The plan won endorsement of the U.N. Security Council, including Russia and China, who had blocked tough resolutions in the past. But Assad held firm, shelling suburbs of the capital, Damascus" ("An End to Violence?" Time, April 2, 2012). Things may not stay this way, though.
The ultimate reformation or fall of Syria's dictator and government is part of a greater geopolitical rearrangement. Who could have fathomed the fall of major players across the Middle East? First Iraq, then Egypt, followed by Libya, and now Syria's Assad teeters on the cusp.
Certainly there could be operatives from different nations helping to depose longstanding governments. But secret ops can only do so much. Beyond this, random and extreme forces can change a planned strategy, negating the most brilliantly laid-out plans.
But there's more. This world is presently ruled by great unseen forces under one referred to in the Bible as "the ruler of this world" and "the god of this age" (John 14:30 John 14:30Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world comes, and has nothing in me.
American King James Version×; 2 Corinthians 4:4 2 Corinthians 4:4In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine to them.
American King James Version×). This being, Satan the devil, who "deceives the whole world" (Revelation 12:9 Revelation 12:9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
American King James Version×), currently holds sway over the earth's kingdoms (Matthew 4:8-9 Matthew 4:8-9  Again, the devil takes him up into an exceeding high mountain, and shows him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;  And said to him, All these things will I give you, if you will fall down and worship me.
American King James Version×). Yet even he can't do anything without God allowing him to for the time being. God is the one who ultimately determines who rules: "He removes kings and raises up kings" (Daniel 2:21 Daniel 2:21And he changes the times and the seasons: he removes kings, and sets up kings: he gives wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:
American King James Version×). The ancient Babylonian emperor Nebuchadnezzar learned that God can bring down a ruler filled with pride (Daniel 4:32 Daniel 4:32And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make you to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomsoever he will.
American King James Version×).
As mentioned elsewhere in this issue of The Good News, Scripture shows that a great Muslim confederation will come to dominate the Middle East, its ruler identified in prophecy as "the king of the South" (see Daniel 11:40 Daniel 11:40And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.
American King James Version×). The successive toppling of Mideast dictators, of which Syria's leader may well end up a casualty, could be part of a domino effect precipitating the rise of the final king of the South.