I BELIEVE every Arab who is devoted to Arabism, regardless of the extent of differences between him and the political regime, will never accept a state to fall just for getting rid of its regime. Such a situation is almost similar to closely-arranged domino tiles such that when one falls, the rest fall in tandem.
In the last six years, Arabs have been subjected to this bitter ordeal in Iraq, Syria and Libya. There are several armed factions there which are aiming to assume power. Egypt had almost followed suit of the countries that are soaking in blood, if not for its people who sought stability and refused any type of civil war which the Muslim Brotherhood Group was striving for directly and indirectly.
Today in Syria, there is an armed mosaic with no objective other than to start a war under the slogan “toppling the regime”. However, this war then rapidly changes for settling regional and international vendetta via the local hands on the land of Syria, which has in turn straitened its people. Millions of Syrians have been displaced, and the blood of hundreds of thousands of them has been shed. Amid all this, the armed groups have been increasing in number such that there are about 1,200 platoons with a variety of names such as Syrian “Hezbollah”, “Al-Nusra”, “DAESH”, “Islamic front”, “Jeish Al- Fateh”, “Jund Al-Sham”, “Jund Al-Aqsa” and many others.
All of them are claiming their right to assume power as soon as the current regime falls. However, the questions that people are not asking are — How many civil wars will transpire among these factions until stability is achieved? For how many years will the people of Syria be captive to this kind of situation? When the flames of the socalled “Arab Spring” erupted, followed by the fall of the Tunisian regime of Zein Al-Abideen Ali within 23 days, the fall of Egyptian regime of Hosni Mubarak, and then the fall of Libyan regime of Muammar Gaddafi, I believe some had assumed Syria will follow suit. We saw various schedules of the fall of Syrian regime of Bashar Al-Assad and also of when he will go to exile along with the pillars of his rule. They first said the regime will fall within weeks, and then they changed that to months. However, after six years of war, which combines elements of civil war and indirect regional war, the Assad regime still stands and is in control of security, military, intelligence, diplomatic and economic sectors. It still has a huge popular support base.
On the other hand, there is a jungle of armed factions, and several of them have joined with others. Even after that, there are currently around 450 factions. Each faction has a personal objective which is far from the ambitions and aspirations of the Syrian people in terms of freedom or justice or equality or even sending Bashar’s regime packing.
Until when will these flames continue to burn at the expense of thousands and thousands of displaced Syrians? What is the objective behind this frivolity? This question is directed at the regional and international forces concerned with the file of Syria. This is because this file, at some point, will transform into a curse of the innocent blood that have been shed. In case the Assad regime falls, will these forces be able to guarantee that the state of Syria will not fall, or even that this objective was not there in their minds? When Lebanon entered the tunnel of civil war, the accounts were limited only on each team to achieve its objective.
However, today after 26 years since the ceasefire, the country is still in chaos and is caught up in the game of terror balance between the militia warlords who gained influence through force of a gun, and engaged in gruesome practices of gangs and mafias until the common Lebanese turned his back on his “Lebanese-ism”. Regarding Iran, the issue is that the country, even after 38 years since the fall of Shah’s regime, continues to lack international legitimacy. All its terrorist practices and interference in the region and other places through its militias have not helped it in any way.
This is because the world is not ruled by blackmail and terrorism. Iraq is not in a better state than Syria. If Syria is on the brink of being divided into small parts, Iraq is rapidly heading towards partition amid the existence of scores of armed factions. This is exactly the case with Libya, which has been divided into smaller states. All this is because the Arabs did not learn from the experiences of either Lebanon or Somalia. When will they learn? The only thing that remains is to extinguish the fire in Syria. This starts with the major countries — regional and international — if they are sincerely serious about fighting terrorism. We should disarm the militias, repatriate the displaced and the migrants, and ensure that the people of Syria have control of their country. Undoubtedly, the people of Syria will be able to rebuild their country even without international support. After that, they are the only ones who should decide who is going to be their leader, whether it will be a lion, a cheetah or a beast, or even a crow or an eagle.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times