by Farid Ghadry
From all indications, it appears that the Arab League has backed off on its original plan to halt violence in Syria by merging the opposition into a newly minted half-Ba’athist (With Assad still in power), half-everything-else new government. The AL has exhausted all venues, attempts, and hopes at this shortsighted vision.
Personally, I am against the Arab League interference in Syrian affairs; a position most European countries and the US ignore. They do so either because they all benefit from a diplomatic Kumbaya dance to isolate countries like Russia and China or because they want the Arab League gravity to capture Syria in its orbit rather than leave it to the Iranians again through unintentional mistakes.
To finally realize the folly of the Arab League earlier push for a futile solution is a comfort but at what price? The Arab League responded to Libyan violence in exactly 25 days by seeking the UN and NATO. It took them almost 11 months to attempt the same tactic (And fail because of the veto by Russia and China). Thousands of Syrians have sacrificed their lives needlessly during those 11 months of violence.
Grant you, the UN vote would have yielded the same results 11 months earlier, however, preparing for a military solution would have been on the table back in April and Syria, for all I know, may have been free by the summer.
Nonetheless, better late than never.
This delay, however, has produced factors that may, after the fall of the Assad regime, cause great pain for all Syrians. The first 1,000 or so dead Syrians were considered Martyrs, the second 1,000 violently killed Syrians were considered Martyrs of the Revolution, but after reaching 3,000 dead Syrians, the Syrian Revolution took a turn for the worst when the Martyrs became Sunni Martyrs. This delay by the Arab League and the west to respond to Assad’s crimes against humanity is the chief reason why the post-Assad era may turn ugly.
Syrian dissidents that I have known for years and whose moderate position I have admired have turned into sectarian instigators. Articles written by one dissident prior to the Revolution are totally different from the articles written by the same person some 11 months later. To call the killing as caused by Alawis killing Sunnis has become so standard that any efforts at dissuading them from this fanaticism are useless. I am firing empty bullets with lots of noise but with no effect.
There is almost a certainty that many in the international community knew that delays will produce a more violent outcome. Nonetheless, the extra cautious position taken by the west and the Arab League is submerging Syria in a religious swamp to be ten times worse than the one experienced by Lebanon. In fact, it will also envelop Lebanon again as we have witnessed the last few days in Tripoli; and Iraq may not be spared either thus becoming a victim as well just because no one nipped that bigoted bud back in March or April.
Whether an immediate military solution to save Syria from Assad’s violence will exact a less of a price than the one we all anticipate if this spectacle of blood remains on course is hard to say. But from what I read and hear from Syrians today, Syria is a Supernova about to explode as the gravity of its divine religious gases collapse into its core.
Being the optimist that I am, my first hope is to be wrong in my analysis above; but if true, my second hope is that once the gas and dust eventually settle to form a new Syria, it will be free of any Assad on this planet or another Ba’athist ideology.Farid Ghadry
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