Independent Media Centre Ireland

Real Syrian Opposition Condemns Syrian National Council

category international | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Sunday November 20, 2011 15:37author by pat c

Louay Hussein a former political prisoner in Syria has more than a few doubts about the Syrian National Council. Hussein, a writer and political prisoner from 1984 to 1991, explains: “People who took part in the protests during the first three months were different from the people now,” he says. The original protesters “had political ideas and values and called for liberty and equality. They were for positive action . . . During this stage, I was part of the movement in the street, as an organiser. But others joined the protests. They regard this regime as murderers rather than a tyranny or dictatorship and raise harmful slogans” by calling for external intervention or executing Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

However, he observes that the “council has a lot of financial and diplomatic support. Many EU states give visas to its members but not to us.”

Hussein warns that it is “dangerous” for outside powers to rely exclusively on opposition groups “because they do not represent the will of all the people some support the regime”. Condemning escalating clashes between the army and armed opposition elements, Hussein insists that the uprising must be peaceful and hopes the Free Syrian Army formed by deserters will be marginalised.

“I don’t know anything about the origin of the Free Syrian Army. It has no political arm . . . Its members want to fight tyranny to bring tyranny. I’m afraid they will be freedom fighters like the Taliban of Afghanistan.”

Hussein is not trying to grab a leadership position by virtue of his years of involvement. He does not believe veteran leaders who have fought the regime in the past and served terms in prison can lead at this juncture. “We need new leaders to emerge from the street.”

His movement urges dialogue while the Syrian National Council rejects contact with the regime. He was the first to organise a meeting of opposition groups in Damascus. This took place at the end of June.

“There is always a possibility for dialogue,” he says, but dialogue can take place only “when the regime is ready for dialogue”. Unfortunately, he says, the regime “thinks dialogue is an exchange of points of view . . . not a means of reaching accommodation”.

“We tried many times to speak with the government. At first the regime did not acknowledge us, now it recognises us. Now that the time is ripe for dialogue, conditions do not give us a chance.”

Meanwhile the French lead the rush to war. The French foreign minister, Alain Juppe, called on the UN security council to strengthen sanctions against Assad's regime. However, Russia, which holds veto power in the council, urged caution in moving against Damascus.

Sanctions against Syria like those against Iran are war by another means.

The "Free Syrian Army" has upped the ante by launching  two rocket-propelled grenades at the offices of the ruling Ba'ath party in Damascus.

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