Planning for the day after the fall of Assad

The Palestinian intellectual and former member of Israel’s Knesset, Azmi Bishara, writes: 1) After a legendary show of resistance in the face of an unprecedented onslaught of savagery, the Syrian revolutionaries can now almost touch their main aim: a change of regime. As I have said elsewhere, a lack of wisdom at this stage could lead to a complete destruction of the very country of Syria.

2) This progress would not have been made without the sacrifices of millions of Syrians, and tens of thousands of the armed rebels. Yet it must be said that some of the members of these armed groups used the opportunity to carry out personal vendettas, and others are clearly infiltrators into the Syrian cause. It is patently clear that foreign operatives have exploited the revolutionaries’ needs for financial and logistical support, not to mention their understandable grievances against the regime, to try and effect the course of events. In this regard, the assassinations of six Syrian scientists (including a missile expert) is a threatening development. The same can be said of the attempts of Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani to try and control some of the Kurdish-populated areas of Syria; bear in mind that the Syrian Kurds’ National Council is now well armed, whilst not having taken part in the revolution itself. We cannot assume that the Israelis and the CIA will stand backk and just watch. (Put another way: was the removal of the former head of the Saudi Arabian intelligence service a mere coincidence?) The recent statements made by Israeli and American statesmen on the question of Syria’s chemical weapons is to be taken seriously: their efforts are already underway. Anybody who doesn’t understand this point, clearly does not understand the way in which world powers and their regional counterparts attempt to achieve their aims, and does not understand the reality of the enmity [between the Israelis and the other countries in the region], nor does that person understand the strategic significance of Syria.

3) The Syrian revolutionaries are true patriots, and this is reflected in their movement. This truth does not change another fact, however: that there is no single, unified, country-wide military chain of command for the armed wing of the Syrian revolution. Added to this is the very real danger of sectarian bloodletting along the country’s fault lines. [Continue reading…]

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