Meanwhile Syrian military has attacked Lebanon. This tells at the urgency to resolve the dispute at the earliest and think about post-Assad Syria. But Mr. Obama is very unlikely to provide arms and ammunitions explicitly to rebels fearing that they could go into the hands of extremists and ultimately used against American interests. The US has been providing some kind of support to Syrian opposition for at least past one year.
In order to think about post-Assad Syria, one needs to first topple him. But in what time and how it should be tried? That's a very important question. If Mr. Assad is not toppled within short duration of time, say by July 2013, then the situation would become so chaotic and emotional that it would be difficult for the Free Syrian Army (FSA) to grant amnesty to too many people resulting in permanent divide within various communities.
The best way to topple Mr. Assad is through coup planned and executed by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). But in case Mr. Assad is ousted by direct military action then not only would there be increased tension in Syria but also in the bigger parts of the Arab world. The larger Sunni-Shia conflict would spillover to almost all parts of the Middle East wherever there are sizable minorities. Also, Kurds’ problem would complicate governance in Turkey, Iraq and Iran other than in Syria. Sure, of late Parti Karkerani Kurdistan (PKK), also known as Kurdistan Workers’ Party, has agreed on a negotiated settlement with Turkish government, but things can complicate elsewhere.
In reality, there may not be other viable options to topple Mr. Assad other than through a military action. But in case he is toppled by a military action then it could again lead to fissure among the people resulting in civil war in Syria, should the future government not handle the situation with dexterity.
The US could be seen as the invader if the Pentagon executes the military plan. Recently, the UK has decided to offer armored vehicles and body armors along with other logistic military support to Syrian rebels. France has joined the issue with the UK to lift European Union’s (EU) arms embargo on Syrian opposition. But Germany has opposed the move saying it would lead to increased hostility and instability in the Arab world. It is high time that the UK and France jointly take a military mission to oust Mr. Assad after consulting the US and end parallelism in Western Europe.
Most important part about the post-Assad vision is that it should be based on reality. While not all civil servants should be fired nor the Syrian military should be disbanded, like it was dome in Iraq, is correct but one has to see Syrians in their local context. The argument is not that Mr. Assad's regime is persecuting and torturing Sunnis for past two years or so but that Syria’s Sunni majority is out of power for past many decades. Everything counts in this high consciousness era; some even want to rewrite histories. Passions are running so high in Syria that it would be difficult for the present Syrian opposition to keep its promise of inclusive governance once it is in charge of Syria.
No matter how big promises are made by Syrian opposition and its military units, the fact is that relative representation of Alawites and other minorities supporting Mr. Assad's government would decrease significantly. The future government may not discriminate minorities, particularly Alawites, but it would not treat them as their equals at least in short-to-middle term after the exit of Mr. Assad. Frankly speaking, it is just not possible.
The fact is that Syria is almost a 'Middle State' in the Middle East as per its natural and human resources' strength. Therefore, it may not be possible for its government to satisfy all lobbying groups. Moreover, because of Mr. Assad’s inclination towards Russia, China and Iran, Syria is not at all related with the West. The West would find it difficult to impose its will once the job is over. It would face conflicting demands due to increased consciousness of Syrians. It should be noted that beliefs of majority of Syrians would not be the same as they were few years back.
Nobody or no nation should think about future Syrian state to become secular. The US cannot behave like a guardian of the Syrian state. The US just needs to see that minorities are not persecuted and economic activities restart. It is true that Syria would require great assistance from the West and the Arab world to rebuild itself but the donors and aid-givers should not put bizarre conditions on future Syrian government. They should insist on post-Assad Syria to have strong institutions, democratic if possible, but they would be local in nature. The rule of law and respect for human rights again should be seen in relative context. But Syrian refugees should come back to their home as soon as possible once the war is over.
The West should let the Syrian state evolve in its own way. How much can one expect a future Sunni-dominated government to be rational and just? Measures should be in proportion and in touch with the reality. Minorities in the Arab world can be protected by the majorities provided the West supports majorities.
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