 PM

yep, revenge will be harsh for sure

DanMan on December 17, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Hey, if you ban assault rifles then only the rebels will have assault rifles. Somehow, in this case, I’m okay with that even though the rebels are backed by terrorist groups.

Happy Nomad on December 17, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Troglocons never learn, do they? Some day, you may understand that outside Israel, homicidal anti-American maniacs Mohammad Pahlavi, Bashar Assad, Husni Mubarak, and even Moammar Qaddafi are the good guys of the Middle East.

Archivarix on December 17, 2012 at 12:35 PM

Many do get away and take loads of cash with them. Amin. The Shah. Bokasa. Haile-Mariam. Marcos. Mobutu. Baby Doc. Bakiev. Habre. Nkrumah. Pinochet didn’t even leave.

It’s become harder lately since there are dedicated courts and investigating bodies to collect evidence and provide legal help (per Habre) and a few of these guys did end up under house arrest or jail.

lexhamfox on December 17, 2012 at 12:36 PM

The defeat of the SAA is not a given I don’t think, Ed. The FSA’s “Operation Zero Hour” did not go well. Other media sources clain for Damascus alone, the FSA may have lost close to 10K fighters.

And if they do fall, he’ll end up in Russia. But, I think they’re at a point where it would be better for their country to split. The brutality and murder commited on both sides ensures revenge and retaliation for a generation to come. Whatever side wins will require a heavy hand on it’s people, again, to control it.

hawkdriver on December 17, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Hawaii?

cptacek on December 17, 2012 at 12:49 PM

To Hades?

Schadenfreude on December 17, 2012 at 12:50 PM

He’s an Alawite, so I don’t see the Saudis tripping over themselves to take him. Russia or Iran. How about Johnson Island?

albo on December 17, 2012 at 12:51 PM

All in Syria are the enemies of the US and Israel.

The muzzie brotherhood in Egypt is worse than what they had.

Slavery is legal in Egypt now.

Sleeping with the dead wife is legal, up to 6 hours.

Women have no rights.

Obama and Hillary are for tyranny and so are all their azzlickers around the world.

Schadenfreude on December 17, 2012 at 12:51 PM

Into a leftist unarmed enclave…they deserve no less.

Schadenfreude on December 17, 2012 at 12:53 PM

And if they do fall, he’ll end up in Russia. But, I think they’re at a point where it would be better for their country to split. The brutality and murder commited on both sides ensures revenge and retaliation for a generation to come. Whatever side wins will require a heavy hand on it’s people, again, to control it. -hawkdriver on December 17, 2012 at 12:41 PM

I don’t think that Putin wants Assad, he has enough problems of his own. And, you are right, Syria will be a basket case for some time to come. I just hope that Hezbollah will be hard hit by the demise of Assad regime.

SC.Charlie on December 17, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Six feet under.

blue13326 on December 17, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Didn’t work last time!

Shy Guy on December 17, 2012 at 1:00 PM

albo on December 17, 2012 at 12:51 PM

There were leaked emails between his wife and the queen of some other Arab state (I think it was Yemen or Oman but I can’t remember) offering to take the Assad’s in.

The other element we’re forgetting about is Russia’s disposition. It would be very bad for them if Assad fell or went into exile leaving the country to the Islamists because they have an important port there, so who knows what they’ll do.

Walter Sobchak on December 17, 2012 at 1:03 PM

Move to D.C. work on Democrat Party “Gun Running Operations”.

Experiance counts.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on December 17, 2012 at 1:13 PM

He’s an Alawite, so I don’t see the Saudis tripping over themselves to take him. Russia or Iran. How about Johnson Island?

albo on December 17, 2012 at 12:51 PM

I believe you meant Johnston Atoll , nice place for Scuba and Snorkle diving. Former home to a very nasty storage site for Chemical Weapons, I think……

D-fusit on December 17, 2012 at 1:19 PM

I believe Anna Wintour will be able to loan him, and the missus, her NYC digs shortly. And I’m also confident that Abe down at the corner deli will enjoy putting a little special sauce on our boy’s pastrami on rye.

M240H on December 17, 2012 at 1:22 PM

Into a leftist unarmed enclave…they deserve no less.

Schadenfreude on December 17, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Boca Raton, FL?

Happy Nomad on December 17, 2012 at 1:43 PM

Some day, you may understand that outside Israel, homicidal anti-American maniacs Mohammad Pahlavi, Bashar Assad, Husni Mubarak, and even Moammar Qaddafi are the good guys of the Middle East.

Archivarix on December 17, 2012 at 12:35 PM

Careful, you’re making an awful good case for making the whole region into a parking lot for Israel.

Happy Nomad on December 17, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Pretty sure no Sunni-run state is going to take an Alawite head of a secular state. That takes most of the ME out of the running, including the Saudis and Egypt.

I’d take Venezuela off the table due to the rumors that Chavez is suffering from terminal cancer.

Russia is possible, but I can’t see why they’d want him. They’ve been protecting him because he’s a business partner, and a bulwark against the Sunni nutjobs, not because they think he’s a great guy.

It’s likely going to be either Iran, or retreat to part of Syria and let the rebels fight it out amongst each other for control of government. Which will inevitably happen once he’s no longer in power.

rightmind on December 17, 2012 at 1:46 PM

So let’s say Assad flees, then what happens to all the Alawites who have been in control of every thing governmental? Live happily ever after in a transparent transition to democracy with rights for women and minorities enshrined?

BL@KBIRD on December 17, 2012 at 5:01 PM