While world leaders keep foraging for a policy, Syria’s increasing refugees are foraging for the basics of life: food, shelter and security. Where does the buck stop in our contemporary world? Where do we go to plead our case with a reasonable expectation of a just hearing?
My contribution to a just released briefing by Woodrow Wilson Center.
For those who expected a fast and smooth transition to liberal democratic norms, the Arab Spring has certainly failed to deliver. But for those who simply wanted to push their countries into taking one important and necessary step in the right direction by breaking the prevailing political stalemate in their societies, then, the Arab Spring has definitely lived up to expectations.
The fear barrier is now broken; the anciens régimes are gone; and pent-up political forces, with their good, their bad, and their downright ugly, have been released. The Islamists might have the upper hand at this stage on account of their stronger organizational capabilities, but the more secular elements are not giving up and have, in fact, made it clear that they, too, have strong grassroots connections and support—and not only among minority communities but within the larger Arab Sunni community as well.
No longer can any of the sides dismiss the other as irrelevant. The choices confronting all are now stark and clear: accommodation, civil war, or civil war eventually ending in accommodation. A return to the autocratic past with one side dominating the other and imposing its ways is not feasible. Each side of the divide has enough regional and international backers to ensure the near impossibility of such an outcome. The sooner the representatives of the different political forces realize this, the better for all. For only when accommodation is reached can democracy finally begin to take root in our region.
Leaked video from the Damascene suburb of Daraya shows wounded loyalist militias receiving treatment in the field, before being forced to withdraw with their tanks when MiGs showed up to bomb rebel positions http://youtu.be/uuIWEk6UT_4
Another leaked video documents the use of missile launchers by pro-Assad militias http://youtu.be/4xsjog7ZZP8
Rebels take a stand in Yarmouk Camp in Damascus City http://youtu.be/8Ly_9baT4u4 In Ain Terma, pro-Assad militias pound the community with tanks http://youtu.be/EgR2CePNc1g Residents of nearby Mleihah evacuate their town http://youtu.be/rMtNuJvJOfc As MiGs continue their raids on the region of Eastern Ghoutah: Hamouriyeh http://youtu.be/8lhjVXWhiNw Kafar Batna http://youtu.be/VyTitCfcSAY