Sunday, June 03, 2012

A Word on Sovereignty

A lot is spoken about Syria being a "sovereign" nation, and that interfering with its affairs is a grave transgression. But the term sovereignty denotes the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a certain territory. When it is used in relation to a country then it usually denotes that the people of that country, through the government they have, are sovereign.

Why, then, is the issue of sovereignty still relevant for a country like Syria? Is sovereignty a concept that can be divorced from the people of a country and given only to their government? To give its security services free reign to shoot and imprison the citizens? Or is it not supposed to be linked to the people themselves, as a free people to govern themselves under their own laws and interests? When a government no longer submits to the laws of its people, and no longer enjoys legitimacy in the eyes of the people it is supposed to serve, then that government has no claim to sovereignty over the country. So what is this talk about sovereignty that the Syrian regime constantly harangues us with at every opportunity? An illegitimate government has no claim to sovereignty, and such claims are not to be respected by anybody. In effect, the longer this regime stays in power, the more they undermine the _real_ sovereignty that is the inalienable right of the Syrian people.


Devil's Mind said...

From purely technical point of view, interfering with Syria does infringe on its sovereignty.

"Is sovereignty a concept that can be divorced from the people of a country and given only to their government?" - It is divorced from both. Sovereignty -in this context- is about the country itself, not the people nor the government. Sovereignty means that no other country has the right to interfere with the internal affairs of another country.

On the other hand, Sovereignty does NOT mean that the people can't overthrow the government. And it does not mean that the people cannot ask for external help from other countries - if they wish to do so. Because although they don't have the right to interfere, once they were given permission by the people, that's a different story.

I8K said...

You speak as if all 22 million Syrians want to oust the president, along with his government. What you seem to be forgetting is the large percentage of actual Syrian residents (unlike yourself) who still support it and utterly refuse any foreign interference.
Thus, your argument is invalid.

Anonymous said...

The so called Syrian government has always been illegitim since1963 and since 1970 the -Assad family hijacked the Syrian people sovereignty . Now since 2011 the Syrian people are fighting to get back their prid and sovereignty.They have the right and they should seek for help from others free nations to get rid of Assad barbaric gang.