Do not play the Sorcerer's apprentice in Syria!



For almost a year, the increasingly extreme opposition between the Syrian regime and the Syrian National Council (SNC) has suggested an imminent civil war. Well here we are today: fighting rages on in the cities and in the countryside; violence spread to the outskirts of Damascus; civilian populations are held hostage by the belligerents. And that's probably just the beginning.


The insurgents of the Free Syrian Army are gaining in strength while the regular army is preparing to fight with its back to the wall, starting with elite units – consisting mainly of Alawites, as members of the Assad clan. They do believe, and perhaps they are right, having nothing to lose. If the mainly Sunni opposition prevails, the security of the minorities – Alawites, Christians, Druzes and Kurds – would be far from being guaranteed, despite the promises of the SNC.


As expected, the international community is reacting. The UN Security council is agitating.


The U.S., France and the U.K. want to “finish off” Bashar al-Assad's regime.


The Russians are looking for a solution more respectful of their interests, as Syria is their last ally in the region. They have a naval base and they do not want to be tricked again, as in the Libyan case.


The Chinese remain faithful to their decidedly non-interventionist line.


So to say, in this international context, the Syrian slaughter is just beginning.


Let's be clear, Bashar al-Assad, to put it mildly, is certainly a loathsome man. He has tried to be deceptive in the early years of his reign (with the active complicity of Paris and Washington!). From false reforms to broken promises, he has above all demonstrated that nothing had changed in Syria since his father's death. The regime remained what it was, a fierce and ruthless dictatorship that always resorted to murder and torture.


But is this enough to clear the opposition that some media are bent on presenting as “democratic”? In any case, we can remain puzzled by the indifference shown by western diplomacy, starting with the trio made by France, the U.K. and the U.S., in front of the active participation of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and of the Salafis inside the SNC and in the fighting that are tearing the country a part.


It seems that our politicians rely on the soothing declarations of the “Brothers”, who swear, without laughing, to build a democratic Syria, respectful of every components of the society. Or those from “experts” that assure them that the “Brothers” lost all their influence within the Syrian society since the Hama massacre and the years of repression that followed.


Let's be clear once again: in Syria, as elsewhere in the Arab world, the only objective of the Brotherhood is to take power. And their long term project is nothing but the establishment of a reactionary theocratic regime which by definition can not be democratic. And to succeed it can demonstrate infinite patience and use all the means at its disposal, starting with lie.


Until very recently, the Western powers did not let themselves being fooled. But, overtaken by the “Arab Spring”, we are caught in a dangerous spiral.


Just rid from Ben Ali, Tunisians find themselves with a prime minister from Ennadha party, the local branch of the Brotherhood. In the new “Tunisian democracy” the first to be intimidated are journalists and intellectuals.


As the example of Tunisia was apparently not enough, Europe along with the United States applauded the “Egyptian spring”. In this regard, it should be remembered that just a year ago, Mohamed ElBaradei the subtle Egyptian diplomat believed the statements made by the Brothers who pledged to support his candidacy for a possible presidential election. Today, ElBaradei is retired and the brothers have triumphed in the legislative elections.


In Libya, the international coalition led by France brought to power a strange coalition of former associates of Colonel Gaddafi, radical Islamists and tribal warlords.


Now is the turn of Syria. We can be sure that if the Syrian regime falls without its replacement being, one way or another, prepared, the Brothers will attempt to take power. And they might well succeed in a far more dangerous context for the population than what was experienced by Tunisians and Egyptians.


One can hope, that the five permanent members of the Security Council will agree on the best way to settle the Syrian matter and the departure of Bashar al-Assad, in the best interest of everyone, beginning with those of the Syrian people. Otherwise, the international community would have worked for the sole interest of Islamists from whose it will be “surprised” that they will not keep their promises and just replaced a dictatorship with another.






© ESISC 2012

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