Wednesday, December 28, 2011

sexiness and non-sexiness of Arab uprisings

Comrade Laure sent me this comment in reaction to the post from yesterday:  "I have been thinking too about why the Syrian uprising was not as sexy as Egypt's or Tunisia. That's how I feel about it anyway and I find it very hard to explain it to myself. I did not react to Syria with the same enthusiasm I reacted to Tunisia or Egypt and I am not a fan of Bashar or the regime in any way (and I do take human rights seriously!!). As your comrade Laleh rightly said, that started way before talks about NATO started (although that was definitely a turning point). The reactions and positions of those you consider to be your opponents (or enemies) was a major determinant here. In Lebanon, the gap between the two camps started being defined when the first demonstration was called in support of the Syrian people and many, I among them, could not join when we saw March 14 hypocrites among our ranks, let alone Khaled Daher and Hezb el-Tahrir. Let's not lie to ourselves and admit that even our support to Egypt and Tunisia was not purely principled but also opportunistic, besides genuinely supporting and hoping for the freedom of the Egyptian and Tunisian people, many at some level enjoyed seeing friends of the US and Israel fall. The US stance on Syria could not be ignored here, hearing Clinton and Obama talk about toppling the regime, no matter how much you hate it, makes you want to support this criminal regime out of anger, just by remembering how the US administration is no less criminal everywhere around the world. Some did take this position on the ground of Syrian support to Hezbollah but for some like me who do not believe the Syrian regime did much to the Palestinians (rather played a negative role) would still think that if the battle is between the US and the regime, then yes, let the regime win but again between the regime and the people, only sadistic people would side with the regime. The confusion for me remains, despite the obvious urgent question of human rights and people's lives. The Syrian chapter of the revolutions is sad. Other components were significant in positioning oneself, like the developments in Libya, the rise of Islamism, the results of the Egyptian and Tunisian elections, the GCC role and the counter revolution, all happening while the Syrian chapter is still unfolding. In a nutshell, there are hypocrites on both sides and joining the camp of "neither the regime nor the opposition" is so not sexy!!!"