There is a real war going on in Homs and Deraa today, and so far not a single world leader, not a single Arab leader, not a single member of the Syrian opposition, especially the Syrian National Council, has addressed this fact. Civilians are dying, and the opposition is still debating whether to appeal for international protection and demand a no-fly zone, when for the weeks protesters have been making that demand from the top of their burning lungs. If this continues, the protesters, who are already shouting “the Syrian Army is a traitor,” will begin shouting “the Syrian opposition is a traitor.”
Wi’am Amashah, the Syrian prisoner freed by Israelis in the recent swap with Hamas, declared on Al-Jazeerah earlier today, from his home village of Baq’atha in the Occupied Golan, that he stands with the people against the “killer regime.” He said the regime should be toppled and all of Syria should be liberated, not only the Golan http://youtu.be/9pzbASeJY-E
In an interview with Al-Akhbar Newspaper, spokeswoman for the Syrian National Council, Basma Kodmani, one of very few real technocrats in a council that projects itself as a technocratic rather than political council, made some interesting statements regarding the nature of the SNC.
To Mrs. Kodmani, the SNC is a nonpartisan technocratic council that seeks to support the revolution by “interpreting” its demands, especially the one about international protection, but does not claim to represent it. The SNC is but “a revolutionary council that supports the revolution, bears its demands and embodies its aspirations.”
The main goal of the SNC, she explains, is to “isolate the regime and suffocate it economically, politically and financially” paving the way for its eventual implosion. The circle of support for the regime has narrowed, she noted, and there are many internecine problems.
On their face, Mrs. Kodmani’s statements sound reasonable, but, taken within the current context of Syrian oppositional politics and realities on the ground, one cannot help but think of that old political term: bullshit! Mrs. Kodmani is speaking out of both sides of her mouth and is coming out as the Bouthaina Shaaban of the SNC. In all its official communication with governments, the SNC is projecting itself as a transitional council and is seeking recognition as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people at this stage. Through their contact with LCCs, they have also sought this kind of recognition from the protesters, and they got it, but on condition they do indeed represent the demands of the revolution, not interpret them away.
For in regard to “interpreting” and “bearing” the demands of the revolution, not to mention “embodying” its aspirations, SNC leadership should bear in mind that the revolutionaries have made their job easy, by providing their own interpretation of their own demands: protection means a no-fly zone, a safe haven and support for the Free Syrian Army. These demands have already been endorsed by the majority of protesters in Idlib, Hama, Homs, Deir Ezzor, Baniyas, Lattakia, Deraa/Hauran and the Damascus Province. The only people who seem to object to them are members of the traditional opposition forces and some activists in Damascus and Aleppo cities, not exactly the hotbeds of the revolutionary movements and where the Assads have sought to quell whatever unrest without deploying tanks, so far.
In reality, with every statement they make, SNC leaders make it increasingly clear that they and the revolutionaries are speaking two different and mutually incomprehensible languages. No amount of bullshit can conceal that. There is an actual war going on in parts of Syria today, SNC leaders need to address the situation, and need to stop their bickering on the issue of international protection, or they should get out of the way.
Meanwhile, a note to all those who wonder why I am being so harsh in my judgment on anything related to the SNC:
I am being harsh because some of SNC members, like Mrs. Kodmani, are indeed quite respectable figures, as such, they should know better than try to dissimulate and bullshit us. I hold them to a higher set of standards than those I apply to the ruling fascist thugocracy in Syria, and will continue to do so. For a long time, Assad officials told us to avoid being overly critical of the internal situation because this would play into the hands of Imperialists and Zionists plotting against our “great nation,” now the same logic is being deployed by some in the opposition vis-à-vis any criticism of the SNC. I won’t stand for it. Enough is enough. This mentality has enslaved us for over 50 years, and I won’t put up with it anymore, not for one additional second. Those who want to play a public role have to submit to public scrutiny, and those who want to claim positions of leadership, not to mention the moral high ground, have to put up with being judged by the very principles they claim to defend. This is what people tell me when they criticize me. This is what I tell my colleagues when I criticize them. Welcome to the put up or shut up world of public service.