Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Shape of Things to Come

Russia: More of the Same

By Maysaloon

"Firstly the conundrum regarding Russia's "changing" position is not something I give much importance to. The Russian and Iranian stance advocating "political dialogue" is a game of double speak which only re-iterates the narrative that Assad's regime has been propagating since the start of the revolution......

Rise of the Warlords

What I do want to talk about is something far more pressing, the shape of Syria after Assad goes. More and more of the discussion about Syria focuses less on the regime than on the security situation and the emergence of warlords in the country. But the creation of these warlords is not the only legacy that the Assad regime will leave Syria. The "day after" his regime falls, I have no doubt that we will continue to see car bomb explosions and kidnappings throughout the country. This will magnify the "Syrian catastrophe" that Assad's allies abroad will start to trumpet on about, but this should not dissuade Syrians from the path that they have chosen. I wrote at the start of the revolution that if Syrians wanted their freedom, then this will be a long and difficult path. Perhaps nobody expected the level of barbarism that Assad junior turned out to be capable of, but it was always naive for anybody to expect political reforms and sincere dialogue to emerge simply because of initially peaceful protests.....

The Political Battle

Politically, it seems to me a fact now that the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood are the only opposition group that is organised and of any kind of size. I don't know how popular they are domestically, but the hysteria surrounding them is disproportionate to their political abilities and foresight. Some people seem to think that if they have any kind of strength in a future Syria then the country will become an Islamic state, which is utter nonsense. The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood are far more powerful, intelligent - relatively speaking - and organised than the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood could ever hope to be, and they have not had the easiest time governing in Egypt. Unlike during the age of dictatorship, it is no longer possible in many post-Arab Spring countries to govern without consent.....

We should also note that regimes which were labelled "anti-imperialist" have been far more brutal and savage in their repression of the revolutions than the "pro-Western" camp of countries such as Tunisia, Egypt or even Yemen. In Yemen the Saleh regime, apart from being incomparably stupid and incompetent, was also much more hesitant in fighting an armed population that was mobilizing the most wonderful mass rallies on a weekly if not daily basis. In contrast, the populations of countries that were nominally "anti-imperialist" were brutalised almost from the start and this was because they had no weapons and there was also nobody to restrain the Gaddafi and Assad regimes. This is something that students of politics must not ignore; whatever attraction Arab anti-imperialism once might have had, it is no more. ......."Hezbullah in Lebanon might still try to revive this sentiment, but the group's preferential treatment of Bahrain's revolution at the expense of Syria's has shattered the trust placed in it by many, including myself

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