The Great War of Intervention

A handout picture released by the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) shows Syrian women sitting around a sheet covered with tufts of their own hair, as they protest demanding the that the fate of the Syrian people be decided by them, in Damascus on 14 November 2011. (Photo: AFP – SANA)
Published Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Over-excitement frequently inhibits reason and impedes rational thought. It makes for ill-considered decisions, which often backfire, and are invariably a leap into the unknown.
Many have been close to panic over the past couple of days. To be taken aback, or even shocked, is one thing. But panic afflicts people with an inability to deal sensibly with the situation facing them.
Syria is in the eye of the storm once more. The protesters in the towns and villages face a solid wall that prevents their calls for the downfall of the regime from being realized. The opposing rallies in support of President Bashar Assad have meanwhile been energized, provoked by growing foreign pressure.

Nothing seems capable of closing the book on the conflict in Syria – neither in the way the country is ruled, nor in meeting the demand for change. Just as it is clear that the regime cannot remain as it was before 15 March 2011, when the crisis began.

But the warnings made from the outset, that foreign powers seek to drive Syria into civil war in pursuit of their agendas, are now being proven right – in a blatant and undisguised manner.
The foreign adversary Syria now faces has decided to show its hand and play all its cards at once. It is in a hurry, and does not have much time. It cannot wait, and wants to achieve its goals within a matter of weeks.

It has become acutely aware that failure in Syria now would match the US’s failure to take control of Iraq. The task at hand, bringing about the collapse of the Syrian regime, would compensate for the collapse of the American occupation. The Western and Arab members of this coalition are acting as though the survival of the pro-American regimes in the region hinges on eliminating the opposing alliance.

What the Arab League did on Saturday was a minor prelude to a series of moves that are to unfold in short order. The objective is to change not only Syria’s regime, but also its regional role and position and the country’s overall foreign and domestic policy. The primary aim, quite simply, is to move Syria out of the camp of resistance to the US and Israel, and bring it under American and Israeli tutelage.
Speed, haste, and all available means of pressure are required, as the central mission of the US’s Arabs now is to occupy Syria by whatever means possible. Never mind the cost in Syrian blood – the blood of those who died struggling for real change in the way the country is run, or those who will die in various civil wars. For the occupation of Syria would mean creating an impenetrable barrier between Iraq and Iran on one side, and Lebanon and Palestine on the other.

The primary aim, quite simply, is to move Syria out of the camp of resistance to the US and Israel, and bring it under American and Israeli tutelage.

The Israelis and Americans have been talking for two decades about the kind of pressure the US’s Arab allies are now exerting in Syria. The idea is to destroy the ‘axis of evil’ by going for its backbone, after it proved impossible to smash its head in Iran, sever its limbs in Lebanon, or penetrate its heart in Palestine.
All the stops have been pulled out:

– Daily accounts of tens of people shot dead by the security forces will continue to dominate the news from Syria (only figures above 25 per day are allowed to be broadcast), along with all possible images of protests. Their size and location, or how they were organized, will not be revealed. Their key feature will be more slogans demanding international protection.

– Opposition groups will have to opt – with just two days notice – for a new coalition framework that is being set up for them. Any who object will not have a seat on the train of the Americo-Arab revolution. The new opposition framework is needed so that the Arab states can recognize it as quickly as possible – individually or collectively – as the representative of the Syrian people. Western countries will do likewise.

– The world should brace for an all-out campaign, conducted under humanitarian cover, aimed at depicting Syria as the world’s sole killing-field and holding the regime in its entirety – all of its institutions, agencies, and personnel – culpable. It will be blamed for the destruction that has occurred, the destruction yet to be inflicted, and any dismemberment that may follow under the guise of creating protected areas off-limits to the regime.

This struggle aside, the regime in Syria needs to comprehend that it bears the brunt of the responsibility for matters reaching this point. The longer it delays creating a climate of trust that radical reforms will be implemented, the more ammunition it gives Syria’s enemies, and Palestine’s, to use against the resistance.

It is no longer enough, today, to condemn and reject foreign intervention in vague terms, or as an opening or closing line in a political statement. For foreign intervention now has names and addresses that are clearly visible, audible, and legible too.
They include the US, the European Union, Turkey, the Gulf Cooperation Council, and all the Arab capitals that endorse this crime. They also include the March 14 crew, with their Lebanese, Palestinian, and Syrian branches. The Syrian National Council is among them, and all its factions and figureheads. They also include a sizable portion of Syrian dissidents who believe that foreign intervention remains preferable to the present regime.

This places a heavy responsibility on the minority of prominent opposition figures who could never accept such intervention. They must make their position heard, and make clear that it is categorical.
This struggle aside, the regime in Syria needs to comprehend that it bears the brunt of the responsibility for matters reaching this point. The longer it delays creating a climate of trust that radical reforms will be implemented, the more ammunition it gives Syria’s enemies, and Palestine’s, to use against the resistance. Nothing absolves anyone of responsibility, even when priorities change.

Ibrahim al-Amin is editor-in-chief of al-Akhbar
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

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