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Press Overhypes Weakness of Assad Regime

The attention being given to the defection of Syria’s deputy oil minister is part of a pattern: Journalists, especially in the West, let their (justified) sympathy for the Syrian revolt get the better of their judgement.

In this case, the media is describing this deputy oil minister as “a top official” and his decision to join the rebels “potentially significant.” This is far too grand a description. His defection is not part of a trend, nor is it a sign of weakness in the Assad regime.

One hopes more, and higher ranking, officials do abandon Assad. But hope shouldn’t trump judgment.

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  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    When a regime starts to fall, the cracks start from the very small, a few military defect or refuse to fire on civilians, next higher and higher officials see an opportunity to steal a march on other government officials and make a place for themselves in the coming new regime. Finally the tipping point is reached and the regime collapses all in a rush, but up until that point everything looks good for the regime. So, I wouldn’t be so quick to discount another crack in the regime’s facade of power, as with each crack the possibility of another crack increases.

  • tg

    He’s not even a deputy minister. Actually an assistant.

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