Sorry Syrian Allies

In the Anonymous chat room I came across a Syrian (Sunni Arab in Damascus) and asked him for a percentage breakdown.

He reckoned 1-10% of Syrians supported an internationally-supported liberation, 10-20% supported the current regime, and 75-90% supported self-liberation.

My true ideological allies are the ones who have the same ideology as me. And if I was living under a dictatorship I would want the whole world to come to my aid (and thus I try to return the favour when I'm not under a dictatorship).

However, figures like that are not healthy for a liberation. Iraq was bad enough - only 50% supported that. In Afghanistan we had healthier figures (85%), and Libya was probably the same (looking forward to seeing opinion polls from there).

Given that only democracy is on the cards (not cultural change to replace the nationalism with ideological affinity), I'd have to say that my allies are outvoted and will just have to live with whatever happens. If the self-liberation doesn't occur (my money is on the regime's automatic weapons), we'll have to come back another day (after Burma, or whoever has a majority in favour, have been liberated).

One point my Syrian contact made is that Syria would be indebted to Australia if Australia liberated Syria, and he wants to avoid such a debt. That is understandable so I think we need to make it clear that liberations are obligation-free. First it's not just one country that does the liberation, so it's not clear who the debt would be to. A transnational entity like NATO is even more obscure. First not all NATO members (ie Germany) even agreed that the action was appropriate. Secondly, Libya can potentially join NATO itself. Regardless, I think any outstanding moral debt should be of the form "it would be nice, but not necessary, if post-liberation your country helped - or even better - led - the next liberation". And come to think of it, the Americans are the ones who normally do the liberations these days, and I didn't notice them feeling indebted to the French for liberating them. So it's probably fair to say that no debt is expected.

Another point is that we should have a "war chest". All foreign aid should be stopped and we focus on making sure we have enough money available to pay for the once-off cost of liberation.

One more thing - the percentages provided may not be totally accurate - they're only estimates and the Syrian dictator is responsible for the fact that accurate numbers can't be obtained. However, the numbers are believable and consistent with other reports/dialogue/understanding I have of Syrians. It is going to be very tough finding the country most deserving of liberation, which is why I would suggest concentrating on countries that are enemies of the free world (like Iran with its nukes), so that we at least get ourselves into a stronger position for future liberations if nothing else. It's just that I had hoped to take advantage of the fact that Syria already had a revolution in progress - and leverage off that.

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