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Reply #6: Violently repress peaceful protests for long enough and guess what happens. [View All]

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pampango Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 06:45 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. Violently repress peaceful protests for long enough and guess what happens.
Either you "win" and impose the "peace" of a dictator's security forces OR the months-long repression runs the risk that a small part of the opposition (largely defectors from Assad's own military, who got tired of shooting civilians) turns to violence out of frustration.

It's a good strategy for dictators. Repression of dissent comes naturally to them. When peaceful protests break out, they can assume that either violent repression will break the protests in fairly short order (and the world will look the other way) or violent repression fails and eventually creates a small minority of the opposition who to employ violence themselves.

Then the dictator can say, "I told you all along that I was simply trying to put down violent opposition to "legitimate" government." The strategy may not always work, but it often does. Opposing peaceful public pressure for more freedom is tough in the current atmosphere. But violent repression comes naturally to dictators rather than negotiation and accommodation which are bad for their job security, so it's not surprising that Assad would take a page of this play book.
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