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Burhan Ghalioun: Lack of Political Experience Prevented Syrian Regime’s Isolation’ | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Syrian academic Dr. Burhan Ghalioun. Reuters

London- Paris-based Syrian academic Dr. Burhan Ghalioun sided with the Syrian revolution at its onset in the spring of 2011.

Ghalioun joined the opposition and took over the chairmanship of the Transitional National Council (SNC) that was founded in 2011 at a public conference held in Tunisia. It was the first political body established against the regime following the start of the revolution.

After resigning his post, Ghalioun continued to support the popular uprising against the regime. He later distanced himself from daily political work in the opposition’s ranks and began observing the Syrian developments.

In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Ghalioun said history will prove that the Syrian revolution has succeeded in its goal to topple the regime, which was aware of the situation and was quick to react by using all means of violence, destruction and killing.

He explained that the regime did not have any legitimacy or reason to remain in power except for the horror it spread through its security and military bodies. When this fear dissipated and massive protests – asking for liberty, dignity and freedom erupted – the regime found itself trapped.

The Syrian academic said that the regime resorted to brutality to drown the demonstrators in blood and show them that the freedom they were asking for was more costly than they thought.

Since then, the regime and the people entered an escalatory cycle: The people wanted to prove their existence as free, sovereign and strong, while the regime wanted to break the will of the people at any cost and prove that the revolution was not strong enough.

When asked about the reasons the opposition failed to establish its own effective institutions, Ghalioun said that all the political forces, which took over the leadership of the initiative against the regime, were not politically and intellectually mature enough to lead the second stage of the revolution.

He noted that this stage comes when the political system is toppled and requires a foundation for the new regime to fight militarily and politically in attempt to confront the all-out war declared by the previous regime.

A second cause for the failure is that the countries which supported the revolution politically did not estimate the real force that the regime and its allies would use to quell the revolution.

Ghalioun added that the international system, in the era of former US president Barack Obama and Russia’s president Vladimir Putin, did not find any interest in regime change.