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The Ironies and Delusions of the Syrian opposition

The Ironies and Delusions of the Syrian opposition

Friday, 24 July, 2020 - 10:30

It is remarkable that the Syrian opposition is making headlines again, but unfortunately, not for its achievements but for the painful ironies and perhaps its recent ridiculous behaviors, including the many delusions and desires that control its calculations and positions.

Isn’t it an outrageous and ridiculous irony when some factions of the Syrian opposition who claim to be committed to the values of democracy and the transfer of power strikes an explicit deal to switch roles between the president of the Syrian High Negotiations Committee (HNC) and the president of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces (NCSROF) such that each performs the function of the other, signifying that they have monopolistic ambitions over positions of power without considering how that would reflect on their credibility and people’s trust in them and without clarifying the necessity, incase there a justification for enabling these two figures to hold such power in two delicate political positions in the opposition?

How about when both parties proudly agree with their supporters to fight a substantial group of independent opposition who now represents the majority compared to those affiliated with parties and organizations to prevent them from being fairly represented in the HNC, reminding us of the maneuvers of the Muslim Brotherhood when they tried to dominate the NCSROF while it was being established and their success in excluding and undermining democratic and secular figures and forces without shame, nullifying their claims of supporting equality, sharing, equal opportunity and the principle of elections based on merit and not partisan allegiances.

What can be said about an opposition that opposes day and night Russian and Iranian intervention while welcoming Turkish military intervention and supports armed groups that support the government in Ankara? Even worse, it is silent about the oppressive practices against the Kurds in areas occupied by Turkey, including terrorizing them, confiscating their properties, and oppressing activists. Perhaps the scandal of the secret prison run by an opposition faction and that is crowded with Kurdish women and girls is only the tip of the iceberg of what is going on. What is worse, is that some of the Syrian opposition are covering up the Turkish role in the Libyan conflict and colluding with the Ankara government by sending thousands of young Syrian fighters as mercenaries to support the Government of National Accord, causing long-term substantial damage to the Syrian people and the legitimacy of its struggle as well as direct damage on what has remained of the Syrian opposition’s reputation and political role.

On the other hand, one is not surprised when the Syrian opposition today has gained attention fraught with criticisms so as long as it puts itself at the forefront of those advocating delusions and who are exaggerating the consequences of the crisis that is cooking in the camp of the regime, giving precedence to its desires over reality. One can ask, how undermining is it for the symbols of the opposition and facts when they are taken afar by the words of an Israeli journalist about an international agreement to change the head of the Syrian regime that was supposed to happen this month?! Where do the leaders of the opposition get their information from when they claim that the dispute with Rami Makhluf was premeditated so that it leads to the quick disintegration and collapse of the regime? Or when you hear them very confidently mentioning the names of military and political figures who will form a temporary council to lead the transition phase and the names of people who are supposed to form a government that will have vast authority and will garner international support?

How about when some of the leaders of the opposition exaggerate their bet on the differences between Russia and Iran on the future of Syria, claiming that now the two have been entirely separated and there is no chance to compromise or race an understanding, affirming that Moscow has a strong and decisive position that aims to limit the influence of Tehran and support political change in the country, without taking into consideration how humble the Russian political solution is and the magnitude of the shared interests of Moscow and Tehran and their perpetual need to unite their efforts against western sanctions and the common US enemy?

How about when the symbols of the opposition exaggerate the role of the Caesar Act, after being activated by the US, seeing it as an effective tool to change the balance of power in Syria and talks about the Caesar Act killing the regime while others see it as a strong motivation for a Russian-US agreement that would end the regime in Syria and open the horizon for a new political formulation to lead the country, as well as their reliance on the deterioration of economic and living conditions that the sanctions will entail in a hasty overthrow of the regime. They completely overlook facts and learn nothing from history, and do not seem to realize how humble the limits that the US has drawn for the Caesar Act.

Indeed, the authoritarian and selfish regime is mostly responsible for the situation we have reached after it refused to compromise for a people who had demanded the most basic rights and turned a peaceful movement into an armed struggle loaded with sectarian instincts and provocations to maintain its rule and authority. It is also true, however, that the opposition is also largely responsible for failing to gain the trust of the people and lead their revolution, encouraging militarization and covering up the armed campaign by radical Islamists, in addition to reliance on decisive foreign aid which made things worse.

It can be said that Syrians have been the most forgiving with the political opposition that claims to represent their demands and rights and have given it more than one chance to prove its credibility. However, more than nine years after the start of the revolution the opposition has revealed its reality and its capacities in a long enough period to say that the Syrian opposition was not able to carry the burden and responsibility and that there is no reason for the Syrian people to trust an opposition that is ruled by ironies and delusions. The opposition has alienated itself from national concerns and is now dependent on its regional and international sponsors. It is waiting for salvation from the sky or for its opponents to become weak so that it feels that it is powerful, perhaps then it will try to play any role in a deadlocked political scene without a shred of responsibility or seriousness in revising its positions, monitoring its actions, or admitting to its mistakes so that we can move beyond them.

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