Revolutionary road: Among the Syrian Opposition
International Institue for Strategic Studies / Emile Hokayem
My conversations with Syrians in Beirut and northern Lebanon left me with the sense that the initial revolutionary euphoria has given way to a darker mood. No side can afford to back down anymore. Anti-regime Syrians told me they have gone too far to stop, and that the pain and death that would inevitably follow would massively outweigh the cost of persisting. In any case, they argue that the regime has suffered deadly blows to its internal legitimacy, lost any Arab cover, cannot resurrect an economy that may shrink by as much as 8% – and that, now more than ever, victory is in reach. They also exude frustration and anger at attempts to reason with Assad, writing him and his clique off as butchers and autocrats.

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