Tuesday, December 18, 2012

From Haytham Al-Manna`: my favorite Syrian opposition figure

"Various interested parties have supported the armed opposition. The Gulf states consider Islamisation as a protection against genuine democracy in Syria, which would pose a threat to their own regimes. The Turkish government considers Islamisation necessary for the isolation of the Syrian Kurds. The west, meanwhile, was happy to simply monitor the scene, hoping armed opposition would result in the overthrow of the Syrian regime.
The Syrian National Council, too, co-operated both financially and militarily with al-Nusra, as did the leaders of various armed groups in northern Syria. Despite all the promises made to the US delegation in Tunisia to break with them, co-ordination continued on the ground.
This is why the US deputy secretary of state found himself isolated in Marrakech when he classified al-Nusra as a terrorist organisation. The British and French remained silent, as did the EU, this year's Nobel peace prize winner. This was met with horror by many Syrians, the vast majority of whom reject al-Nusra. When the Syrian army attacks al-Nusra it is not as the suppressor of the popular movement, but the guarantor of the unity of Syria's diverse society. It is the alliance between foreign jihadists and some Syrians that risks tearing the country apart, leading to religious extremism, long-term sectarian war, and the persecution of minorities and various civilian groups.
Support for al-Nusra can be seen as both a symptom of the drunkenness of anticipated military victory, prematurely proclaimed, and an attempt to further undermine the political solution the UN still seeks. What happens as a result will not be decided by a conference in Marrakech, but on the ground. One thing is certain: the fight for Syria will last a long time, and will not end with the fall of the regime."