Syria Veto ‘Outrageous’, so says UN envoy, Susan Rice in regards to a Chinese and Russian veto against a resolution regarding Syria. The Vote was supported by 13 other security council members, including the US. We take the exact opposite approach.
We sometimes are forced to veer into the world of politics because of potential world changing events. We have an unfortunately very solid record of political predictions in the Middle East and North Africa. If only our stock picks were as good, we would be making some nice money!
Michael Zimmerman’s Prentice Capital had an excellent year
Prentice Capital's Long/ Short Equity Fund was up 26% net for the fourth quarter, bringing its full-year return to 53.6% for 2020. In his fourth-quarter letter to investors, which was reviewed by ValueWalk, Michael Zimmerman said the development of COVID-19 vaccines, continued easy money and clarity in the election drove a risk-on environment. Q4 2020 Read More
For this article we will assume the readers are familiar with the basic details of the Middle East, anyone who is not can feel free to ask in the comments section. Everyone we will cite as a fact can be found publicly.
Syria is now at a real potential crossroads. Not only will the outcome effect the events in the region, they have a serious possibility to ignite a World War. We are not conspiracy theorists or perma-bears, but we will explain why this is a real likelihood, which we hope never sees the light of day.
In the early days of the rebellion in Syria no one besides us predicted that there would be large army defections, expect us. Here again the media was totally wrong while we were correct.
Just one examples from March 2011 when the uprising was Beginning (hard to find many articles from back then) from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
The Syrian military isn’t likely to turn on Assad or defect in large numbers, as was the case in Egypt, Libya and Yemen.
Many other ‘experts’ predicted the same thing.
On twitter we stated (we cannot find old tweets if anyone can find it we would be grateful), that everywhere besides Stratfor stated that the army was 70% Sunni.
Quick facts about Syria: The Alawaites, of which Assad is a member, have been ruling the country for close to 40 years. They only make up 10% of the population but controlled the other 90% with an iron fist (a classic apartheid Government). The vast majority; 75% are Sunni Arabs, the other 25% are Christian Arabs, Druze, and Kurds.
The Sunnis made up 70% of the military, which we doubted would fire on their own people in support of Assad. Now the Syrian Free Army runs in upwards of 10,000 soldiers possibly. The only ones remaining loyal to Assad are the Alawites who make up the other 30% of the Syrian army.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to policy: Idealism and pragmatisim. We believe according to both these philosophies that action in Syria is unwarranted and dangerous. We will weave the argument into one.
Idealism: Assad is waging a brutal war of terror against his own people. He is an evil man and in an a just world Assad would be shot by a firing squad.
Here is the big problem, Assad has chemical and biological weapons. This is not some Iraq war bogus claim, this is decades old and is an argument against war. Do some research if you dont believe us.
If Assad is pushed up against a wall like President Obama and many members of the security council wish, he has nothing to lose using them. In fact, he stated that he would set the region ablaze.
Malcolm Homeline a very influential political leader in the Jewish community met with Bashar Al-Assad close to a year ago. The meeting was confidential and Malcolm refused to provide any details to the press. Now that Assad’s days look to be numbered, Malcolm has provided some insights into the conversation.
One of the things Assad told him is that Assad would fight to the death. After 40 years of oppression by the Alawities, the Sunnis are going to have a bloody revenge. Assad realizes this and therefore will not stop unless he is forced to.
There is a grave chance Assad will launch these weapons on Israel, Turkey, even large Sunni areas within Syria, if he feels the end is near. This could lead to 100s of thousands, if not millions of deaths.
We would like to think that the Obama administration takes into concideration these scenarios. However based on recent events we are highly skeptical.
Then there is the day after problem, which plagued Iraq and now has created a huge power vaccum in Libya and Egypt.
Assuming Assad does not start World War III, what will happen to the weapons of mass destruction? In Libya 20,000 advanced shoulder to air missiles were left laying around after Qaddafi fell. thousands of these missiles have gone missing. Some have went to Gaza, some have went to other terrorist organizations in Africa and other places in the world. We hope we are wrong, but we think this is Fast and Furious x 1000. It is only a matter of time until these weapons bring down a commercial airline.
The weapons in Assad’s arsenal are far more deadly and it is frightening to even think what will happen.
Furthermore if we enter on grounds of protecting civilians, we are very mistaken. The Alawities will be massacared after Assad falls. The Muslim Brotherhood will likely be the big winner (with backing from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey). They will unleash revenge, just as the Shias did the moment that American boots left Iraq. This will likely be a very bloody mess.
We understand the humantarian concerns here. We also think there are positive strategic outcomes if Assad falls. Hezbollah, which controls Lebanon could see a similar uprising. The Iranian opposition would get a huge moral boost to launch another mass demonstartion and possibly topple the regime.
However the uncertainties are too many, and this could trigger a Mid-East war. For both idealistic and realistic reasons we are hoping the US, UK, France and other members of the security council be very cautious about their approach to Syria. The current approach led by the Obama administration is playing fire next to a gas canister.