A lot can be learned from what is happening in Lebanon. There is a political conflict there between a sectarian extremist wing, armed and funded by Iran and with support from Syrian regime allies, and a national and peaceful wing, a friend of Arab moderate axes and a defender of Christian coexistence.
The sectarian wing kills the leaders of moderation, like Mohammad Shateh and applies what it wants, despite the refusal of most Lebanese people to keep up sectarian tensions and push the Christians and moderate Islamists to flee.
What did the West and the Arab moderate camp do to support their allies? The answer is: Nothing.
The same experience applies in Syria. The regime, supported by the same sectarian militias and funders, kills Syrians and detains the democratic figures, which strengthens the extremists on the other side.
We should answer this question logically to be able to save Syria and its neighbors from disaster. Rafiq Hariri, a symbol of the moderate, open and talented state figure who could take the Lebanese Sunni sect beyond extremism and towards openness and moderation, was assassinated. Hariri turned extremism into moderation and dedicated himself to the ideas of positive and cooperative and coexistence in order to make the Middle East a thriving and open area for everybody, regardless of their religious, sectarian or racial backgrounds.
The investigations into his assassination proved the involvement of Hezbollah and the Syrian regime, but the democratic West and the Arab moderate camp, and even the Security Council, could not force Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah to deliver the suspects to the court. Actually, they let this party apply its policy and control over Lebanon in the way it likes, defending the Iranian project in the region.
This party has cooperated with the Syrian regime in assassinating the democratic Lebanese intellects, either Christians or Muslims, while the "democratic" and "open" parties remained silent. Then this party, along with other Iranian and Iraqi militias, moved to support Assad in destroying Syria, giving the opportunity to extremist movements on the Syrian ground, again those "moderate" parties remained silent.
These are the same parties which Syrian democratic and national forces thought of as natural allies.
The national and democratic Lebanese forces depended on the international community and the “free world” since the assassination of Hariri, and the Lebanese politicians talked a lot about the international justice and the international court. The western politicians and the moderate Arab countries talked a lot about supporting democracy and openness in Lebanon, and we have heard the western and American officials talking about the importance of punishing the Syrian regime for the assassination. So what happened? The Syrian regime was forced to withdraw from Lebanon, then the series of assassinations continued and Hezbollah kept its control over the Lebanese political life.
Exactly as the regime's chemical stockpile was seized, the regime kept killing Syrians and destroying the country with other weapons.
The question now is whether those allies are reliable enough to achieve the democratic goal in the region, and, whether the sectarian polarization in the region between a sectarian Shiite extremism represented by the Syrian regime, Hezbollah and the Iranian and Iraqi militias on one hand, and extremist sectarian Al-Qaeda groups on the other hand, is not part of an international plan through the American-Russian agreement.
Are we going to wait until all parties become exhausted in an ugly sectarian battle, so that those who will remain realize that no one can win this battle, that extremism on both sides will lead only to death and misery, and that coexistence, openness and democracy are the only possible victory for all the parties?