Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Exposure Of Logic In Form

By Abdullah Iskandar
This commentary was published in al-Hayat on 08/06/2011
There is logic in form used by the Syrian rule and its supporters when tackling foreign interference in Syrian affairs. They thus say that those who are condemning from abroad the excessive use of power in the face of the demonstrations and the callers for a solution based on political reform, are opportunists concealing their attempts to restore their political control over Syria. The promoters of this logic are also adding that the Westerners always remain dubiously silent when Israel uses excessive force against the Palestinians, which means they have double standards and that their positions toward the oppression in Syria should not be relied on.

In other words, Western interference is rejected because it is unable to stop the Israeli violence. And consequently, as long as this Israeli violence is ongoing, no one can hold the Syrian regime accountable for using the same method.

This logic in form has succeeded, throughout decades, to justify the adoption of a domestic policy with a tyrannical character, in the name of national sovereignty and the rejection of foreign interference. Today however, it is only being used to ensure the continuation of the security solution, while accusing those rejecting this solution of serving Israel. In the meantime, the promoters of this logic are not paying attention to the concord between two behaviors, both of which refuse to recognize the importance of the political solution and reject foreign interference to handle the situation at hand.

Another facet of this logic is the fact that resistance and rejectionism are the ways to restore the Palestinian rights and the occupied territories, regardless of the clash between this logic and Damascus’ official policy in regard to peace as a strategic option and the negotiations as the solution. Throughout decades, this logic allowed the exploitation of the domestic situation to serve this resistance, thus annulling any aspirations to see free expression and plurality. Indeed, was the accusation “weakening the morale of the nation” not the most commonly used to throw the oppositionists in prison?

Based on this logic in form, Palestinian youth from the camps in Syria were pushed to demonstrate in the Golan on the anniversaries of the Nakba and the Naqsa, knowing that Israel will open fire and claim the lives of many among them, thus rendering their option one between solidarity with the Syrian step or Israel. However, this logic failed to achieve its purpose even among a crowd that should have adhered to it. In reality, Hezbollah rejected a similar step in Lebanon, and even the mourners of the Golan victims in the Yarmouk camp in Damascus realized what it meant to sacrifice the lives of their sons, thus attacking the office of the “General Command” that was assigned to organize the demonstrations, holding it responsible for the death of their children.

Another facet of this logic in form is the fact that Syria is in a state of war with Israel (actually in a state of truce and shares a disengagement agreement with it sponsored by international troops since 1974). Therefore, any defiance of the Syrian authorities, including the current protests, serves Israel, if it is not directly ordered by it. For their part, Lebanese television masterminds did not hesitate to announce that Israeli flags were raised during the demonstrations in some Syrian towns, which confirmed the demonstrators’ collaboration with the Hebrew state. This went in line with the stories related to the “armed gangs” and the “emirates of Al-Qaeda” among others, and would justify the use of this excessive force in defense of the pan-Arab cause in the face of Israel, and the national cause in the face of Al-Qaeda.

This logic worked during the armed confrontations with the Muslim Brotherhood group in the early eighties, because all the domestic political and social conditions, the Arab conditions and the international ones, contributed to its success, but also because the official tale was the only one capable of leaking out.

However, all these conditions have now changed, since the domestic arena will no longer accept this containment regardless of the justification, the climate of the Arab spring will not allow this excessive oppression, the regional official alliances can no longer protect the regime and the absence of the climate of the Cold War does not guarantee the sustainment of international allies until the end.

This logic in form has been exposed, but the Syrian authorities seem to have missed that reality, or are refusing to recognize it. Moreover, they are surprised no one believes their endeavors, whether at the level of the reforms or to justify the continuation of the security solution.

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