Snubbing the Real Syrian Democratic Movement

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Sherkoh Abbas believes that the U.S., “working with Salafi groups, and the Turkish government, would create an opposition in Syria that is strictly Islamist, and thus serve Turkish economic interests in Syria, and keep the Kurdish issue as dormant in Turkey as well as in Syria.” He continued:

By placing the U.S. behind such political parties as the Muslim Brotherhood, the U.S. will lose touch with the real opposition on the ground, which seeks democracy, peace with its neighbors, economic stability, guided by a pro-Western outlook.

Abbas asserted that only a fraction of the Syrian people belong to political parties and that the MB, aided by the Islamist Turkish government, seeks to hijack the Syrian revolution.

“The Obama administration,” says Abbas, “is doing nothing to support the Syrian people’s quest for freedom and democracy, and for the idea of a federalized Syria, which could reduce the influence of the MB, isolate Hezbollah, and contain the threat of Iran in the Middle East. In our view, the only people who will benefit in maintaining the current regime in Syria are Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas.” So, why doesn’t the Obama administration support regime change in Syria or provide support for democratic groups such as the Syrian Democracy Council? Abbas believes that the Obama administration has leveraged its policy on Syria by giving Turkey a free hand to sort things out in Damascus and Aleppo.

Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s prime minister, boosted by another decisive electoral victory earlier this year, has developed hegemonic ambitions for the region and beyond, and has assumed the mantle of protector of Sunni Islam.  In the current upheaval in Syria, Erdogan (according to Asia Times):

made a startling claim that what happens in Syria is an “internal affair” for Turkey and not a foreign policy issue, given the 850 kilometer border between the two countries and their deep cultural and historical links.  This is the first time Erdogan has hinted Turkey might intervene in Syria.  It wasn’t one of those intemperate outbursts for which he is well-known.  Erdogan intended it as a calculated affront to the Syrian regime and he had the Sunni Muslim Arab audience in mind.

Unlike President Obama, Sherkoh Abbas’s vision for Syria, under the leadership of the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), would be most endearing to Americans. As he points out:

What we want is a stable, secure democratic and federal Syria, a free-market economy, peace with Israel and a country friendly towards the West.  The current centralized Baathist government has proved that it is the cause of unrest, not only in Syria, but in neighboring countries and to the world as well.  Syria, moreover, cannot be a stable state as long as the second largest ethnic groups – the Kurds – are marginalized and disenfranchised.  If the SDC were to be in a position of power in Syria, we would respect Lebanese and Iraqi sovereignty, and we will guarantee security and peace to Israel.

Both houses of Congress, as well as the American people, must take the Obama administration to task for its policy choices. The Foreign Affairs Committee in the House of Representatives and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee should initiate immediate hearings on the State Department’s exclusion of the democratic opposition in Syria. The American people must be clear on where their country’s policy makers stand and are leading this country.

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  • Chezwick_mac

    From Honduras to Iran…Libya to Syria….Obama just can't get it right.

    • Jim_C

      Quite the contrary: he's rarely got it wrong. One thing whomever runs against him won't have on him is a substantial criticism of his foreign policy. Here at Frontpage, it always amounts to "If Obama's done it, it must be wrong." They were for getting involved in Libya before they were agin' it. And the killing of bin Ladin was the most comical, bringing out all sorts of crackpot theories that Obama had some sort of ulterior, pro-terrorist reason for doing so.

      Mind you, I said "substantial," as in, "Here's the factual substance." As you know, everyone can armchair quaterback after the fact–but who's got a significantly different vision for our foreign policy? (OK, Ron Paul, but we know where that's headed….) Otherwise it's just lipservice b.s. about "not bowing to dictators blah blah…."

      • Chezwick_mac

        Jim, You saw my kudos to Obama for the Bin Ladin operation and particularly the ballsyness of it (going in with commandos instead of an airstrike). Couple it with his enthusiastic use of drones…and I'd readily concede his Pakistani policy has been more effective than Bush's.

        But that said…

        1) In Honduras, he was alone with Castro and Chavez in supporting Zeleya's attempt to usurp the Honduran Constitution

        2) In Iran, he looked the other way while the Revolutionary Guards fired on their own people (while castigating Mubarak for doing the same thing)

        3) In Syria, his initial overtures ended that country's diplomatic isolation and revived the forces of Hezbollah in Lebanon

        4) In Libya, the problem isn't supporting regime change per se, it's supporting a guerrilla movement that is heavily infiltrated by radical Islamists.

        • Jim_C

          With regard to Iran, I think he could have capitalized on that situation better. He did impose sanctions on the Guard–anything further would have been a trap. Obama really missed his chance, though, to point out after the elections that "this is a country with nuclear ambitions and the world is watching to see how it acts." Simple bully puplit stuff. I thought he'd use the position he's in to frame issues better–I was wrong; he prefers behind the scenes work.


          Syria/Libya…eh…play by ear

  • andrew

    what in the hell is he thinking or doing…maybe he is trying reverse psychology; if america stops supporting it, the arabs will be more likely to support it as their own idea rather than an idea pushed upon them by america and maybe he thinks that if he invites the MB, the Syrians will distrust the MB because the US "supports" them and will instead turn to the democracy which the US has left out to dry???? idk…whatever he's doing I hope he knows what he's doing and more importantly I hope it ends up creating democracies.

    • Jim_C

      Well I think you at least understand its a tightrope walk.

  • tekow

    Who does this person, Sherkoh Abbas, represent? He is a PKK mouthpiece. He has zero credibility in Syria for his separatist views. That is why these people are sidelined among the real opposition. No wonder he makes common cause with people who are no friends of Syrian people.

  • StephenD

    “If the SDC were to be in a position of power in Syria, …we will guarantee security and peace to Israel.”
    THIS is why Obama chooses not to include them. The MB is much more in line with his vision for the ME.
    Tell me, if you were an enemy of America or Israel, what would you do differently than Obama? Yeah, I couldn’t think of anything either

  • Jim_C

    Abbas's group may give FPM the warm fuzzies because they'll say the things they want to hear, but that doesn't mean throwing your hat in with them won't cause chaos. And that's the problem with FPM's stance on these Arab countries–they constantly want Obama to throw his hat into the ring with this or that faction–for the sake of criticizing Obama. But how many people over there do you trust? Just how credible is the opposition "on the ground"? Of those, how many AREN'T associated with some Islamist group or another? Sorry, there's no magic solution.

    • Chezwick_mac

      Which is exactly why his Libya policy is such a folly.

  • mrbean

    Once again clandestine Muslim Obama spreads the buttock cheeks of his Muslim allies and presses lips upon their hemmoroids to gain favor of Muslim Brotherhood.

  • michaelle50

    Anybody who supports the muslim brotherhood-is a big dog fecal.

  • Jim_C

    Saying "Muslim Brotherhood" is beginning to elicit the same dangerous levels of brain cell death as teleprompter jokes, birth certificates, mentions of Soros, and endorsements of Palin and Trump. But it does at least seem to be confined to FPM.

    Remember how you felt when you heard someone yell "Halliburton?" Same thing. (well…Halliburton DID plowed through stupendous amounts of your tax dollars for reasons tangential at best to our national interest without having to bid for the privilege to do so, but let's not worry about that, now).

    • Chezwick_mac

      My God man…are you aware of trends in Tunisia and Egypt? Don't make a fool of yourself just because the MB hasn't taken over right away.

  • Faridon Abbas

    State Department Sold Lebanon to Hezbollah and now Selling Syria to Muslim Brotherhood

  • mlcblog

    This backwards rhetoric from the Obummer administration reminds me of the shocking first waves of anti-American writings that I was given while being wooed by the New Left back in the 1960;s. Yes, that long ago! they were getting much bolder then, had decided to take over the Democrat party because it was the easiest prey, and were recruiting and activating big time, as witness the turbulent 1960's and beyond.

    The shock that I recall when reading I.F. Stone and the like was horrific but I overrode it because 1) I had serious personal issues, unresolved anger, powerlessness, and so forth which of course have now been resolved with the help of God and a few friends, and 2) my whole family was sympatico with rebellion, especially when grass, as we called it then, became a regular weekend activity. We would take the kids, gather everyone, our wine and beer, some great food, and head to the parks in the Bay Area. It all seemed just so cool! but…well, read Destructive Generation. I went on to organizing many protest rallies and other activities. I later have thanked the American servicemen who fought for my right to free speech, to express myself and in that way to learn how very wrong I was. I just stand amazed and greatly saddened that so many listen to and buy into this kind of anti-American thinking. I do everything in my own power to turn the tide so that anyone I contact in any way might reconsider how really wonderful our institutions were designed to be and how the design is that we, the people, can run things well, a concept which is entirely foreign to those who would lecture us and try to shame us.

  • Lawrence Solomon

    Lawrence Solomon: It’s in our interest to break Syria into pieces