Death of Gaddafi revives opposition, and hope, in Syria

Anthony Shadid reports: The death of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi reverberated across Syria on Friday, reviving protests that had begun to stall and focusing attention on a newly organized, unarmed opposition group seeking to challenge the Assad family’s four decades of rule.

With an ordinary name and ambitious task, the Syrian National Council, announced in Istanbul this month, has begun trying to emulate the success of Libya’s opposition leadership, closing ranks in the most concerted attempt yet to forge an alternative to President Bashar al-Assad and courting international support that proved so crucial in Libya.

“The focus of the world will now turn to Syria,” Samir Nachar, an activist from Aleppo and leader of the group, said Friday. “It’s Syria’s turn to receive attention.”

But the challenges before this effort remain vast, many of them the same issues that have beset the uprising in Syria since it began seven months ago. A gulf still separates the opposition in exile and at home, and rivalries and ideological disputes compromise their work. As important, Europe and the United States have proven reluctant to give the council the recognition that they quickly provided the opposition in Libya.

Perhaps most challenging is a debate that has overshadowed many of its discussions — what kind of international intervention it will seek, as unlikely as the prospect may be now, in trying to end Mr. Assad’s rule. Not even activists these days believe that protests alone, however big, are enough to topple the government.

“Libya’s model will be tempting,” said Louay Hussein, a prominent opposition figure in Damascus, the capital, though a critic of the council itself.

Protests erupted across Syria on Friday, and at least anecdotally, activists called them bigger than in past weeks, and just as bloody. Security forces killed at least 24 people. Colonel Qaddafi’s death offered a bloody lesson in an autocrat’s fate, and became a theme on Facebook pages, Twitter and in the demonstrations themselves. “Qaddafi is gone, your turn is coming, Bashar,” one banner read.

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3 thoughts on “Death of Gaddafi revives opposition, and hope, in Syria

  1. dickerson3870

    MY COMMENT: I supported protecting Libyans from being massacred, but I feel like a victim of the old bait-and-switch. We now know the “revolt” was planned well in advance in Paris, not Libya. Obviously, it was all about regime change from the very beginning. So, I was snookered.
    Snooker me once, shame on you. Snooker me again, shame on me. Consequently, I will never, ever support so-called humanitarian intervention again. Never! Ever! Under any circumstances!
    The U.S. and NATO (which has become the neocons’ favorite wet dream of a League of Democracies) just can’t be trusted to do anything that is not hegemonic.
    And I wouldn’t even buy a used car from the thoroughly obnoxious, odious Anders Fogh Rasmussen!

    P.S. The League of Democracies(NATO) = “White Power!” (globally speaking)

  2. dickerson3870

    RE: The U.S. and NATO (which has become the neocons’ favorite wet dream of a League of Democracies) just can’t be trusted to do anything that is not hegemonic.

    SEE: Lindsey Graham: ‘Let’s Get In On The Ground. There’s A Lot Of Money To Be Made In The Future Of Libya, By Eli Clifton, Think Progress,10/20/11

    Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has had no shortage of criticisms for Obama administration’s handling of NATO air support for Libyan rebels. But with news this morning of Muammar Qaddafi’s death, Graham offered a new set of criticisms for the administration’s policy of working with a NATO coalition in Libya. Graham, appearing on Fox News, said:

    One of the problems I have with “leading from behind” is that when a day like this comes, we don’t have the infrastructure in place that we could have. I’m glad it ended the way it did. It took longer than it should have. If we could have kept American air power in the fight it would have been over quicker. Sixty-thousand Libyans have been wounded, 3,000 maimed, 25,000 killed. Let’s get in on the ground. There is a lot of money to be made in the future in Libya. Lot of oil to be produced. Let’s get on the ground and help the Libyan people establish a democracy and a functioning economy based on free market principles.


    P.S. Lindsey darling, of course you’re right. But we need to keep it quiet, honey. Remember sweetie, we sold the bombing of Libya as a humanitarian gesture.
    Now mum’s the word, you gorgeous hunk of man!
    P.P.S. League of Democracies = League of So-called “Democracies”*
    * in reality, something more like inverted, (quasi)totalitarian, capitalist states**
    ** at least, that’s my ‘working hypothesis’, and I’m stickin’ to it!

  3. dickerson3870

    RE: “Death of Gaddafi revives opposition, and hope, in Syria”

    SEE: The ‘great game’ in Syria, By Alastair Crooke, Asia Times, 10/22/11

    This summer, a senior Saudi official told John Hannah [See here. – J.L.D.], Cheney’s former chief-of-staff, that from the outset of the Syrian upheaval in March, the king has believed that regime change in Syria would be highly beneficial to Saudi interests, saying: “The king knows that other than the collapse of the Islamic Republic itself, nothing would weaken Iran more than losing Syria.”
    This is today’s “great game”: the formula for playing it has changed; the US-instigated “color” revolutions in the former Soviet republics have given way to a bloodier, and more multi-layered process today, but the underlying psychology remains unchanged…
    …Europeans and Americans and certain Gulf states may see the Syria game as the logical successor to the supposedly successful Libya “game” in remaking the Middle East, but the very tools that are being used on their behalf are highly combustible and may yet return to haunt them – as was experienced in the wake of the 1980s “victory” in Afghanistan.
    It will not be for the first time that Western interests sought to use others for their ends, only to find they have instead been used…


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