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Can Syrians, Arabs Determine the Course of the War?

There is a notable absence of Syrians among the decision-makers
Can Syrians, Arabs Determine the Course of the War?

President Obama finally decided to intervene in Syria, but not to prevent the tyrant of Damascus from destroying the country, nor to save the Syrian people from the massacre committed against them for more than 40 months.


Nor did he intervene because of the use of the chemical weapons which killed more than 1,000 Syrians. He did not intervene against the regime, despite the fact that the regime killed more than 11,000 Syrians under torture, despite the forced disappearance of peaceful activists and human rights advocates like Abdul Aziz al-Khaiyer, Mazen Darwish and Khalil Matouk.


It is an intervention against the Islamic State (IS), the Nusra Front and organizations loyal to Al-Qaeda. Again, not because they have committed war crimes against the Syrians as mentioned in the reports of United Nations organizations, and not because IS slaughtered more than 700 hundred Syrians from the Shaitat clan, not because they crucified Syrian youth and stoned Syrian women and took the Syrians under their control thousands of years back, but because IS committed crimes against two American journalists and a British aid worker, which angered the Americans.


Obama's administration was accused of hesitation and weakness, especially that the partial elections for the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States are about to start. So he was forced to do something, but we do not know its extent nor its strategic objectives (if there are any).


Obama has responded to people's desire, probably because of his fear of the loss of his own party in the elections.


Similarly, all of the regional powers have interests and strategies in the Arab region. Iran has a clear strategy with respect to its ambitions and sectarian ideology. Israel has also established strategies to maintain its superiority and occupation of Arab lands and it is very happy with what is happening now in Syria. Turkey has plans to shift to a civilized and industrial nation and it works hard to reach its goals, and the United States has its priorities which are related to its interests and democracy in the region, away from the slogans of international justice and human rights which it used to talk about. 


All this is normal –  this is politics. But the abnormal thing is the absence of any Syrian role in everything that is happening. While the regime is proud because the Americans allegedly told him about the bombing of his country hours before the air raids, and he considers this enough to maintain the sovereignty of Syria – the very same sovereignty he used to make people starve for 40 years. We see almost no role or any opinion about what is happening from those who have been imposed on Syrians as their sole legitimate representatives, who have been belittled and spoiled to lose the confidence of Syrians.


Unfortunately, we also do not see a clear Arab strategy to reassure us that what is happening will be for the benefit and in the interest of Syria, or to emphasize the importance of the Arab role in determining the future of the region and the fate of its people.


If the influential Arab countries didn’t cooperate with the influential Arab societal forces to draw a strategy that qualifies these countries to be partners in shaping the future of the region, the next era will be the era of Turkish, Iranian and Israeli domination. Arabs will not have any role in it. They will not be more than pawns on the chessboard of regional competition on their cultural heritage and wealth.


The fate of the war declared by the international coalition against terrorism depends on how convinced the Syrians and the rest of the peoples of the region are about a better future for them and their generations to come, their conviction that this war will save Syrians from the tyrant who destroyed their home and killed their children, as well as from the obscurantist organizations who want to destroy their cultural heritage as one of the most open and active people in the region. The fate of this war also depends on the conviction of the Arab youth who join these organizations that it would not be in favor of weakening their role and leaving their societies as prays for the ambitions of regional powers surrounding them.


It is no secret that there is apprehension among the overwhelming majority of Arabs towards the expansionist ambitions of both Iran and Israel. The Arab youth need these guarantees to dispel their concerns, and this is the necessary condition for the success of the fight against terrorism and extremism in order to establish a stability in the Middle East and rebuild the Arab societies to be able to enter the civilizational competition with the rest of the other nations on the earth. Without these guarantees, we will face another failure similar to the failure of the international coalition in Afghanistan and Iraq, the failure which made the extremist organizations that fought this coalition more extreme and more dangerous to our region and the world.


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