Skip to main content

Home/ Arab-spring/ Group items tagged Syria arabspring

Rss Feed Group items tagged

Ed Webb

Syrian opposition: united, peaceful, and not Islamist. - By Michael Weiss - Slate Magazine - 0 views

  • The Henry Jackson Society, the London-based foreign-policy think tank where I work, has spent the last several weeks investigating the Syrian opposition and talking to key figures in six major cities in upheaval. The evidence suggests that this revolution is the most liberal and Western-friendly of any of the Arab Spring uprisings. That it's also the least supported by the West is a tragedy.
  • The six oppositionists we spoke to in Syria all regarded the revolution as a confessionally and tribally unified endeavor. The sectarianism, they said, was wholly on Assad's side. Even Kurds have marched under the Syrian flag, something unthinkable in years past. Indeed, May 27 was nicknamed "Azadi Friday" for a Kurdish word meaning freedom, underscoring the solidarity that exists between Syrian Arabs and a long-oppressed tribal minority. The oppositionist in Hama, Syria's fourth-largest city, assured us that Christians had joined in Friday prayers at the Great Mosque in that city. "Druze, Sunni, Alawite and Kurd—we will never stop," echoed our source in Homs, in western Syria.
  • Signed by 150 oppositionists both inside Syria and in exile, the statement echoes the demands of the coordinating committees but also addresses how to transition Syria from a totalitarian dictatorship to a pluralist democracy. It's explicitly based on the Eastern European, Latin American, and South African models
  • ...5 more annotations...
  • the Syrian army is a good place to seek out independents—most of the officer class is Sunni, rather than Alawite like Assad and his cabal. One oppositionist in Deraa told us that the army is popularly seen as more a cat's-paw of the regime rather than an ideological extension of it:

    The army has no clue what is going on. They think we are armed people, and they are working under the guidance of shabbiha and the security forces. We have started to notice and hear of splits, and the longer we drag this out, the more apparent it becomes, because you can't be at war with Salafists in every city in your country and not have contact with your family or the outside world for several months. There will be a point that someone [from the army] will say, "That is it, enough! This has to stop."

  • t doesn't mean that Syrian Islamists pose no threat to the opposition or to whatever government might emerge if and when Assad is ousted. But it demonstrates their political weakness relative to their brethren in Egypt and Tunisia. Assurances from non-Islamists as to the makeup of the opposition might be mistaken for special pleading; but clear victories in their wrangles for representative power are more definitive
  • Islamists can neither be excluded from, nor can they dominate, the political scene in Syria
  • the head of the Deraa Baath Party has been arrested and tortured.
  • Let Iran, Russia, and Hezbollah make the mistake of shirked solidarity
1 - 1 of 1
Showing 20 items per page