Joshua Landis, som driver bloggen Syria Comment, tror Assad-regimet fullstendig ble tatt på senga av opprøret. Dette var ungdom som for bare noen uker siden var fullstendig uinteresserte i politikk.

The great strength of the opposition today is it has no leadership, which means that the regime cannot arrest its leaders and stop it. The real leadership of the opposition are lots of young activists who are in their 20s and early 30s who are working the computers and also organizing on the ground, getting out these demonstrations. But there is no unified leadership that has common goals.
So far they’ve been able to stick with the notion of democracy and freedom as the major demands, which everybody can subscribe to whether they’re from the Muslim Brotherhood or they’re secular, Europeanized university graduates.
But if the state cracks down, as it’s doing now, it’s going to make it very hard to carry out demonstrations and the opposition is going to have to figure out what their next move is. Some will choose to go for a military option because that’s what they’re being met with.
The government is now trying to arrest leadership and it will go after networks and so forth but it will be hard because a lot of new networks have been established. This young generation has become organized.
The Syrian intelligence knows very little about this young generation. It never had to contend with the young generation, which was completely depoliticized a month ago.
Syrian intelligence dealt with the older generations – the old Communists and others – who they kept on throwing in the clink and then letting out every few years. They played rope-a-dope with those guys. They knew where they lived and they were listening to their phones and they you knew they could roll them up easily.
This is a whole new world. The opposition just blew up. Facebook, Twitter and the video effect have been monstrous. It’s mobilized this generation. In three months that this Arab Spring has been going on, the Syrian younger generation has turned from being a rather apathetic crowd that were materialistic, uninterested in politics and atomized, to being deeply mobilized and galvanized around this movement.

Landis er pessimist. Han tror Assad-regimet vil klare seg en stund til, fordi middelklassen ikke har sluttet seg til opprøret, men på litt lengre sikt vil opprøret ødelegge basis for at regimet overlever, som er økonomien. Kun vekst kan gi ungdommene fremtidsmuligheter.

Landis tror det vil bli smuglet våpen inn i Syria og at opprørerne vil ta igjen med sikkerhetsstyrkene. Han spår borgerkrig.

Why Syria is descending into civil war