Now That Syria Has A Transitional Council—What Will NATO Do?

By Baher Kamal | Human Wrongs Watch

Syrian opposition figures and groups claiming that they represent most opposition movements to Bashar Al Assad dictatorial regime, have formed in Turkey a National Transition Council, chaired by Burhan Ghalioun, a Syrian-French academic teaching at the Sorbonne University in Paris.

Shall the UN Security Council –acting once more as a World Military Junta decreeing wars and bombings– dispatch the NATO also to Syria? Will French president Nicolas Sarkozy extend the Élysée red carpet for the Syrian NTC so as to add Syria to his list of “liberated” countries, after Sierra Leone and Libya? After all, Syria was under French mandate and control since 1920 until its independence in 1946.

Image: syriana2011 | Wikimedia Commons

So far, the Syrian NTC chairman stated on September 3rd, that a road map for the structure and composition of the NTC will be officially announced soon, so that it can “lead the political action, regulate the revolution relations inside and outside Syria, and contribute to crucial decisions.”

Burhan Ghalioun, who was born in Homs, Syria in 1945, revealed that the NTC is composed of representatives of young revolutionaries and political groups, parties, movements and social organisations, as well as independent figures to be selected by consensus.

A professor of Political Sociology and Director of the Centre of Contemporary East Studies at the University of Sorbonne in Paris, Ghalioun also said that the NTC represents all components of Syrian revolution, and is “sovereign” obeying only to “the national interest”.

A Transitional Council Born in Turkey

The Syrian NTC will elect its own Executive Committee and President, will set the political line of democratic action mobility, and organise all efforts aiming to put an end to the dictatorship and lead Syria toward a pluralistic democratic system.

Ghalioun, who is flanked by three deputies, has called on all revolution and opposition forces to declare their support and participate in the process of building ‘this national body” (the NTC), which he said will be the main tool to support the Syrian Revolution.

The Syrian NTC was formed in Ankara on August 29th by 94 Syrian opposition figures both at home (42) and abroad (52). Since the beginning of Syrian popular uprising last March, Turkey has been the venue of a number of meetings gathering Syrian leaders.

Syrian NTC spokespersons have repeatedly stressed that the key goal of Syrian revolution is “to topple the illegitimate authoritarian regime in order to enable the people to build their own democratic society and realise their aspirations for freedom and dignity.”

The Syrian Arab Spring

Massive protests calling for freedom and regime change have spread across Syria since first erupting in the southern governorate of Deraa on March 15. The movement has gained momentum in spite a brutal military crackdown.

According to credible sources, around more 1,500 civilians have been killed and many more wounded throughout the country. At least 10,000 people, including many women and children, have also been imprisoned – and in many cases tortured – for protesting.

Syria has been subjected to emergency law since 1963 – the year Hafez al-Assad, the father of the current president, took power after leading a military coup.

International organisations have described the human rights status in Syria as being one of the worst in the world, with security forces having a long history of harassing and imprisoning rights activists and critics of the government.

Questions, Questions and More Questions!

In addition to the previously mentioned ones regarding the UN Security Council, the NATO and French Sarkozy, a number of questions necessarily arise. For instance, why would NATO powers and market lords be interested in “liberating” Syria following the Libyan example?

Syria extracts relatively modest amounts of oil, insufficient even to meet national consumption. Therefor oil should not be an enough reason to intervene military in Syria.

What then?

A most likely set of arguments would probably delight political and wars lords, whetting their appetite for wars and hegemony, such as:

  1. Syria has played the role of hard-liner leading the so-called “Rejection Front” and refusing to recognise Israel and give up its military occupied Golan territory;

  2. Consequently, Syria was added to former White House occupant’s “Axis Of Evil”;

  3. Syria was also accused of developing nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction;

  4. Furthermore, it was accused of hosting and promoting terrorism and maintaining close ties with other two “evils”–Iran and HAMAS;

  5. Syria has also been accused of being a strong ally of another “evil” –Lebanese Hezbollah.

Add to that the very fact that the Assads (father and son) have always sat on a tough, sanguinary dictatorial regime, like Tunisia’ Zeineddin Ben-Ali, Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, and Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi.

Another “Humanitarian, Democratising Intervention” in the Making?

In short, NATO powers, multinational market lords and war lords would have every reason to caress the temptation to “take Syria” as well.

Of course, they would do it as a “humanitarian” mission to “protect civilians” while arming them and even killing them (collateral damage!).

And of course they would do it also to “bring freedom and democracy” to Syria.

Perhaps a similar kind of humanity, freedom and democracy to the ones they brought to Afghanistan and Iraq?  (Human Wrongs Watch).

Copyright © 2011 Human Wrongs Watch

This article may be re-published, sourcing to Human Wrongs Watch

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