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August 31, 2012


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I thought that the bet had "draw" conditions if Assad lost on troll of a large part of the country but was still firmly in charge of Rump Baathist Syria? That looks like a highly likely outcome to me, given the regime's inability to hold ground in large parts of Aleppo.

Definitely a win for you on this round, and the fall of the regime could take more than 6 months. Still, I'm now very confident of vindication on the original debate, which wasn't about timing, but about whether the regime would survive the uprising against it. I can't see this happening, however long Assad manages to hang on.

On air base attacks

Finally, please nominate your charity of choice. I like giving money to charity, so I'm keen to pay up.

@Bernard, yes, that's correct. It's certainly possible that the draw conditions could be met by March 1. I think they could use some clarification -- what if the regime has nominal but not actual sovereignty over parts of Syria, as is rapidly becoming the case in Syrian Kurdistan? Or, what if Assad is able to impose his will in any part of Syria, if he really wants to, but is unable to impose it on all of Syria at once? -- but we can discuss these going forward.

@John, Just wrote a post on the charity issue -- it should go up later today.

On Assad's long-term prospects: recall that the original discussion was about dictatorship generally, and whether it was on its way out as an institution. If it takes years of bloody civil war to remove a dictator, what does that tell us?

Doug M.

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