Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Syria: The formation of a new regime? | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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I will now ask a question that will likely enrage most – if not all – of the readers of this column! Yet the value of writing does not lie in achieving popularity, but rather in satisfying your professional and ethical conscience.

The question relates to the current situation in Syria and it boils down to the identity of the new regime that will succeed the current one. I have written in this column several times about the evils of Bashar al-Assad’s regime, and I do not need to add anything new in this regard.

Therefore, we are facing an evil regime that will fall soon, God willing. But what guarantees that the system succeeding it will be any less evil?

Here, hundreds might respond to me saying: Surely the new regime cannot be worse because there is nothing worse than a regime that ruled the country with oppression and an iron fist for more than 42 years.

This may be the logical outcome, but it is not certain or final…We do not know the components of the Syrian opposition. We don’t really know the identity of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), its foreign obligations or commitments and its sources of arms and funding. We do not know the ideological origins of the jihadist groups that are currently undertaking popular operations against the regime, or the reality of their political projects if they were to overthrow the regime. We are being presented with the “pure evil” of the regime and the “flawless” nature of the opposition as a whole.

This oversimplification is dangerous and frightening. We are just around the corner from a process of radical change, removing a fascist regime that formulated all aspects of the Syrian state with its own men, ideas and interests.

Already we have a crisis in terms of factual information about the nature of the forces expected to shape the form of the next Syrian political system.

Still a very important question remains, which is: To what extent are the loyalties of these forces committed to the Syrian national project, rather than other motives that only God knows?