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1. A clear objective: ending the dictatorship: As the world is drawn to the meeting of the Friends of Syria in Tunisia, it remains at a loss on what to do to end the killing. For a year now, a dominantly nonviolent popular revolution has been demanding the resignation of the dictator and his replacement by a democratic regime. It has not succeeded. As the country’s death toll near the 10,000 mark, many more are in prison, and the nonviolent character of the revolution is giving way to the revolutionaries - civilians or defecting soldiers - increasingly taking up arms. As the deadlock persists, the question is how the revolution can succeed without losing its nonviolent character. It is a dilemma shared by the Syrian opposition in its most expressive manifestation, the Syrian National Council, as well as the supporters of the revolution worldwide, including millions in the Arab world and leaders and societies of the larger democracies. The goal must be to replace the dictator. Left in place, Asad will continue to murder his own people. He will also send a signal to all others like him that the way to win is to shoot nonviolent protesters and hang on to power at all costs.


Jalal al-Azm, Sadek et al, Jane Mansbridge, and Chibli Mallat. "Saving the Nonviolent Revolution in Syria: For a Credible Strategy." Ahramonline (Egypt), February 26, 2012.