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Syrian Revolution: An Infinite Game?

Two year: continuous bloodshed, torture, shelling of cities and civilians, millions of refugees, tens of thousands civilian martyrs, two million kids suffering, catastrophic conditions for life, with the whole world standing still, silent, helpless, and too feeble. What was spontaneously inspired by the neighbors’ successful stories of the Arab Spring to topple authoritarian and unjust regime, is now turning an endless circle of hell in Syria. Following the revolutions in Tunisia (29 days), Egypt (around two weeks), Libya (around 8.5 months), and Yemen (around 10 months), there were shades of hope in Syria that enticed the people to follow the same path and end up with the same happy end. What they did not know was that the rules of the game over there are different. Actually, the game itself that Syria found itself in is totally different. By describing it as a game, I do not mean something like “conspiracy theory”, as Assad’s like to promote it from the very beginning, but I rather mean “Game Theory”.

All games in life can be either finite, with clear rules, boundaries, and  decisive conclusion about who won and who lost, or infinite. In this latter form, the objective of the game is not to win, but rather to stay in the game. For this, boundaries and rules of playing may get changed in the course of the game. The main objective in infinite games is for the game not to come to an end.

In good contexts, infinite players are those key influential figures who contributes to a better world, who are concerned not with direct payoffs, but with the long-term common good.

But in the evil contexts, corrupt players purpose is for them to keep the game running with them as key players, regardless of the size of destruction and harm this may cause to lives of ordinary people.

While in all other Arab Spring revolutions, the game was finite with two main players: the people and the regime, and one rule: game ends when either player wins. And the condition of winning was simple and clear: people win if they toppled the regime, and regime wins if it stays in power and people went quite and obedient again.541033_354634184641600_357012329_n

In Syria, the situation turns to be very different. While we, the people, thought that it is a finite game, the allies of this evil regime wants it to be an infinite game for all hideous reasons in their sick agendas. Regardless of the heavy bloody price, their intention is just to keep the game away from getting to an end. It is not allowed that they get alienated under any condition after these long years of hard work to be key players in the region. Iran and its arm Hizbollah strive to turn what was thought of as finite game to an infinite game. For this, they keep changing the rules, and consequently boundaries are in continuous change. You got it wrong if you think that their objective is for Assad to win. Their objective, as it is typical in infinite games, is for this crisis not to come to end, any end, if the conclusion implies that they are out of the game.

As shocking as this way of looking into this crisis, but all evidences suggest that it is the only plausible justification that can answer questions like: why is taking too long? why do Assad’s allies insist on their desperate support for Assad against all odds and even if it will cost them to loose all popular support?

But how would this help in answering the one pressing question: what is next? where are we heading to? till when? when is this coming to an end and how?

While infinite game analysis cannot answer such questions, but it may tell us one thing: it is a valid thinking to consider the situation where Assad troops turn into militias and conquer geographic lands in Syria in coordination with Hizbollah and under the patronage of Iran with the the one purpose of keep this game of existence running as its end may mean an end to their existence and role in the region.

I am sad to reach to such conclusion. I hope we never get into such an end, as the implications would be disastrous. I maintain my faith in the sublime purpose this revolution initially held: to end decades of injustice and demeaning of people pride and rights. What I know is that those objectives cannot but be in the winning side.. the one decisive winning conclusion.

P.S. This post is inspired by this article.


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This entry was posted on April 26, 2013 by in Syria and tagged , .


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