For the Syrian opposition to unite is a good thing. For it to divide is a bad thing. This is quite simply how one can summarize the “wisdom” of how the supporters of the revolution against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad view the opposition and the relations between the opposition groups, councils, and bodies.
Undoubtedly, the escalation of animosity between the different components of the opposition is slowing down and hindering the progress of the revolution. This was apparent through the mutual accusations following the chaos that accompanied the publication of the joint statement which was signed in Cairo between the National Council and the Coordination Committee. Also undoubtedly, stooping to this low level of speech days after the end of the negotiations affects the credibility of both parties, the internal unity of which depends on fragile agreements.
But all this does not negate a bunch of constant facts that are growing more solid with time. First, the Syrian revolution was not launched as a result of a planning carried out by an opposition force or party. It also asked for no permission neither from a “committee” nor a “council.” The Syrians took to the streets and declared their desire to topple the tyrannical rule before the opposition forces could realize the depth and radicalism of the matter. The Syrian Street was way ahead of all the leaderships including the traditional and the new ones. It is still ahead of them according to the activities, slogans, and demands of the protestors in addition to their art work, musical work and novels.
It is true that the spontaneous setoff needs rationalization and someone to come up with the programs for the transfer of power and for managing the change and preventing it from slipping into an excessive violence and to a sectarian confrontation. It is also true that the issue of the difference between the two opposition sides, and the issue of the external interference is superfluous and meaningless at this time where there seems to be no real possibility for any external military action be it by land or by air. But all these barriers will not lead to aborting the revolution or terminating it, although the regime and its allies will use them in their media campaigns against the opposition.
In other words, the Syrian revolution will proceed in its own way and will transcend the palaces of the opposition and its fake problems such as “the acceptance or the rejection of the external interference,” and “the internal and the external oppositions” and all that relates to this same subject, including all the terms that are meaningless and worthless compared to the task of halting the Syrian bloodshed. The revolution will produce its leaderships, programs, and figures from its own womb rather than from the meetings of Cairo or any other place. This option will be slow and hefty. But in the face of the sterility and atrophy that are occupying the imagination of the opposition including all its different sections, as well as its political and media related effectiveness and capacities, it seems that there is no other solution for the trap that the Syrian opposition has fallen into except but to depend on whatever is produced by the opposing, rebelling Street.
This perhaps is in contradiction with the instructions’ manual of “how to make” a revolution that has been adopted by some opposition forces for long decades because this rejects the idea of the pioneering, the programs, and the revolutionary focus. But it is urgent today to halt these discussions and to listen to the voices of the millions of Syrians who protested on the “Friday of marching to the arenas of wisdom,” and to make use of the popular momentum on one hand, and of the total bankruptcy of the regime on the other hand in order to attain the historic achievement that the Syrians are looking forward to.
This call does not feed into any popular, religious or sectarian direction that is voiced through some satellite channel. This call rather sides by the major choices of the Syrian population, first and foremost.
(The writer is a prominent columnist. The article was published in the London-based al-Hayat on Jan. 3, 2012)