How you failed Syria, let me count the ways: you abandoned her when her movement for democratic change was nonviolent. You let Assad violate her and kill her children. You turned your back on her children when they rushed to her rescue, and pretended you were unaware. You uttered words of sympathy and encouragement, and sent few blankets and tents to people who were at the mercy of mortars and MiGs, not only the elements. You tied her fortunes to complicated geopolitical agendas that are beyond her control or interest. You let her legitimate aspirations and her all too human and humanitarian needs be the last entry on a long list of objectives. What do you expect of her now? Would tell her she is wrong to hate you? Would you blame her should she implode? Do you really think she would care anymore?
My friend, Daniel Serwer, from SAIS, refers to my earlier posting on Alkhatib’s and Assad’s “finitiatives,” and expresses certain doubts as to whether Alkhatib’s move will serve to “weaken or strengthen his position,” as opposition leader, noting that “the uncertainty is itself debilitating.” He is right. Alkhatib made quite a gamble, but that’s what real leaders need to do in times of crisis in order to break the stalemate. There are no guarantees of success. But a political move was clearly needed, and I think what Alkhatib started is the right move at this particular time on the political front, even if it failed.
Meanwhile, the Guardian found my endorsement of Alkhatib’s “finitiative” to be surprising, considering my hawkish background and my affiliation with a neocon think tank:
Khatib's call for conditional dialogue with the Syrian government has been backed by unlikely the source - Ammar Abdulhamid a usually hawkish Syrian dissident and blogger. Abdulhamid, fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, which is regarded as a NeoCon thinktank, said an armed struggle should continue alongside Khatib's call for talks.
But I am not motivated by ideology. I stared preaching a jasmine revolution long before it became fashionable to do so, but, when people opted for armed struggle, people like me were not in a position to contradict them and dissuade them from doing so: I did not have the standing or the leverage to do this. So, my best option at that stage was to make sure that the rebels had the material and political support they need to win. If you cannot prevent a certain development, you can at least try to guide it or influence it to the best of your ability. The objective is still democratic change in the region, and not only Syria, breaking the Assad regime is simply the beginning of a long process, a generational process.
Rebels from the Syrian Islamic Front attack a loyalist convoy near the town of Zabadani, Damascus (February 4) using a roadside bomb http://youtu.be/Xz4a6MQwXpk
Rebels in Eastern Ghoutah, Damascus, attack the Tamico Checkpoint using RPGs http://youtu.be/-yAQ8y7EKng Even cows are not safe from random shelling by the regime, as this clip from a farm in the village of Hujairah in Eastern Ghoutah shows http://youtu.be/gd1X4XLLn7I A plane overfly the village in preparation for another raid http://youtu.be/JS1Ue-mNzxA Houses catch fire in Sbeineh http://youtu.be/U2U5Rv4lYNA
Not too far, in Damascus City, a MiG carry out an aerial raid against Al-Qadam neighborhood http://youtu.be/k5MSL-q-93I , http://youtu.be/QoDuEQH2EOQ
Back to the west, and in the town of Daraya, rebels destroy a marauding regime tank http://youtu.be/IT6N8URM9YY But other tanks keep wreaking havoc http://youtu.be/hXP8Byq8uvs And the clashes continue http://youtu.be/zZeoIbJpsMc
The bodies of loyalist soldiers from the Republic Guard are strewn in a side street in Deir Ezzor City http://youtu.be/Fk-tYoFrok8 On the outskirts of the city, rebels target loyalist positions with their own heavy artillery http://youtu.be/nUFYa_QK19k
Rebels from Al-Tawhid Brigade in Daraa City storm a loyalist checkpoint http://youtu.be/yXSG0_a2M1o
In Aleppo, rebels clash with loyalist troops in Massakin Al-Sabeel http://youtu.be/KIGlt2FBdms , http://youtu.be/k6nM5iWVJ6w , http://youtu.be/MtkvvaLWhj4