A basic outline of what is happening in Syria:
Israel would like to see Syria dismantled about the way Iraq was after 2003, for about the same reasons. Barack Obama, probably the most spectacular Uncle Tom in world history, has put the United States firmly behind this objective. The US program to dismantle Syria is being managed by US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, who reports to Hillary Clinton.
The United States has put its colonies of Saudi Arabia and Qatar behind Israel's objective for Syria. Those colonies are providing pro-opposition media and diplomatic coverage as well as funds and weapons for the opposition.
I don't have a good explanation for why Turkey is following Israel/the US/Saudi Arabia in trying to dismantle Syria. But it is. My best guess is that Erdogan expects his AKP political party to be rewarded with Saudi funds and that he hopes to ultimately see a pro-US partially democratic regime installed in Syria without too much destruction to his own country.
A partially democratic regime is essentially what Great Britain offered Egypt in 1922.
When at last the combined forces of the occupying army and the Interior Ministry were able to quell months of strikes and protests, the British were compelled to reconsider their position towards Egypt. The eventual outcome of that process was the unilateral decision in March 1922 to grant Egypt a qualified independence. Although the country would be governed thereafter as a constitutional monarchy, the British retained the right to intervene in any matters seen to affect the security of imperial communications, the interests and safety of foreigners on Egyptian soil, the threat of foreign invasion, or the status of Egypt's relationship with the Sudan.A partially democratic regime is what the US is aiming for in Egypt today.
“ ‘Full civilian control’ is a little excessive, I think,” Mr. Carter said, after describing a meeting he had Tuesday with Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, leader of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, or SCAF.A partially democratic regime is what Hillary Clinton is calling for when she calls for "reforms" in the other US colonies of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, UAE, Kuwait and others.
The basic US position, advanced by US officials such as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, and also more or less openly by Western commentators such as MJ Rosenberg and Juan Cole, is that the United States supports democracy in the Middle East if at all, then only if that "democracy" does not extend to popular control or accountability over issues the United States is most concerned with, particularly foreign policy related to Israel.
That's not really democracy, but it is good enough for Muslims or Arabs. This position is thoroughly and fundamentally racist (or bigoted against Muslim people, which is just as immoral) in the restrictions it would place over representation for hundreds of millions of Arabs and Muslims on behalf of fewer than six million Jewish people in Palestine. But that's the West for you. Even liberals in the West. That's Barack Obama for you.
As an aside, fortunately the people of Egypt at least have not committed the US' vision of partial democracy for their country and stand a good chance of ultimately thwarting US anti-democratic efforts.
Back to Syria: Russia would lose Tartus, a naval base that it has plans to expand, if the US successfully removes Assad in favor of a pro-US partially democratic regime. This would be a major strategic loss for Russia. Russia will resist this vigorously. It would be very hard for the Israel/US/Saudi alignment to make a credible commitment to Russia that it could retain Tartus in a post-Assad partially democratic Syria.
Iran did eventually benefit from the dismantling of Saddam Hussein's Iraq. It would have benefited more if the transition had been graceful rather than chaotic and destructive. Iran has also put itself into good position to prevent the US from retaining permanent leverage over Iraqi foreign policy.
Iraq has been destroyed, and is not now able to execute any effective foreign policy in its region, but when it rebuilds it likely will by then be independent and outside of US control. Until Iraq has rebuilt, it poses as little threat to Israel as the governments under US control in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, UAE and others. This is all to say that while it has become conventional wisdom that Iran benefited from the US destruction of Iraq, in the short term, until Iraq has rebuilt, Israel has benefited as much or more. That is important to note because Israel can expect to benefit similarly if such an outcome results in Syria.
As in Iraq, Iran would prefer to see a graceful transition from an independent dictatorship to an independent democracy. Unlike Barack Obama and the people of the United States, the leaders and people of Iran do not disagree with most of the people of Syria about Israel, whether that country is legitimate or whether that country's security desires should take precedence over other regional issues. Unlike the US, Iran has no strategic or sentimental need that any democracy in Syria not represent the perceptions, sensibilities and values of the Syrian people.
If Syria is destroyed, it is likely that a government that would allow the US to control Syria's foreign policy can ultimately be prevented from holding power by Iran, Iraq and Russia. US hopes of the Syrian National Council's Burhan Ghalioun becoming Syria's Hosni Mubarak are likely to be as unsuccessful as the US' previous hopes that Chalabi or Allawi would be Iraq's Hosni Mubarak. But that does not mean that Israel would not expect to benefit from Syria's destruction in the process.
We have not reached the point regarding Syria that there is a question about a pro-US dictatorship or partially democratic regime taking hold. The pertinent question now is how much damage can Feltman's program do to Syria in the meantime. If a graceful transition to democracy can be accomplished, the damage will be minimal. But the United States opposes that as a democracy would disagree with Barack Obama on the issues the United States considers the most important in the region.
Instead Feltman's condition, reiterated by Obama, Clinton and the Saudis, that Assad relinquish power in favor of an armed insurrection before any election, is designed to be unreasonable to provide a pretext for the destruction of the country.
So here's what we know for the future: Ghalioun cannot win a civil war against Damascus with losses of life anywhere near as low as what we've seen so far in Syria putting down the opposition. For Ghalioun to take power would require losses far greater even than the tens of thousands who died in Libya's NATO-organized civil war.
It is unreasonable to expect, and we are not going to see, Assad cede power to a pro-US dictatorship claiming to hope at that point to start an 18 month transition period to partial democracy.
Instead, unfortunately, we are likely to see Feltman's program for the destruction of Syria proceed. Even worse than Iraq, where US troops bore at least a small part of the cost, in Syria, Israel, the US and the US' colonies are almost completely isolated from the destruction they are causing.
As further reading, I'd like to suggest two links that tell similar stories and include details I've left out:
UN shenanigans on Syria by Aisling Byrne
Exposed: The Arab Agenda in Syria by Pepe Escobar