Mistakes regarding Syria

Analyzing the subject of Syria demands facing up to painful truths. My first reaction when the synergy of the “apolitical revolutions” called the “Arab spring” reached Syria was this: A very untimely attempt is being made. There are two reasons for this: The first is the minority-friendly and military character of the Baath regime; the other is the inadequacy of the necessary international conditions required to make such an attempt successful…

I have mentioned my objections to the friendly atmosphere that had formed in Turkey due to the Syrian spring… No one could have opposed the rapprochement with Syria and the other neighbors. However, the mildest word for the exaggerated approach which turned drawing closer to the Baathists into an Islamic project while ignoring the record of sins of the Syrian regime and not taking them to account for their crimes is “naïve.”

I think that in the root of our taking conflicting attitudes from time to time towards the brutality being experienced in Syria is an indication of our mixing our emotions with realities.

When we take a look at what has happened to date we see:

1- From the beginning the Syrian regime has been a military dictatorship with a problem of legitimacy. Minority solidarity comprised the nucleus of this military dictatorship. For this reason sharing power is not even a point of consideration. Either they will remain in power and continue to rule the country’s economic and political destiny or they will need to give account for their actions.

2- On the regional level the interest the Syrian regime showed on the Philistine issue was a political maneuver used to overcome the legitimacy crisis.

3- Their remaining outside the new world system took them closer to Iran strategically and the anti-imperialist rhetoric they took refuge in comprised a justification for their stifling every kind of request for freedom.

4- It was impossible for the waves of the Arab opposition movement that began in Tunisia not to hit the Syrian shores. However, it was very obvious that neither international conditions nor Syria’s internal make-up would allow for the Egyptian and Tunisian experiment to be repeated here.

5- It was almost impossible for global powers that were attempting to prevail with a military operation in Libya, unable to establish an order in Yemen and finding it difficult to stifle the opposition in Bahrain to intervene in Syria even in the name of liberal intervention.

6- Moreover, it could even be said that due to the issue of secularism the Syrian regime had the support of the West against the Muslim Brotherhood which comprises the main backbone of the opposition.

It is a fact that due to all of these the opposition movement that appeared in Syria began under negative conditions in every sense. Another reality is that the government, which could not even tolerate civilian protests for change and which acted with a military reflex, showed from the outset that it would not hesitate in the least to spill blood. The initially unanswered demands for reform made the Assad administration a target…

The newly elected Syrian Brotherhood leadership could not have imagined such a revolt before events started nor did they have plans for it. Their demands consisted of announcing a general amnesty and their returning to their country and participating in politics on a legitimate basis.

It is not meaningful to debate whether or not the “timing and method” are correct in view of developments that have come to the point of dozens of innocent people being mercilessly killed on a daily basis. The military character of the Assad regime which has been shaped by a tradition of revolution has begun to show a level of oppression that is not acceptable to any conscience. Those who can respond to the people’s legitimate demands with this kind of oppression can not be mentally or physically local. Only those who are alien to their own country’s people, history, tradition, culture and geography could commit this kind of blood bath. Absolutely no aspect of this killing can be defended or ignored. No one can side with the Baath spokesmen with anti-imperialist rhetoric.

It is difficult to grasp which strategic logic and what kind of psychology can drag the masses to this point in spite of it being known from the beginning what kind of response the Baath regime would give to the demonstrations. The perspective that sees all the people who have overcome the wall of fear as Western agents does not legitimatize planned murders that have been perpetrated. However, those who have stepped forth in the name of leadership of the opposition will have to give account for their lack of foresight. If there are those who trust the support that America will give or who are trying to blame America for the spilled blood of the Muslim Syrian people, they will be drowned by the flowing blood of the innocent.

At this point…

– It appears to be difficult for Western powers, America in particular, to intervene and remove the regime in the near future and stop the flow of blood. There can be concern that, as in the Bosnia example, oppression can come to such a point and there can be such a blood bath that America will be made into a rescuer.

– Due to the strategic relationship Iran has established with Syria, Iran is being forced to become a party to these events. This quandary carries the danger of deepening the Sunni-Shiite conflict in the region.

– In particular, the emphasis placed on the Shiite-Sunni-Alawi conflict in the announcements made by those called “scholars” at the meetings of the opposition is cause for extreme concern.

– It is obvious that in a probable Western intervention it will be asked that Turkey be used as a lever. In this situation we have to be extremely sensitive in view of the “They will applaud the Turkish army” romanticism in the conservative segment of society and the neo-Ottoman rhetoric that nourishes this.

– Just as foreign intervention in Syria will drag Turkey into a hot confrontation with both Iran and Syria, the regional balances will be deeply affected. In addition, there is no guarantee that Syria will be in one piece in the picture that will emerge after the intervention.

The continued insistence on power by the Assad regime, which has lost all its legitimacy, means the spilling of much more innocent blood. However, it does not appear that we have many alternatives in our hands for the cracking of this stubbornness. At least let’s refrain from language that will deepen the internal conflict and regional enmity.

lgili YazlarDünya, English

Editr emreakif on August 9, 2011



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