Syria: Following In Libya’s Footsteps?

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The fact that the Kurds are perceived in some quarters as not wholeheartedly supporting the anti-Assad revolution and that some of their number may owe their loyalty to Kurdish separatist groups, such as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), should not stand in the way of correcting what is a fundamental human rights issue. The failure to address this travesty speaks volumes about what to expect from the opposition in a post-Assad Syria. It will probably be communal and clan politics as usual with discrimination practiced against less favoured and weaker groups.

There were also other clear indications that the delegates at the Cairo conference were not concerned first and foremost with the people’s interest after the revolution but rather with their own. Recognition of the Kurds was only one issue the delegates could not agree upon. There was also a power struggle between the two main opposition groups, the Syrian National Council and the Syrian National Coordination Body over a committee that would coordinate the opposition parties and implement decisions. One accused the other of being “too close to the Assad regime,” while the accuser then stood accused of being  “a front for Western powers and the Muslim Brotherhood.” To top it off, another important opposition group, the Free Syrian Army, the ones actually doing the fighting, boycotted the conference altogether, calling it a “conspiracy.” And all this petty quarreling was going on while people were dying in Syria.

“They are so different, chaotic and hate each other,” said one Arab League official in what is probably the best character summation of the opposition.

All this does not bode well for the future of Syria when and if Assad is deposed. In Libya, the opposition was so fractured after Gaddafi’s downfall the writ of the National Transitional Council (NTC) did not extend much beyond Tripoli. There was constant fighting between the different militia factions and tribal fighting in southern Libya, over which the NTC had no control. And with the Libya going to the polls on Saturday in its first ever free election, the Muslim Brotherhood is expected to do well.

Such a forbidding fate most likely awaits Syria. After Assad’s downfall, the country will break down and fracture due to fighting between the different opposition and ethnic groups. The united-in-purpose  Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist parties will then use the chaotic situation to advance their cause to a victory at the polls. And the Middle East will then just have exchanged one anti-American, anti-Israeli and anti-Western dictatorship for another.

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  • Sane

    Step by step Obama pushes towards Al Qaida caliphate backed by Iran.

    His muslim heritage is dangerous to all who refuse to bow towards mecca.

  • Thomas McGee

    This article has some big errors. Not all Kurds in Syria are non-citizens. Furthermore, the Kurdish population of Syria is often estimated as 2 million. 300,000 was the figure of those who were stateless prior to partial naturalization as the result of a decree in April 2011.

  • HPD

    Syria's a mess …whatever happens, happens…Now that the Chinese and Russians are calling the shots, along with the Iranians, their fate is out of our hands.
    But Obama will try to be some kind of hero come Sept…

    He will have his skinny azz handed to him..

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Syria following in Libya's footsteps, what we have there are a whole lot more feet involved and
    the terrain is vastly different and more dangerous. This may be the flash point for a very wide
    war in the Middle East with twists and turns not unforseen, just unbelieved to happen. The forces
    of evil are on a rampage and without sound leadership in our Government all of our people and
    assets are in grave danger. Who will step up and be our leader, right now we have none.
    God help us we are going to need His intervention but having been kicked out of most of
    America it may be we are in for a real bad time……………………………William

  • Reacher

    As long as Obama and the Clintons are in charge of the downward ME spiral, NOTHING pro US will happen…

    All these bad actors, Iranians, Chinese, Russian, and Muslim Brotherhood are all laughing at Obama-.(and US)
    The time to act was 3 years ago, now it's way too late..

  • BS77

    I think Libya is doing far better than Syria. Both the anti Gaddafi rebels and the government forces were careful not to damage their incredibly rich oil and gas infrastructure. Libya is more modern and more moderate than Syria….and has the capacity to be far more prosperous.

  • Matt

    It depends which news source you are using, the western media show one side, the Russians show another. So the truth is somewhere in between the two narratives. Which means this has a way to go yet as it plays out through 2012 and 2013.