Syria: New Ineffectual Coalition, Little Arab Napoleons with Shadow Clerics …………..


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                                Neck of the woods

“Until now, concerted action on Syria has been thwarted by divisions within the opposition, as well as by big power rivalries and a regional divide between Sunni Muslim foes of Assad and his Shi’ite allies in Iran and Lebanon. Cajoled by Qatar and the United States, the ineffectual Syrian National Council, previously the main opposition body based abroad, agreed to join a wider coalition on Sunday. “What happened in Doha is a step forward,” Jean-Yves Le Drian told reporters in Paris. “It is still not sufficient to constitute a provisional government that can be recognised internationally. But it’s on the right track.” Britain’s foreign minister, William Hague, also said more needed to be done to rally support inside the country before London would recognise the coalition led by AlKhatib as the rightful government of Syria. “It is a very important milestone,” Hague told reporters at the meeting of Arab and European  ministers at the Arab League………………….”

Western powers gave lukewarm encouragement to yet another alleged representative body of the “Syrian people”. That was wise. This new body, Syrian National Coalition, confirms the Islamist take-over of Syria‘s exile opposition even as it claims to be seeking to broaden its appeal. That is all fine and dandy. This new body, like the old body, will get a lot of money and diplomatic support from our freedom-loving potentates of the Gulf GCC. They will get to “mobilize” media and exiled politicians and try to get NATO to liberate Syria in the way it liberated Iraq in 2003. But this still does not make the Syrian uprising a “liberation” movement. Successful liberation movements are unified: this cannot be said of Syria.

Clearly the gangs and bands of the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) are not going to coordinate with or take orders from this exile ”Coalition” or its “Council” part. They will continue to do what they do on the ground: attacking regime forces, kidnapping people they suspect and people they don’t like, slitting throats and beheading and doing what they have been doing. They have their own shadowy sources of money and weapons and volunteers.


broken away from the Al-Assad grip, every Syrian captain or major or colonel thinks of himself an a Napoleon, before Waterloo. Before this civil war is over, every FSA captain or major or colonel will have a Muslim cleric shadowing him. Some already have their clerical shadows who apply the new “law” of the land according to their own unique interpretation of the Holy Book and Hadith.
As I wrote last month: the old tolerant secular Syria is no more.