SYRIA’S CIVIL WAR
ARARAT KOSTANIAN






Introduction
 The Arab uprising spread all over the Middle East after the incident of Mohammad Bouazizi immolated himself. The act was seen as simply an economic trigger, which had affected in other secular countries with high proportions of tiny circles well offs and huge number of people in poverty.

Interestingly, the wave reached to Syria, and in the beginning of the uprising in tiny cities; caused the same conclusion that the so called the “Arab Spring” was an economic issue in Syria as well. It seemed that it is possible to reach revolution and overthrow the authoritarian strict repressive regime with daily peaceful demonstrations.

My aim to show the Armenian case will be simply to stress the point that democracy can be established in other countries, but not in Syria. Syria is a complex country to implement new methods and to put into reality. The country has unresolved problems such as ideological and sectarian. The civil uprising very quickly have been taken by the radical Islamists and the demonstrations didn’t spread to other major cities. Arab muslims for ages have seen either backward religious autocrats, those who could lead the people only with jihad- study under religious guidance chosen from the Sharia law explanations, or secular tyrannic repressive regimes who have provided limited opportunities for the population. In both cases, democracy haven’t been accepted or not implemented positively.

Thus, the conflict is ideological in the big sense. Assad’s regime represents the national socialist government, and Islamists rely on the implementing sharia law and lead the country with islamic norms. Moreover, the conflict has derived deep hatred among Sunni and shii sects which raised the opportunity of above mentioned sects to quarrel and take control. Moreover, the conflict took new shape between Al Qaeda members and ISIS The country in current time is in Anarchy, and the biggest responsible for this situation are the salafi-takfiri (Salafi is a dominant trend in Sunni Islam , a movement that takes the uncorrupted practicec of the first generation of Muslims) (takfiri person who rejects Islam. Islams also can be considered kafir, if not following salafi trend)
organaizations.

In the first part of this essay I will show the reader that the conflict in Syria was not merely based on economic foctors, there has been other issues as well. Moreover, I will show the complicated aspect of the ideological factor and the link of the current issue with similar incident from the past where the Islamists protested every time the country was advancing in economy. On the second part, I will show the ideological and the sectarian issue attached to the “Syrian Uprising”and how the radical Islamists took the battle on their control. As last, I will touch upon the democracy issue, where I will show the main reasons why there was no possibility in Syria to implement democracy and defend itself from bloody civil war.
 
the conflict was economic or has other reasons?

 David W. Lesch writes in his “ SYRIA THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF ASSAD” that In Syria there was too much unemployment and that was the main reason where Syrians welcomed the wave of the Arab spring and had been encouraged by Arabs of Tunisia. In fact, the uprising indeed collected tiny opposition gatherings in the poverty area of Syria, as Tariq Ramadan puts it in his work (ISLAM AND THE ARAB AWAKENING), but the main aspect of it was more ideological and nobody expected that the radical Islamists will take over and put democratic Islamists in silent.

Furthermore, among huge number of experts and even ordinary people have the notion that the oil and gas issue was the primary cause for the war. In there view, the radical Islamists first needed weapons and seeable finance, to be able to topple the regime, So they attacked on the oil fields and took over, paits esd dndesaked paul “martgants meds mase voroshumner gayatsnelis himnvoom e arga gordsonneri yev bnagan resurcneri vra, baits yete menk heranum enk ayt hamenthanoor yentatrutiunnerits yev garoghanoom enk sdandardits durs mdadsel, patsahaidum enk, vor dndesagan aji gordsntatsum kidelikn arantskayin gordsone. Thus, it will be unrealistic to find any evidence, where could be mentioned the possibility of the fighters of ISIS in bringing the raw oil into functioning category. It could be said that the takeover of the radical Islamists of the oil fields gives them nothing but propaganda of inviting attention on the issue. More seriously, in comparison,
today’s situation in Syria is very similar with the 80’s where the country under Hafez al Assad, for the first time, was facing economic boom and construction of Syria’s infrastructure. Whether defending or against, it is a fact that Hafez al Assad had renovated the country and brought on stable functioning. On Contrary, the Muslim Brotherhood managed an assault against the president and its Alawi sect.

Their motives were not pointed at the economic issue, but their intention had been on igniting the country in ideological battle. They were armed and targeted prominent figures , even sunnis. Similarly, Bashar Assad’s Syria was just flourishing and it was on the progress of liberating the economy. Furthermore, private banks, Universities, Touristic agencies, network companies had been real only during Bashar Assad’s time. The graphic more in economic language is as follow { sirirayi dndesutiune achki er engnoom ir ajogh entlainvogh ardatragan bazayov, artiunaved kiughadndesutiamp, zarkatsads zposashrchayin hamagarkov, tsadsr knajov: nor naftayin hankahoreri haidnapermamp anenthad medsanoom er nafti artiunahanoome yev ardahanoome: 2010 trutiamp dndesagan vijage gayun er, isk hima yergire snangatsads vijagoom e}At Bashar’s time the radical Islamic threat have been articulated more seriously and the need for Islamic awakening was robust and real. In other words, Radical Islamists’ demands have been very clear and they pointed on their willingness of government ruled by Islamic law, regardless of what was the economic situation in the country.

The situation was vastly deeper than the economic issue, and the country have been under difficult condition where the economic issue was not so essential to start an uprising, but on Syria’s case it is the ideology that drove the country into civil war. In Syria, unlike other arab countries, the uprising have not been under economic reasons, but because of purely ideological differences, in short, secular vs Islamist.
 
the civil war was ideological or just armed groups were fighting against the regime?

To understand the current situation regarding Syria; we should go back and explain the core reality of the political arena in Syria. In 70’s it had established a new wave of pan arabism ( a nationalist-socialist) western-style governments and until now it is the only pan Arab country remained, that doesn’t have peace plan with long time enemy Israel. Moreover, in 80’s same as in our time the Muslim Brotherhood organised demonstrations against the newly formed government to step down for the reason that Syria is a muslim country and should be governed by sharia. It is true when its said the history repeats itself. Again in our time, the Syrian regime developed its relation with Iran and Hizbollah, shia influenced movement, the fundamental Islamists wanted to raise their chance and start a war on Syria as a war not only on sectarian sphere, but also on Syria in general.

At present, disappearance of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood brought the notion that this conflict is very different from Islamic uprising as it was in the 80’s by Muslim Brotherhood. On the battlefield the fighting powers were the regime’s army confronting the Free Syrian Army (detached from the Syrian Army).The media was filled with Free Syrian Armies chanting allah u akbar ( God is great) on every bombing regardless of the disappearance of the Muslim Brotherhood’s involvement, was not convincing that the Islamists and the Muslim Brotherhoods were not in the scene, whereas in Egypt, the new elected president , Morci in an Interview on TIME magazine mentioned that “democracy and equality are possible when Islamists come to power, patience could bring all the issues on table, the only obstacle that we didn’t have democracy for decades”. Although the Egyptian president exaggerated to smooth possibility of the Islam to work in Country with different ideologies and religious, but the Muslim Brotherhood took a courageous step forward with joining the elections. In the case of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, they were in back stage,idle and mute. Sadly,their passive attitude let the vacuum be filled by a radical Salafi-Takfiri regional organization revealed in Iraq and the levant. Interestingly, JOHN R,BRADLEY predicted that the vacuum will not be filled with pro democracy campaigners.

Why the ISIS was not a fighting group per se, but an robust ideological power in the region ?

The ISIS has urged as a jihadi war against the infidels. their leader al Baghdadi, an Iraqi Al Qaeda member brought new formula for the region and in Political Islam: the conflict is not against Bashar’s regime per se, but against the local and international infidels who rejects the return to salafi readings of Islam ( puritanical Islam which means return to implementing Jihad-Struggle, holy war, physical sacrifice, or mental study). Another factor is that the Syrian society starting from the Iraq war in 2003, began to head towards fundamental Islam more seriously; women started to dress and close their heads similar to Wahhabi (An ultra Orthodox Sunni) Saudi Arabians. wether the implementation would be possible or not, the aim of ISIS organisation was to bring chaos in the region. Interestingly, the ISIS was not fighting against the secularist governments per se, or fighting against Shia-Alawi minority, but ISIS raged war against sunni Al Nusra, Al Qaeda affiliate organization as well. The aim of the ISIS was to bring Chaos in the region. on ther other side the involvement of the Shia influenced Hizbollah organisation in the battle specially in Quseir, brought the explanation that that the battle is not only among resistance powers, but mainly result of sectarian Sunni-shii competition: for Instance, another resistance organisation Hamas in Palestine did not stand with it’s ally Syrian regime, but defended the hegemony of the Sunni factor in the region. Moreover, they fought with radical Islamists against the Alawi(sect tracked under Shia) Syrian regime. Thus, no war can be deep rooted , as in the Syrian case, without the ideological factor in the conflict, specially when salafi-takfiri understanding came first time in reality with Syrian War. Moreover, this situation greatly seems serving Israel, where the only enemy country Syria is in chaos, and it needs decades to gain the resistance status again in the Nationalist pan Arabist path. At the same time, it is more dangerous for Israel not only with surrounded Muslim countries per se, but also the Takfiri hegemony in Syria where will lead entering such group into Israel and fighting in the name of God. Conflict came to Syria’s door and it could be continued as long as the ideology is into it.

Why democracy was absent? who’s fault?

Although regime tactics were not showing any positive stand towards democracy, the reforms were taking place only with delays and making the reform unnecessary; the radical Islamists opposing method was far away from democracy too. Unfortunately, the radical Islamists of Syria didn’t use the “Islamic democracy” model that had been successful in Turkey and in Egypt lately after the so called the “Arab Spring”, the democrat Islamists showed their ability to go for open elections, participating in voting, going back to campaigning when not in power and the most important this was sharing government with other ideological political parties; even with liberals and leftists (Peter mandaville global political Islam as such happened in Egypt after the so called “Arab Spring”.

Furthermore, the Islamists of Syria didn’t try to participate in presidential election, where they could have gained recognition and popular support from all parties who are standing against the Syrian regime from all backgrounds. On contrary, they have been putting forward the notion that “You need to use force against repressive regime in order to win” (Marc Lynch, the arab uprising). This narrow mindedness have put the radical Islamists in the worst situation. by their tactic they have made the regime more strong and the fact is now, at this moment, the regime is chanting the death’s of millions of innocence because of terrorists involvement in the Levant .Thus, the radical Islamists lost the chance of learning peaceful existence in Syria; they have accepted the war driven by hatred for everything different. As an example, of the Syrian Islamists were better to react peacefully in such happened in Armenia-it will be worth on mentioning Armenia’s condition which is not only close geographically per se, but with the timing as well. Armenia has mature opposition since 2008 election, and they brought half a million demonstrators to the Independent Square equipped only by their chanting. the government attacked the gathering place with army and left ten people death, but the opposition is still not armed to date.

On Syria, democracy was lost not because of regime’s brutality and delayed reforms, but for the reason of opposition’s blindness and for putting itself out of the political order, instead beheading and chanting for jihad, to create chaos in the country and the region.
 
Conclusion

This essay has been shown the effect of the so called Arab spring to the core Middle East country Syria, where although the economic obstacles existed, radical Islamism hit it’s door. The Syrian regime did mistake, mainly because of not being ready for wholesale actions. On, the other side, Jihadi new form of organisation have been revealed in Syria where methods of Salafi-takfiri put in danger the whole country from national socialists to religious population. The significance of this essay is that proved the country is in Chaos and the conflict could be ended if the salafi-takfiri organisation vanishes and at the same time the authoritarian regime takes democratic steps.I believe, the cure is the creation of a government from all aspects of the population, where the democracy could reunite the factions and go for elections. At last Samhuel Hintington’s the clash of civilization’s of establishing the islamic union was under test in Syria. At last, The final result of the Syrian civil war is still uncertain and democracy missing from the arena until now.
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4434 reads | 27.04.2015
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