The Arab Spring has been welcomed by the West as a democratic reform in the Middle East and North Africa. The young plant was watered and fertilized verbally even with military support in Libya to prevent bloodshed. Often in the failure to recognize the fact that much of what sprouts as spring-like, was no flowering of democracy, but rather Islamist weeds. In Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, it is wobbly. What about Syria?
The Muslim Brotherhood had long been an opposition oppressed by all means of a dictatorship in Syria. A large, but with 60 percent Sunnis in Syria one that would have barely won a political majority. Who took to the street though without outside encouragement were angry citizens, feed up with torture, extrajudicial executions, and spying. They were joined by democrats, who soon initiated a kind of national civil rights movement. After they were shot at and persecuted by the state repressive apparatus, more people joined. Islamic-oriented activists and deserters who did not want to fire on the people. The West cheered for the opposition, but unlike in Lybia he was not ready to prevent militarily Assad from murdering his own people. Russia and China also prevented the legitimacy under international law. Weapons came from Sunni supporter States. Then islamist foreign fighters joined.
Almost a year and more than 70,000 deaths later, according to experiences from other wars and without counting the disappeared probably well over 100,000, Assad has “flattened” a large part of “his” country ans its people with everything military technology for modern warfare offers. With solid support from Iran and Russia. The people, especially the democratic opposition, which has experienced that the verbally supportive West did not stand by watching the killings in Libya, feels betrayed by the West and shamefully abandoned. It embraced the only and devoted supporters, the Sunni Islamists. They have prevented the bloody suppression of the democratic revolution and the execution of tens of thousends of the rebellious people. Even if it sounds pathetic, they have shed their blood for the Syrian people. Does the West really expect anything else but anger and ridicule, when he points out that these were terrorists? No one can really be so naiv! I think the Syrians see exactly what is behind the Western policy. Namely the hope that the radical believers of both camps, the Sunnis and the Shiites wear each other, or more precisely: exterminate each other. A great idea! In between, now the people are crushed. What choice remains to the Syrians to survive but to embrace those wrong friends. Some with gratitude and growing sympathy to their political and religious beliefs, others hoping to get this nightmare under control after defeating Assad.
To be clear: The West has once again seen only the pragmatic side and ignored the psychological completely. He lost the battle for hearts for democracy long time ago. And he continues to loose every day that he is waiting or tinkering for a democratic opposition to split off the Islamists suitable for support. They grow together more intimate day by day.
And to put it even more clearly: Mr. Obama messed it up. With best intentions he created a power vacuum for which Sunni extremists and Iran compete now. The cost is far more than a hundred thousand people’s life, it will bring Israel in great danger, and the Europeans as well, as soon as there are nuclear missiles with a range up to European infidels. And this failure, and these deaths will provide the pretext for wars like against the Irak for really imperialist Republican successors of Obama.