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Stopping Assad

Many moons ago at the peak of the recession, I quit a job that I loved with a well paid salary because I could no longer tolerate my immediate manager. My manager was a total spaz that focused more on the microscopic management of her subordinates instead of focusing on her job of managing the department. Within weeks of my mistake of joining her team we butt heads. The more I resisted the more attention she paid to making sure I followed her rules while totally ignoring how well I actually did my job. Upper management got involved. They said that if I didn’t conform disciplinary action would result. But within days of that threat, my manager doubled down on her stupid ways and I decided to take my own disciplinary action and fired the company.

Eventually upper management realized that her management style was problematic and demoted her to a position without any management duties. But not before her department became a revolving door of personnel and the backlog of unfinished projects became critical. I celebrated her demotion. I may have been unemployed at the time but at least her stupid ways came to an end.

I had quit right in the middle of the darkest days of our economic recession. I thought it was a powerful message to management that an employee would rather quit a job he loved in the middle of a recession simply because his manager was a doofus. If that’s not a clear signal that something’s wrong I really don’t know what is. At least that’s what I used to think. But an even clearer signal that something’s wrong is somebody planting a bomb to take out the management team.

A bombing aimed at the leaders of Syria’s security services killed three high-ranking officials and left President Bashar Assad’s grip on power appearing more questionable than at any time during the almost year and a half uprising against the forty two year dynasty established by his father back in 1970. The attack on the national security headquarters was a manifestation of the shifting momentum in the conflict. The decentralized and poorly equipped rebel force that has been battling government security forces had succeeded in taking the fight to Mr. Assad’s inner circle as it had long vowed to do. The bombing exposed the inability of the Syrian security apparatus that was thought to be the most effective and feared throughout the Middle East to protect government leaders.

The bombing killed Syria’s defense minister Daoud Rajha and his deputy General Asef Shawkat. The general was Mr. Assad’s brother-in-law, married to Mr. Assad’s older sister and was a member of the president’s inner circle. The bombing also killed General Hassan Turkmani who served as an assistant to the Vice-president. The Free Syrian Army took responsibility for the bombing and warned that more were to be expected.

Immediately after the bombing there was heavy fighting in the nation’s capital of Damascus. Government forces have a substantial edge with Russia sourced firepower over the insurgents that were mostly equipped with rifles. It has been reported that the government backed military is using helicopter gunships and armored vehicles. The rebels have complained to the United Nations about the disparity in weaponry.

Yet, a steady stream of defections continues to weaken the Syrian military and strengthen the rebels. With each and every passing day there are new reports of desertions from the ranks and officers. Defectors report that morale is low as the military tries to struggles to suppress the rebellion that is for all practical purposes can be considered an all out civil war. Even though there is little doubt that the bombing has given the rebels a major morale boost, more than seventeen thousand people have died since the rebellion began. And the Assad regime is far from relinquishing its authority over the country any time soon. The military moved to exact bloody revenge for the attack on Mr. Assad’s inner circle in a mortar attack that resembled the carpet bombing of Cambodia from B-52s during the Vietnam War.

A United Nations resolution to hit Syria with sanctions if the Assad led government continues its assault on the Syrian people was vetoed by China and Russia during a Security Council vote on Thursday. Diplomats from the United States were quick to condemn the move saying that the Chinese and Russian delegates were preventing a credible response to the conflict. President Barack Obama says he is paying close attention to the matter, but he refuses to arm the rebels with the same weaponry as the military saying that an escalation would only make matters worse. He assures people that help is coming and that the Syrian people need to exercise patience.

But the people have already exercised patience and Mr. Assad is still there ruling his people with a bloody iron fist. They’ve already indicated that they’re not happy and things need to change. And yet, people who might be in a position to help alleviate the problem want to move slowly and carefully to make sure everything gets handled in a methodical and fair fashion for all sides involved. These things take time. In the meantime, people tired of the status quo will take matters into their own hands in an escalation that promises to take both sides down.

But if I know anything about how those people feel, how frustrated they are at the lack of progress and the lack of sympathy for their situation, it would be better to have the mutually assured destruction instead of putting up with stupid for another day.

Sunday, July 22, 2012 - Posted by | Life, Thoughts

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