Syria: Pluralism and the Interim Phase |
Al Hayat - 02 August, 2012
Author: Abdullah Iskandar
Syria today includes a large number of organizations, bodies, groups, coordination committees, councils, platforms, etc…that all belong to the opposition. Some of these entities imposed themselves via political or field actions against the regime and became more famous than others. However, one feels confused amidst the many opposition figures that are carried by the media even if the main slogans are the same.
This is a surprising matter in light of the bloody military campaign that the regime is launching against the Syrian cities and towns along with all the human tragedies and financial losses; the certainty that there can be no coexistence with this regime that opposed the majority of the Syrian people; and the apparent erosion of the regime that is rapidly progressing towards its fall.
In other words, the situation of the opposition is almost inversely proportional to that of the regime: As the regime nears collapse, the opposition becomes more dismantled and fragmented. At this time, all the regional and international powers that support the opposition must call for finding a formula that will unite the majority in order to establish an alternative for the regime as soon as the circumstances allow that.
There is a major difference between political pluralism, which is a requirement for any democratic alternative reflecting the pluralism of the Syrian society, and the emergence of numerous forms of political expression – each of which is trying to monopolize the decision making process. Political pluralism is a natural and necessary state in any democratic regime and in the formation process of such a regime. However, the current dismantlement, which constitutes a disadvantage, is closely connected to the current regime since it left no room for the formation of an opposition movement or an alternative ruling body. The regime chased down every idea, figure, or body. It utilized all the different methods in order to eradicate the political aspects in the Syrian civil society. Through oppression, persecution, jails, corruption and loud nationalistic slogans, the regime managed to impose unprecedented “stability” over the past four decades. However, the regime could not have done that without eradicating politics from society.
Today, with the shrinking of this authoritative form, voices are rising and the opposition is appearing through many expression forms and in a random manner.
Political pluralism is an expression of democracy and the multitude of opposition voices is an expression of the feeling of the emancipation from the regime’s oppression and the shrinking of the regime’s authority.
Today, as pressure is mounting and as there is an increasing need for coming up with a formula, or body, or any form of general organization that would manage the interim phase, many aspiring projects are emerging. This is a perfectly legitimate matter. However, if one of these aspirers were to consider that he is the legitimate and sole representative of the opposition; and if he were to declare the establishment of his government or interim body, then it becomes only natural for us to wonder about how these tendencies are actually benefitting the program of regime change.
The actual forces of change are those forces that are operating on the ground via the armed resistance or the political and field actions, or the humanitarian and relief work. As for those who assume that talk shows and television appearances can provide them with political powers, they are actually misinterpreting the need of satellite channels to fill air time and the program for changing a regime that has clearly demonstrated its adamancy on making use of its entire military force in order to remain in power.