Dabashi's main point:
Syria has now emerged as the site of a proxy war between two contending forces. On one side is Islamic Republic and Russia, and by extension China, that they don't want a post Bashar al-Assad Syria to be to their disadvantage. And on the other side you have Saudi Arabia, United States, and Israel, and by extension the Gulf Cooperation Council, and even the Arab League. They are also actively involved in micromanaging the aftermath of what will happen to Bashar al-Assad. And in between, as you said in the introduction, are caught ordinary Syrian people who have started these demonstrations, this uprising peacefully, and who will have to survive this brutal confrontation/proxy war between two contending forces. Chiefly responsible for this on one side is Russia that wants to have a piece of the pie in the aftermath of Bashar al-Assad. They don't care about Bashar al-Assad particularly. And on the other side is Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia, as a retrograde regime, is very frightened by what will happen in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. As we have seen, they deploy forces, military forces in Bahrain when it comes to their interest. Equally frightened is, of course, Israel. Israel is using the events in Syria, and also the fabricated crisis in the Islamic Republic, to detract attention from their own crisis, namely the question of Palestinian homeland.