The struggle aimed at Damascus |
Arab News - 30 July, 2012
Author: Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed
Various groups are making a rush to inherit the Assad regime, as it is giving clear indications of its downfall. The Doha meeting, statements from Riyadh, an appeal from Rome, skirmishes at Jordan’s border, the Turkish threat to interfere to check the separatist Kurdish Worker’s Party at its Syrian borders, in addition to the political and revolutionist military blocs formed inside and outside Syria — all direct that the end of the regime is near. Even Assad’s allies have no doubts about the inevitable fall. However, the fall of the regime will not be as simple as some imagine, even at its last movement. The succession will be tougher than the current situation we have in front of us. Everyone, perhaps with the exception of the so-called “Rome appeal” group, is desirous of Syria having a future different from the four decades of iron-fisted rule. The Rome appeal group is biased toward the regime, and some of its members have been allied to Tehran and Moscow since last year.
The fear is that a crowded race toward Damascus might add to the present chaos, leaving the door wide open to the forces that desire to destroy Syria. I am speaking specifically of Iran and groups subservient to it. The Syrian groups in the competition are national but representing varying interests. If they do not expand their circle of participation and rally under a single umbrella that accepts pluralism and leaves Syrian citizens with the choice of their future in the post-Assad phase, they will find themselves at the hour of the exit in a bottleneck situation. It is because in the past decades, the regime did not allow anyone to learn about the various forces that exist in the country. This does not mean that those forces did not exist. Intellectual, political and activist plurality in the Syrian social fabric is an old reality. The field is at the peak of its dynamism with the participation of the Syrian National Council, Free Syrian Army, Democratic Movement, Muslim Brotherhood, Kurdish Council, Arab Bedouin forces, Turkmen movement, Syrian Scholars Union, and the Syrian Democratic Secular Alliance, in addition to historic families such as the Al-Shishakli and Al-Atassi, and, of course, the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change and various revolution forces.
It is too early, naturally, to draw the political map of Syria, but it is never early for Syrians to plan for a comprehensive body in which every group has a place under a new flag, so that they enable figuring out the mechanism of representation and other tasks for the formation of a government. Nobody wants Bashar to fall without his pervasive regime of security forces that has been persecuting Syrians since 1963. There will never be a safe choice to avoid the dangers of a void after the regime falls, except under a vast umbrella that includes all parties, leaving the choice of the future in the hands of those who dearly paid the price; they are the Syrian majority. It is not just a matter of paying the price, but of building a shared future.
— E-mail: Alrashed.email@example.com