It is true that if Bashar Assad remains in power he cannot be the same as he was before 2011 since his regime lost its “legitimacy” with the first drop of blood that fell from Syrians in Daraa and when the Syrian people asked for government reform and instead he sent their own army out to silence them with tanks and bullets.
It is also true that Free Syrians have broken the barrier of fear and they are no longer intimidated by his bully boy tactics.
It is true that Assad has already announced victory over his “enemies” who seek freedom, justice and dignity for all Syrians. However, this imagined victory will only serve to increase his fake confidence in himself and in the regional equations through which he believes he is the only skilled player in Syria.
Having escaped all accountability for the crimes against humanity he has committed against his people so far, Assad will continue to practice the most severe dictatorship that his warped sense of entitlement and complete lack of conscience can devise. Consequently, the poor Syrian people will have no alternative than to return to being a herd ruled by the Assad family for decades to come.
The hidden ways of torture and killing will eventually evolve into an open one. As it is a dictatorial regime, the country will continue to be terrorized by rogue militias and gangs of thugs (shabbiha) and this means Syrians will witness more blood-shedding, corruption, looting, and displacement. Revenge will be taken on anyone who opposes Assad inside or even outside Syria one way or another.
With Assad on top of everything, Syrians will witness an increased lack of morality, values and change in people’s convictions regarding their principles of what is right and wrong. And this in turn will lead to cultural ignorance for many years which has always been one of Assad’s goals because ignorant people are easier to manipulate and control.
As the Assad regime’s survival is due to the military intervention of its allies, they are going to want something in return for the investment they have made and Syria will no longer belong to Syrians at all and the poor will become poorer as the rich supporters of Assad become even richer.
The Russian occupiers will prevail and will control military, security and of course strategic sectors. As for the Iranian occupation, it will expand to promote and spread of its religious and cultural doctrine all over Syria. The Assad regime’s survival is a success for the Persian project in the Middle East and reaching that goal will eventually turn Syria into cantons, with sectarian and ethnic domination regionally.
Arbitrary arrests and torture will continue and the wall of fear will be rebuilt. And the regime will work on playing with the demography of Syria. More foreigners will be imported to serve the regime’s goals of “Useful Syria” as it calls it.
If Assad regime remains in power, it can only offer Syrians under its control more insecurity, more corruption, more brutality, chaos and ignorance and it can kill any hope for a better future in Syria.