Translation of Abdel Bari Atwan Article Excerpt into English

Articles, Translations, Uncategorized

Screen shot 2016-06-04 at 5.53.57 PM

It is undisputed that the international community, and the Syrian people especially, look forward to a “new Syria”. The “old Syria” and the practices that took place there: the absence of democracy, the robbing of freedoms, corruption of the justice system and most, if not all, government institutions, encroaching autocracy, and dominance of the police state, will not, indeed must not, in anyway, be allowed to go on. But what is the Saudi perspective on this “new Syria” and if there really is a ready model that is based on the principles of democracy, pluralism, equality, and an independent and fair justice system, then how come we don’t see it implemented in the Arab world, starting with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia itself?

The term “new Syria” reminds us and others of the new Iraq, which has become one of the most corrupt nations in the world, torn by sectarian and ethnic fragmentation and the absence of a single national identity. In the past, we talked of an Iraq divided into three entities on sectarian and ethnic bases and now we’re talking about multiple Sunni and Shia identities as well as multiple Kurdish identities; the three states are nominated to become six, or even 12, states and entities.

It is no longer about Assad’s presence or absence, but about Syria’s and its fragmentation as an entity. This point is neglected by those involved in the Syrian crisis militarily or politically, for even “Plan A”, i.e. changing the regime, which was adopted by the powers supporting the armed resistance, has crumbled. After five years, this plan is no longer practical or on the table and everyone agrees on the Regime and its institutions staying. The conflict is about the president only in the media, but almost everyone has come to accept him in conversations behind closed doors, even if just temporarily.

Link to original Arabic article by Abdel Bari Atwan: