There are good reasons why Britain and other foreign states should limit their involvement in the conflicts now raging in the Arab world
By Patrick Cockburn
Wednesday, 27 April 2011
".....The uprising against police states, both republican and monarchical, in the Arab world is entering its fifth month without a decisive victory by either the powers-that-be or the protesters. In Tunisia and Egypt the political and military elite felt that, if they got rid of their geriatric leaders along with their families and cronies, they might prevent radical changes in the political and social status quo. In Bahrain the monarchy, aided by Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Gulf states, destroyed the pro-democracy movement and is terrorising its supporters.
Syria is going down the same road as Bahrain. At the end of last week President Assad and his inner circle appear to have decided that such limited concessions as they were willing to make were only being interpreted as weakness. They gave orders to their security forces to shoot unarmed demonstrators and stamp out all signs of dissent on the streets.
Repression in Syria may work for the moment. The government has a core of support based on the Alawite minority, to which the Assad family and top military and political members of the regime belong. There are others who work for the state and fear change, as well as Christian and Druze minorities who do not believe opposition claims to be non-sectarian...."