Selling out the revolution won't bring peace to Syria

Selling out the revolution won't bring peace to Syria
3 min read
18 Dec, 2015
World powers will decide on Syria's future in New York on Friday. After more than four years of fighting, 250,000 dead and millions homeless, is this how Syria's revolution ends?
Syrians responded to the Arab Spring with songs, dance and chants on the streets [AFP]
It beggars belief that the Syrian people have to witness yet another round of internationally sanctioned acts of procrastination on the future of Syria.
 
Talks in New York looking at a roadmap to find peace between pro and anti-Assad forces do little to tackle the real cause of Syria's pain; the Assad regime.
 
Indeed, if anything, collusion with this despicable regime has become the norm, with intelligence sharing information between Assad's security forces and Western intelligence services, who are more and more at ease witj this close cooperation.

Betraying the people
 
Just as the Islamic State group (aka Daesh to those world leaders who want to hurt their feelings) was set on its path by a ruthlessly cynical Baathist regime. So too were other groups, all with the purpose of destroying any hope the Syrian peoples had for an Assad-free Syria and a democratic transition.
 
Yet the world remains almost oblivious to this and to the calls of Syrians on the ground and activists the world over who have been crying out for support, for a no-fly zone and for concerted efforts against one of the bloodiest regimes in modern history.
 
The recent UK parliamentary debate was ten hours with precious little said about regime change or empowering those who wish to change the regime.

It ended with a motion to bomb IS targets… and nothing else. It is something that Syrian activists have bitterly described as a futile exercise, telling us that such airstrikes will do nothing to stop the murderous Assad regime. 
 
No surprise, then, to read the opinion piece by Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif calling for a novel alliance between the Islamic Republic and the US/UK to fight extremist groups and move towards an all-inclusive non-sectarian state.
 
The op-ed is almost breathtaking in its audacity, insulting the Syrian people with a false piety they know only too well.
 
After all, it is the Iranian regime which has helped support Assad since his thugs started a gruesome onslaught against their people four years ago.
 
It is the Iranian regime which backed the marauding Hezbollah guerillas as they fought - and continue to fight - anti-regime groups in Syria. 

Tehran have also provided Damascus with one of their most acclaimed generals along with troops to fight side-by-side regime soldiers.
 
All throughout, blatant sectarianism has been used to justify this interference. The threat of the manic Daesh and the fear many have of their rise has done much to act as a smoke-screen for Iran's meddling in Syria.

Peace and war
 
Five years ago, people went out on the streets shouting "selmiya" [peaceful] and "ashaab assuri wahed" ["the Syrian people are one"].

There was no violence or sectarianism. There was a genuine belief in peace and a sincere hope that Syrians can enjoy freedom and democracy.

It was the hope of the regime and its supporters that years of bloodshed would exhaust the Syrian people while encouraging sectarianism and extremism to destroy any chance of their being a unified front against the Baathist regime.
 
As IS-induced pain affects more and more western countries, greater interest and more focus is turned to Syria.

Yet, unless this translates into concrete steps against the regime and with an aim of removing it from power completely - with Syrians themselves leading these steps - then no amount of airstrikes will help the Syrian people in their quest for peace and freedom.