DOES the humanitarian crisis, which has been devastating Syria, lead to more conditions and counter conditions — or the best way for the opposition to protect the Syrians is to seriously strive towards stopping the conflict and counter blockades?
The Syrian opposition, regardless of its differences in political texture, was supposed to answer this question before imposing preconditions for their participation in the negotiation, that is, if it is really serious in its bid to end the suffering of millions that they claim to represent. They should not start a new episode of hindering and giving the other side more time to commit atrocities and violations.
For the past five years, the Syrian opposition has not agreed on an objective or set up a unified program. It has neither ousted the regime, which has scheduled a lot for its departure, nor managed to at least have proper control over the areas it occupies.
If the opposition went to Geneva under pressure from the United States of America and Europe, then it lost one of the important cards — the cover of millions of Syrians. Instead of going to Geneva with a single condition, which is to end the conflict, the opposition laid down conditions regarded as luxury, such as who will attend and will not attend or who will speak on its behalf or who will be its leader.
All these conditions were set as the ocean waves continued to swallow hundreds of Syrians on one hand — while on the other hand, barrel bombs, land mines and booby traps continued to roast children’s bodies.
Undoubtedly, the Arabs, especially those with just courses, have failed to learn from their experiences or that of others. Therefore, it is up to the Syrians to get out of the tunnel falsely named as, ‘the Arab Spring’, which has brought destruction and devastation to Libya, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon and Tunisia.
The Syrians should focus on Palestine whose people have one of the most just courses in the history of mankind. They have been suffering since 1948 from the injustice of the world that turned its back on them, leaving them to suffer in the hands of Israel. Even the interests of the Arab countries have eclipsed the rights of Palestinians, making us wonder if Syria will wait for 70 years before realizing that the solution does not come from outside. They should impose the solution and the world shall submit to it. They need to be convinced that the United States of America and the European Union will never let go of their interests, along with Russia and Iran, just to please the Syrians.
In fact, even the Arab countries that support their course will never allow their strategic interests to be left in the open for the sake of Syrians, especially after five years of trying all kinds of war on the regime. Instead of becoming weaker from inside, the regime has become stronger, to a point where the exit issue is no longer an international priority.
Actually, someone in the Western world is looking for a window of communication with the regime. It is difficult not to wonder whether the opposition, which is divided within itself and disharmonized in the least principles of negotiation, can impose its conditions. It is also difficult not to wonder if the Syrian opposition thinks it can change reality through its arrogance and heroic statements on television.
The Syrian opposition delegation in Geneva today can get what it wants if it works based on the principle, “Take and demand.” Without this principle, the Syrian crisis is bound to continue and its flames will spread — thereby, making the problem more complicated for the Arabs.
Five years after the hell which this small world of ours has been living in, it is imperative for everyone to read and deliberate on the outcome of the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ and benefit from the experience.
Everyone should thank Almighty Allah for saving several countries, such as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, other GCC countries and Egypt, from the claws of such ‘spring’ through wisdom. Otherwise, all the Arab nations would have been living in one of the most devastating bloody crisis seen in history — let alone displacement, poverty and hunger.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times