Terrorism: these techniques include bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, threats, mutilation, murder, torture, and blackmail. These actions will be used to provoke the government into overreactions that discredit the regime, alienate the populace, and demonstrate its inability to protect them.
Landis expects the insurgency to acquire an increasingly Islamist cast. There will be "Sunni sectarian recruitment, Islamic martyrdom operations, and all the aspects of Middle Eastern insurgency that we have seen used so effectively against occupation forces in the recent past, whether used by Palestinians, Afghans or Iraqis." Once again, a conflict that begins with essentially secular grievances will gradually assume the character of a religious conflict.
If indeed the Syrian insurgency starts to strike westerners as darker and more menacing, I suspect that supporters of intervention will try to work with that. They'll argue that Syria will be better off in the long run if it can skip, or at least shrink, the phase of the civil war that entails ongoing religious radicalization. And they'll say that outside intervention could accomplish that.
And maybe it could. I don't know enough to say. Meanwhile, you might as well go ahead and watch this pro-opposition hip-hop video by Omar Offendum, which was released yesterday, because it has a purity that may get harder to square with reality as time goes by.
This article available online at: