Fabrication of Syrian terror groups is working for the Assad regime
None of the Syrian regime’s achievements matches its fabrication of the fundamentalist-terrorist groups that it pretends to fight and protect the Syrians from, opposition figure Michel Kilo wrote in the London-based newspaper Asharq Al Awsat.
Such radical organisations did not exist in Syria before the revolution. The regime decided to create them, with the most successful one being the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the writer said.
The ISIL has offered valuable services to the Syrian regime. It has undermined the Free Syrian Army (FSA), taken areas controlled by it and subjected the citizens to sectarian tyranny. This has started to persuade the people to accept a return to Mr Al Assad’s dictatorship, he added.
The ISIL has also undermined the people and groups who began the revolution, and which the regime’s intelligence services could not counter initially.
Civil forces, particularly the Union of Syrian Democrats, that are struggling to keep the goal of democracy alive, have also been weakened by the ISIL. The Union of Syrian Democrats was created by a variety of civil organisations and figures in an attempt to provide a unified political platform that reflects the wide civil and democratic grassroots groups that want an end to division among democracy advocates.
Since its inception at the hands of outsiders, the ISIL has targeted areas that had already been liberated by the FSA, which left those places to fight in others. The ISIL had only a few overseas fighters in the beginning, so they took as their base Ar-Raqqah city after violently forced out the FSA.
After crushing The Grandsons of the Messenger and The Eagles of the North using car bombs, the ISIL has threatened other organisations to provide it with fighters and its share of the spoils of war or else it would destroy them.
Moreover, the ISIL has issued religious edicts declared as apostates the FSA, the Syrian National Coalition, the democrats, and Islamists who reject its methods, threatening to kill all of them – and have killed or arrested some.
They have also terrified non-Muslims by kidnapping Christian priests including bishops Yohanna Ibrahim and Boulos Yazigi and Father Paolo.
Finally, the ISIL has sought to win over the population using food assistance, and fighters using money and weaponry. In particular, it has recruited the regime’s Shabiha militias and embarked on hunting down the FSA, the democrats and journalists using lists provided by the regime’s intelligence services.
Syrian forces fighting for freedom must not be blamed for the acts of the ISIL, which is only fighting the enemies of Al Assad regime and the principles they are battling for, the writer concluded.
Arabs must show they can handle democracy
That millions of Arab people rose up for democracy, justice and freedom – and then backtracked on their revolutions and accepted autocratic laws because of mistakes by political parties or religious groups – raises a lot of questions, wrote Bahraini author Ali Mohammed Fakhro the Cairo-based paper Al Shorouk.
The key question is this: did they rise against injustice or tyranny? In other words, did they merely seek to replace an unjust despot with a just despot? Even western philosophers have suggested that despotism can be acceptable when people are unable to properly practice politics.
This poses another question: are people in Arab nations unable to practice politics properly, as anti-democracy advocates say?
The answer is that the people were beaten down by centuries of tyranny from rulers towards his subjects and from all kinds of condescending forms of tyranny. Arabs, like the rest of humanity, are capable of responsible self-government without any inferiority whatsoever. Arabs are aware that in order to end all sorts of ills, dictatorship must be brought down.
So why are Arabs apparently again coexisting with some autocratic practices? Is it a warrior’s repose or is it something to do with the saying of French-Algerian novelist Albert Camus: “All modern revolutions have ended in a reinforcement of the power of the State”. Only time will tell.
Yemen’s crises bode ill for the nation’s future
The crises in Yemen do not bode well for the future of the country, amid political assassinations, bombings and a deteriorating humanitarian situation, said the UAE-based newspaper Al Bayan in an editorial yesterday.
Yemen is facing several predicaments, from assassinations and bombings to the restive southern region, the main cause of the political crisis. Even before the outbreak of the recent uprisings in the southern governates, the south has always contentious since Yemen unified in 1990.
To make matters worse, an international report shows a deteriorating humanitarian situation, with many Yemenis less being optimistic about a better tomorrow, the paper noted.
Since Yemen’s National Dialogue Conference was initiated, all political parties – even those boycotting it – agree that the south is the most critical of the nine issues on the table. There has been agreement that half of the 565 conference members should be from the south and conference sessions have been extended due to the sensitive nature of the issue until an agreement on the federal state model has been reached.
Meanwhile, life is extremely difficult for more than 14 million Yemenis.