November 24, 2011
New Counter-Revolutionary Push In Syria
As the foreign counter-revolution spasms in Egypt, Yemen and Bahrain, the Arab League has decided that now is a good time to reengage its duplicitous diplomacy with Syria. Foreign media bit hard, as usual, with headlines about an “deadlines,” “ultimatums,” and “last chances.” Instead of organizing a genuine response to isolate al-Assad’s regime, the Arab League continues to apply its breaks to revolutionary forces.
"In the case that Syria does not sign the protocol,” Arab foreign ministers “warned” in a statement, “or that it later violates the commitments that it entails, and does not stop the killing or does not release the detainees ... (Arab League officials) will meet on Saturday to consider sanctions on Syria.”
This situation parallels the foreign manipulation in Yemen, where the Saudi-bankrolled Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) just lent its name to a puppet regime under Ali Abdullah Saleh’s vice president. Several weeks ago France’s foreign minister, Alain Juppé, met with Yemeni activist and Nobel laureate Tawakol Karman to discuss the possibility of an asset freeze. Juppé said the matter would be “discussed” in a week - if Saleh didn’t sign the GCC’s initiative. The “political resolution” between Saleh’s regime and the unpopular Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) was constructed without input from Yemen’s popular protesters, and is poised to retrench old political lines through a snap presidential election.
The European Union (EU) then postponed its discussion until their next meeting in December, at the earliest. Even the UN Security Council delayed its 30-day review of a resolution that rubber-stamped the GCC’s initiative. Saleh would finally sign in Riyadh and remain in Saudi Arabia to pull his strings, launching Yemenis into a new uncertain phase.
The Arab League’s plot has unfolded in similar fashion, first injecting a bias proposal into Syria and adding “pressure’ to seal an approval. Drafted on November 2nd and ignored throughout the month, the Arab League’s initiative called on al-Assad to withdraw his troops from cities, release political prisoners, allow international monitors and media into the country, and start a dialogue with the opposition. Speaking after the first GCC-Russian strategic dialogue, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov openly admitted that the Arab League’s plan was based on Yemen's GCC’s initiative.
Many Syrians, including the Syrian National Council (SNC), reject a dialogue with the present regime and demand al-Assad’s resignation as a starting point. Although the SNC doesn’t speak for all of Syria’s opposition, protesters were rejecting a dialogue before the council’s formation in August. Nor has al-Assad fulfilled the Arab League’s demands, releasing a limited number of prisoners while continuing a ferocious crackdown in oppositional cities. Some of Syrian’s present distortions stem from the interaction between security forces and defected military personnel, but al-Assad has entered the business of labeling all oppositional elements as “terrorists.”
He hasn’t given protesters any reason to trust him.
Faced with a new “discussion” on al-Assad’s assets and Syria’s fate in the Arab League, his regime has supposedly given final approval to allow a 500-person Arab mission into Syria. However the situation remains unchanged in either case. Contrary to a “humiliating affront for the Syrian government,” the Arab League appears to have no other strategy except to pressure al-Assad into a favorable agreement. Failure to comply could lead to new UN sanctions, which the regime wishes to avoid, but still leaves his regime semi-comfortably in power.
The counter-revolution is being copied throughout each uprising, and tipping dominoes is not its function.