September 25, 2014

To understand Syria, you have to understand where the policies came from that have sparked such inequality, unrest, and hostility toward the government. Thom Hartmann gives a brilliant analysis here, assisted by this article in The Daily Beast:

At this time, Assad’s policies were indistinguishable from Western neoliberalism. But he resisted parallel political liberations, and his main goal was capital accumulation while equality and distribution were neglected. While the regime used its power to benefit the few on top, the villages and medium-sized cities such as Daraa and Hama were abandoned. The gap between the state and these areas, which were left disenfranchised, was filled by the hand of lower level and underpaid secret and security police, or Mukhabarat, who relied on coercion and corrupt behavior. Islamic charities and schools stepped in to fill in the vacuum that the state created by shrinking the welfare facilities in these neglected areas.

These policies of Bashar al-Assad were directly intended to transfer the “public asset” into the hands of crony capitalists, privileged networks, and corporations in order to increase the wealth of his inner circle. Unlike his father, Hafez, Bashar also sought to decrease the reliance of the Syrian regime on Russia and Iran by expanding the scope of the sweetening deals that the regime would receive from foreign and other Arab corporations. At this time, the regime’s policies and politico-economic and sociopolitical agenda departed heavily from the original Baath Party’s slogans voicing socialist and Arab nationalistic sentiments and aspirations. These sweeping changes left the Syrian people in a dire state of need and neglect.

I've said it in far more simplistic terms before. Radicals are born in wombs of want. Look at Syria and realize that the Kochs and conservatives want this kind of world for the United States.

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