Sunday, August 28, 2011

"Had the Syrian opposition been more patriotic than the regime, we wouldn't hear the voice of the Americans as we do now!"

"... But there are others who support the Assad regime for legitimate reasons. These Syrians, predominantly minorities, have profound concerns that must be duly addressed. And so far, the Syrian opposition has failed to reassure those sitting on the fence.
"It hurts every time I say that I don't want the [Assad] regime to fall," a Syrian Christian friend told me recently. "Deep down I know it should go, but survival instinct tells me to support it."
Although the opposition has little political and diplomatic experience after decades of suppression, it is fair to say that it bears some of the blame for the continued bloodshed.
Many of the dissidents are widely perceived as seeking personal political gains.
On Monday, a number of dissidents announced a "national council" in Istanbul. But the council was unilaterally announced and did not include any credible dissidents, such as Haitham Al Maleh, a former judge who has a track record of dissidence from within Syria and has spent many years of his life in the Al Assads' prisons. Unilateral, irresponsible acts by self-styled opposition members - people who command no credibility from the majority of Syrians - only reinforce the regime's propaganda.
"Who is the alternative now?" said another Christian friend from Damascus. "And why do the US and the West support the opposition? Believe me, had the opposition been more patriotic than the regime, we wouldn't have heard the voice of the Americans as we do now."
Syrians' fears are further reinforced by the fact that most of the opposition conferences were organised by the Muslim Brotherhood, the only non-state actor in recent history to slaughter other Syrians along sectarian lines..."

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