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.


hans said...

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?

I would say no, the Palestinians need their own internal revolution to throw out their quisling leadership. Both Hamas and the Abbas led PLO. Not so long ago when I was in Paris i saw Arafat's wife shopping dressed like a gold tree, now during my younger days I gave my "dinner" money to the PLO as a gesture of solidarity. I say fool me once, fool me twice and I am a real fool.

Anne Rettenberg LCSW said...

Hi Sophia, glad to see you're still blogging. These posts are very interesting. I don't know what to think about the situation in Syria, but I think the US is not in the mood for another foreign war, at least not a full-scale one. US power is on the wane due to our economic crisis and overextension. Who knows what the future holds...

Anonymous said...

Hi Sophia: Can we really use the Palestinian cause as a means to justify Assad's ongoing slaughter of his people? So far over 10,000 Syrians dead. The Palestinian cause survived the killing of 10,000 Palestinians by King Hussdein in one month. They are a very resilient people.

Since when is non violent resistance a Western concept? Was Ghandi a Westerner?

Has armed struggle worked for the Palestinians? Yes - the Olympic massacre put Palestine cause on the map. But more recently, as Palestinians strapped suicide bomb vests on their young men and women - it did not work. So maybe they should try another way?

The question is if the Hashemite Kingdom falls - and it will - should the Palestinian movement set its sights on Jordan, which is historically part of Palestine - and is 4 times the size of Israel?

Sophia said...

Hi Anne,

Glad to hear from you from time to time.

I hope your other blog is flourishing. I am stuck with this one because the situation the ME is bugging me.

See you soon.


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