Sunday, November 13, 2011

Syrian Suspension And The New Reality In Lebanon.

The reaction of the Syrian regime to the recently announced suspension of the Syrian membership by the Arab League reminds me of the story about the proud mother during a military parade who was jumping up and down with joy and yelling to whoever can hear her: “Please take a look and note how all the brigade is out of step with my Amer, bless his soul”

A few months ago when the European Union announced a set of measures against Syria and some Syrian oligarchs in conjunction with Washington Mr. Al Moualem, the Syrian foreign affairs minister announced with bravado that Syria will act as if neither the US nor the EU are part of the world map. Two days ago the Syrians decided to erase another part of the world map; this time they said “Toz” to all the Arab countries. Russia and China have, so far, shown some lukewarm support for the Syrian regime although both countries have stressed that they expect Mr. Assad and his Syrian minions to stop the use of force and to implement genuine reforms immediately. Maybe it is time for the Syrians to dismiss another major chunk of the world map. It looks very highly likely that pretty soon the Syrian regime will operate in a shrunk world of its making composed of Iran, Venezuela and North Korea. Obviously they can always count on the unquestioned support of their Lebanese subordinates: Hezbollah, Amal, FPM, Marada, Talal Arslan and Wiam Wahab. The support of Mikati and Safadi will be ambiguous

The relatively wide official Lebanese support for the Baath killing machine is problematic at best. The Tower of Babel, better known as the Lebanese cabinet, is one more time trying to take a position and its opposite at the same time. The PM, Najib Mikati, has never tired of telling the world that Lebanon honours all its international obligations and will obviously pay its dues to the STL. Unfortunately he forgot to relay that message to the largest bloc in the cabinet, FPM, and the real power behind the throne Sayed Hassan Nasrallah. Mr. Nasrallah, an unelected official who acts as the PM, Speaker and President ; all rolled into one; has declared a few days ago that as far as he is concerned the STL does not exist, as if reality is something subjective. (If a tree falls in a forest and no one hears it then does it make a sound?) I guess not. If SHN decides not to see something then irrespective of the scientific proof that an entity exists Mr. Nasrallah feels that he can act as if it does not. Does the Emperor have cloths on or is he naked? Ask SHN or Bashar Assad before you answer that one. Their views are what counts, the truth be damned.

Then there is the Lebanese position Vis a Vis the decision of the Arab League to suspend Syrian membership. Lebanon dispatched its foreign minister to support the Syrian position and argue that Syrian demonstrators do not exist, the 3500 deaths of unarmed civilians are the fabrication of Western media, tanks and the full might of the Syrian armed forces have not been used against unarmed civilians in Homs, Hama, Dara, Latakia among numerous other places all across Syria. But to top it all the Lebanese President, Michael Suleiman, himself elected unconstitutionally, called Bashar Assad to tell him that Lebanon did not vote for Syrian repression but only to protest the punishments being doled to Syria What a joke. When would we ever learn that to take a position and its opposite simultaneously is a logically bankrupt exercise and what is more important that it is an insult to the intelligence of the public.

It is time to shout it from the hill tops. The Emperor has no cloths. This Lebanese cabinet is a sorry excuse for a government. Lebanon is ruled according to the diktats and personal whims of a certain unelected clergyman, Sayed Hassan Nasraalah, who does not recognize the right of Lebanon to sovereignty and independence. No one in this cabinet would dare take a position on important issues without seeking in advance the blessings of SHN. This charade has gone as far as it can. But what is equally clear is that the Syrian Baath has already lost even if, against all odds, it manages to stay in power. The minimum changes coming to Syria are a new constitution that does not recognize the Baath as a special party, free and popularly elected members of the parliament and a freely contested and elected president. Who would have even dared suggest such changes a few months ago? The new reality is that Syria will become more democratic, that all the Baath lackeys in Lebanon will have to adjust their vision to see the new reality including SHN.


Prophet said...

As enthusiastic as I have been about the Arab Spring, and as joyful as I have been that few dictators are out of the way, The Libyan experience with foreign forces coming in and waging destructive wars In order to eliminate Qadafi while supporting the most oppressive kingdoms and regimes, is very questionable.
Your approach to the Syrian turmoil is very simplistic. You neglect to point out any of the important issues in the Arab league decision to suspend Syria’s membership. I won’t approach the legality of the decision, and whether it violated the league charter or not .I will ,however, point out that when an Iraq invaded an other Arab member of the league, and whipped it of the map, The league did not consider suspending Iraq’s membership. Yemen ,has been going through similar turmoil as the Syria, tens of people are being shot by the police and the army, yet No one considered such a punishment. Why not put Assad to the test? Why tell the Syrian militants not to put down their weapons?
The point I’m trying to make is why the double standard, why treating Syria different than Yemen Or Bahrain? Why not suspend the membership of Saudi Arabia? Are we to deny the wider scheme of punishing the Syrian regime for its opposition to American and European dictation?

No doubt that the Syrian people have suffered for the past 40 years under the rule of the Baath party and the Assad clan, and there is no question that the Syrian people deserve to have freedom and democracy, but when you see that the most oppressive regimes are spearheading the cause of freedom at the Arab league, It becomes obvious that this is a bigger scheme than the cause of freedom and democracy for the Syrian people. A regime change that happens as a result of foreign interference and through military action taken by foreign powers, will never result into democracy. Any opposition group who seek military assistance to overthrow a dictators will end up being slaves to those who supported them. I hate to see a full scale turbulence as a result of this direct interference by The United states ,the European, and the other Arab dictators.
You and I know very well that a year ago when you wished for a popular revolutions against Arab dictators, You didn’t have in mind a NATO force helping an opposition to remove a dictator, or execute him without due process. Nor did you have in mind Saudi Arabia spearheading the fight for the rights of Syrians to establish a democratic state, and live in freedom. Something is very wrong in this picture ,Ghassan. I wish I had the answers.

Ghassan Karam said...

An 800 word column is not an academic treatise :-) I have many times before critiqued the Arab League and I have called on numerous occasions all the governments of the Arab countries as illegitimate. My goodness I have never ever praised the KSA for anything and never would. Actually the Arab world will never know democracy until the absolute monarchy of SA and the absolute rule of the emirates in the Gulf states ends. But this was not the point.
Bashar Assad is one of the most illegitimate rulers in the Arab world besides being brutal , cruel and reactionary. Only cowards will reserve their army to demolish towns and uattck unarmed civilians whose biggest mistake is to have dared speak their mind. I do not welcome the support of an illeberal regime but I will not refuse any moral support that will help a people attain its liberty, freedom and dignity irrespective of whether I am in agreement with what they want to set up or not. Bashar must go.
As for Libya, again I can talk about it for ever.What is clear is that Qaddafi called those who disagreed with him cockroaches and was willing to hunt them down one by one. He has done that before and he will do it again . So Nato helped the people get rid of their tormentor? I thought that should be a cause for celebration. Is Libya going to become a dynamic democracy? Hell no. Is Yemen going to become a modern state? Are you kidding? What about Egypt and Syria? They do not know what democracy is but they can experiment and learn. If they make the wrong choices then they will be back to square one. Is it worth the risk? You betcha.

Prophet said...

Ghassan, please don't misunderstand my outrage as a defense of Bashar and his brutal regime. My concern has been the possible outcome of this intervention by the Arab league and by the western forces who are manipulating the Nobel cause of the Syrian people for their own interests of getting rid of a dictator who didn't play their game as they would have wanted him to,instead of the true support of democracy and freedom.
I will disagree with you on the risk here. A change of regime by foreign forces can never bring democracy and freedom,but rather an other regime which owes its existence to those who brought them into power.
I know I can not have the cake and eat it,but I am very troubled by the way Libya's revolution played out,and I worry about the outcome of the Syrian revolution if it ends up in a civil war that would bring chaos for years to come. I wish I have a better assessment.

danny said...

Prophet I guess you belong to Rahi school of logic eh? :D


Free Blog Counter