March 24, 2016

Light At The End of The Syrian Tunnel?

It is interesting that the Assad regime and its Middle Eastern allies, ISIS, the Arab League, the United States, Turkey, NATO, and the comical Saudi-Turkish-led Syrian "mainstream" opposition are all against the idea of federalism. They won't even entertain it as a possible political solution. They dismiss it out of hand as if federalism is worse than an ISIS caliphate.

The so-called opposition wants Syria to be converted from a secular tyranny to a religious tyranny, and they act like the few sensible people championing federalism are the crazy ones. If they can come up with a better solution then they should offer one at the Geneva talks.

The problem with Assad is that from the very beginning he did not lay out a clear and hopeful political vision to inspire and accomodate all sectors of Syrian society. His only pitch from the start of the war has been, "I'm better than ISIS. I'm better than these Jihadist gangs." Yeah, well, who isn't? If that is his best argument then he doesn't deserve to rule. Putin and Hezbollah saved his ass, and this dumb ass is acting like he's the Emperor of the world.

An excerpt from, "A new federalism: Making it official in Syria's north" Syria Direct, March 22, 2016:
In a meeting last Thursday in the Al-Hasakah oil town of Rumeilan, 200 representatives of Kurdish-controlled territories voted to form a federal system in northern Syria.  

Thursday’s vote united the three Kurdish Self Administration-controlled cantons of Jazirah, Afrin and Kobani under a single “Federal Democratic System of Rojava – Northern Syria.” Other northern Syrian territories controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces also fall within the new federal system.

This is not strictly a Kurdish state, according to a statement released after the meeting. The federal system “encapsulates all social components and guarantees that a future Syria will be for all Syrians.”

Mustafa Ebdi, Kurdish journalist living in Kobani, supports federalism

Q: What does the newly announced federalism in northern Syria mean?

There is confusion and ignorance about what the federalism announced in Rojava and northern Syria means. It is not nationalist federalism [for Kurds alone], but rather federalism for all the components. It is not only the Kurds who announced it, they did so alongside most groups in northern Syria: Arabs, Turkmen, Assyrians, Armenians, Chechens, et cetera.

Thursday’s conference was attended by 200 national figures [representatives], most of them rebels and opponents to the Bashar al-Assad regime. The document that came out of that conference expressed their intent to establish a decentralized, federal Syria. The implementation will be over six months.

Q: Some say that the implementation of federalism in the north will be the beginning of the partition of Syria into a number of states (Alawite, Kurdish, Druze, et cetera).

Federalism does not mean partition, but rather the reunification of Syria. Syria today is divided between areas controlled by different military factions, each ruling its city or area according to its own laws. Federalism in the north means the unification of the north within an administration made up of different [ethno-religious] components.

These accusations of partition, predictions and analyses also came up when the Kurdistan Region in Iraq was initially announced. Today, that region remains within Iraq, and most of its leadership is adamant about unity.

Whatever the case, Kurds are Syrians, and they have the right to come to an agreement with the other parties in their area to administer their own affairs.