Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Arab League Decision

The surprise decision by the Arab League to begin processing Syria's suspension from the organisation is an immense surprise and an act that has stirred the hornet's nest. Watching Syrian television online and I can tell that the presenters are visibly bored and demotivated. They bring some tired commentators on board and denounce with the same pale accusations and insults: a conspiracy; a zionist plot; a new Turkish ploy to slice another Alexandretta province; a Saudi-Qatari plot. There is also an endless number of callers willing to slur everybody who challenges the rule of the Assad's. In a way this will not likely stop the killing, but it is a huge political advantage for the opposition and, I suspect, it will open the doors for wider ranging actions from a variety of actors. At some point I think a deal of some sorts was made between the United States and Russia that a "local" solution using the Arab league was to be tried first. What happens from here, I can't say, but the fact that the regime has been dealt a huge blow is out of proportion with the importance of the Arab League. The League is hardly influential in itself, so we must understand this as a prelude to something more serious.

By the way, Syria's foreign policy will, in the short term, change if Assad is removed. The brutal repression that he has subjected his people to will make them reject any kind of strategic alliance or political stances it held before the revolution. This is unfortunate, but, I think, short-lived. There is a strong anti-colonial and anti-imperialist sentiment in Syria that won't go away just because a dictator abused it.


MJ said...
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MJ said...

That last part is a detrimental aspect regarding the stance of the middle class in Syria towards the opposition that blame the opposition for not being clear about their foreign policy and thus still support the current regime. They fear that if the regime falls then who ever comes to power later will move Syria from its historical anti imperial and anti colonial position to a supporter of it. To me for the opposition to concentrate on this matter is a waste of time since there are more important issues that need to be dealt with. Regardless, if the opposition unanimously makes its position clear on this matter then it will gain more support from Syria's middle class and supporters of the regime.