Comment on Amal Saad Ghorayeb's A clarification of my position on Syria and a riposte to Angry Arab
Amal Saad Ghorayeb is a courageous woman. It takes a woman, and an academic not part of academia, to articulate a position on Syria free from political pressure.
Personally, whenever I voiced an opinion favorable to reforms in Syria supported by a political process, I have experienced on Twitter and on this blog, accusations of being pro-regime, ostracisation, silence to my arguments, ridicule, and embarrassment felt by others at not being able to engage with me. Do I feel alone? Definitely. But I also feel that I am not afraid, like others, to speak from my own informed judgement without a 'conscience' guide and without the approval of others.
The result of this process of pressure toward thought homegenisation and thought control, under a political program hypocritically focused, from the exterior, on democracy 'rights' for Arabs, and, from the interior, on the divisions and disintegration of post-colonial Arab societies along sectarian lines, is more divisions. This is the core of the process of unconventional warfare used now by a financially bankrupt US: disintegration of societies and groups, manipulation of beliefs, loss of trust and confidence.
To Saad Ghorayeb's critics I say: the more we quarrel, the more we aid the people who want us to fight among ourselves.
Now on the substance of Amal Saad Ghorayeb's argument: there is truth to the fact that the fall of Assad will fragilise the resistance axis. It is not about Assad. With the fall of Assad, a whole system will be down, a system that never compromised with the West as other Arab regimes did. And I don't think this is good for Palestine. I think the fall of Assad will be one of the last nail in the coffin of the resistance and will be to the Palestinian resistance (or what is left of it) of a much larger impact than the defeat of the PLO in Beirut in 1982.
Now, although I am sympathetic to Amal Saad Ghorayeb's argument, I have a concern. Let's suppose that Palestinians have given up fighting Israel and that they will be happy with western approved tactics like non violent resistance and so on - and there are many indications pointing in this direction - should we still fight for them? This is what is preocuppying my thoughts these days. I don't have the answer to this but I still think that we have the duty to preserve a resistance to imperialism in the region, unattached to the palestinian struggle. If the Palestinians want to come along, this is fine. Otherwise, we have the duty to keep the resistance alive and we have to think of ways to preserve it. And if this means keeping Assad because if he goes it might bring about, not only the end, but the death of the resistance, I don't see a problem. But we must do this with accountability. So, yes, we're in for an existential struggle against an existential threat: the West and Israel. This is not only purely a moral obligation to Palestinians, who had to endure this threat the most, it is a moral obligation to ourselves. And it is bigger than Assad and it is bigger than Palestine.