Syria: If this is the goal of the current Syrian resistance, then they are simply exchanging one dictatorship for another. We have little to gain from backing them, and little to gain from not backing them, as Assad will not suddenly abandon Iran in order to embrace us. There are no good choices for us, except to perpetuate the status quo and keep all of the bad guys focused on each other, and eventually they may both be too weak to become a threat.
The "Joint Command of the Free Syrian Army" inside Syria promulgated a "National Salvation Plan" for the transitional stage after the end of the al Asad government. It stipulates the establishment of a Supreme Defense Council that will form a Presidential Council consisting of six military and political figures to manage the transitional regime.
The statement explains that the military council will include "all the commanders of the military councils in the Syrian cities and governorates, the dissident senior officers, and the officers participating in the revolution." The duties of the Presidential Council include "proposing laws to be submitted to public referenda, restructuring the security and military institutions on national bases, and setting up solutions to absorb the civilians who carry arms during the revolution in both the military and security institutions." The statement says the Plan was the result of extensive consultations. It proposes "the establishment of the Supreme National Council for the Protection of the Syrian Revolution," which is considered ďas a parliamentary institution to supervise the work of the executive organizations.Ē
The plan considers it imperative that the Syrian National Council, all political powers and national figures, the Syrian Revolution General Commission, The Coordination Committees, the revolutionary activists, and the Free Syrian Army participate "in the establishment of the new institutions.Ē The statement says: ďAny government that is formed here-or-there will not see the light, and will not enjoy any national and revolutionary legitimacy if it does not adopt the entire demands of the revolution without exception or prevarication, and if it does not enjoy the agreement of the Joint Command of the Free Syrian Army inside Syria, and all the effective real revolutionary powers.Ē
Comment: The authors of the Plan are not identified and need to be because no one knows whether this represents the views of anyone other than the guy who wrote it and sent it to the media. It could be a ruse.
If it represents a consensus of the leaders of the fighting cells in Syria, this Plan shows they want a military-dominated regime, much like the al Asad government, except for the Alawites. The Plan is issued in the form of an ultimatum to other Syrians- take it or leave.
A fuller version includes a list of persons designated for each cabinet position in a transitional government, including at least one Christian. All are appointed by the so-called Joint Command. The plan is the blueprint of a military-dominated authoritarian regime. It would recreate the kind of government the Syrians already know. There is no innovation or enlightenment. There are no plans to prepare for elections or a transfer of power to an elected or representative government. Apparently, the rulers would be those who bore arms. The irony is that its drafters seem to consider it liberal and generous.
This proclamation sharpens the dissension among multiple Arab groups who seek to lead a new Syrian revolution. Ex-brigadier Manaf Tlass is a hopeful and cuts a dashing figure. A former Syrian judge also has formulated a plan. The exiled politicians of the Syrian National Council have their own plan. These groups are invited to participate in the Plan.
Now the fighters have had their say, in the form of an ultimatum to all other groups. Their language is almost incoherent, except for their clear determination to control Syria, if they get the chance. There will be now rewards for outside scholars and politicians.
The iron law of violent internal instability is that the group with the most guns and ammunition wins. The Plan is woefully inadequate as a road map for a future Syrian government, say, compared to the Libyan statement of intentions during the fight against Qadhafi.
On the other hand, it is a prescription for a political disaster and the message is that the Syrian emigres
and all other outsiders are not welcome unless they are willing to comply.
The Western and wealthy Arab investment in revolution promises to produce an authoritarian, intolerant regime exactly like the one those states are determined to overthrow. The main difference is the substitution of a Sunni leadership group for the Alawites. At least now everyone knows.
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