ISSN 2330-717X

Tunisia Willing To Destroy Syria? – OpEd


By Mohiyeddin Sajedi

A divergence of opinion on the Syrian developments is quite common as some dub the goings-on as a “revolution,” pointing to the suppression of the people by the Army and security forces and invoking the Baath Party’s long-standing dictatorial records and the impact of the Arab Uprisings upon the Syrian nation.

On the other hand, some point to the Syrian influence in the Middle East policies and its role in supporting the anti-Israeli groups and organizations. They also consider the unrest as the result of foreign provocation with the goal of protecting Israel, especially that the Israeli officials cannot conceal their delight at the fact that the Western-based opposition of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad calls for making peace with Israel.

The Israeli officials now breathe a sigh of relief as former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak decided against surrendering the Golan Heights in the final moments of his negotiations, mediated through former US President Bill Clinton, with late Syrian President Hafez al-Assad.

Israel now imagines that it can keep hold of the Golan Heights as the remnant of the regime that Hafez al-Assad fortified is now crumbling and no one at least for the short term would pressure Israel on reaching an agreement over the plateau.

So long as held in public, political or academic circles, these discussions are very natural, but when they reach the government levels, then it’s a matter of interests.

Tunisia is the first Arab country which staged a revolution, drove out its dictator and held elections. The representatives of the Tunisian nation will soon compile a new constitution which will then be put to a national referendum.

The Tunisian revolution was rapidly exported to its surrounding states and nearly the entire Arab world. As a revolutionary state, the Tunisian government sees it an obligation to stand by all of the oppressed Arab nations and help them out.

However, when the members of the international group “Friends of Syria” congregate in Tunisia to decide on a foreign intervention in an Arab state and turn Tunisia into a base for the destruction of other Arab states, one must take a moment to contemplate the measure.

In the year that has passed since the Tunisian revolution, the new leaders have frequently complained against the Arab and western leaders’ lack of attention towards this country. The Saudi Arabian King doesn’t even respond to the congratulation note that Tunisia’s transitional President sends on religious occasions. Apart from Qatar, all other member states of the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council follow the course of the Kingdom. Perhaps they are concerned that any recognition of the new Tunisian regime would be tantamount to embracing the revolution, which is a nightmare that these states are fleeing.

Now, it has come to light that parallel to the official meeting of the “Friends of Syria,” attended by US, France, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE foreign ministers, another secret meeting has been held by the military generals of these countries to stage a coup in Syria.

Before the Friends of Syria Conference, Tunisian President Al-Munsif al-Marzuqi emphasized that the event should not pave the way for foreign military intervention in Syria. During the conference, however, most participants supported arming Bashar Assad’s opponents, even if such military assistance would lead to civil war in the crisis-stricken country.

When Zine El Abidine Ben Ali ruled in Tunisia, Al-Munsif al-Marzuqi kept asking Western countries form his place of exile to avoid of supporting Bin Ali; his calls, however, fell on deaf ears.

Rashid al-Ghannushi, leader of the Islamic Ennahda Movement, also criticized Western governments when in exile, but his voice was not heard over the hype of those governments.

Al-Marzuqi lived a big part of his life in prison or exile. In an interview with the Human Rights Watch, he said the United States and some European countries, especially France support dictatorial regimes in the Islamic and Arab world under the pretext of fighting Islamic terrorism and illegal immigration. These governments, he added, are the main obstacles on the way of people’s efforts to achieve democracy and human rights and ignore their own principles in favor of supporting dictators and mafia regimes.

A few meters away from the conference venue in the capital city of Tunis, where everybody was talking about annihilation of an Arab regime and staging military coup, al-Marzuqi’s book entitled “His Excellency, This is a Revolution” was sold at the bookshops.

In that book, the old revolutionary says, “The existing Western governments have problem in dealing with us because their theoretical fundaments require them to support democracy, but their interests make them back dictators.”

Few peoples may doubt theoretical and political wholesomeness of Sheikh Rashid al-Ghannushi. He was banned from entering the United States for 20 years. When in London, he charged Western governments of ignoring the rights of the Tunisian nation by supporting Bin Ali. After the fall of Bin Ali, the doors were suddenly opened to him and during his visit to Washington, he was even welcomed by neoconservatives, Israeli lobbies, and research centers with close ties to Israel.

In Egypt, the Americans who had been arrested on charges of conspiracy on the anniversary of the Egyptian revolution were freed to leave the country even at the cost of casting doubt on the independence and credibility of the country’s judiciary and dismissing the original judge. There are rumors that some Egyptian parties, considered as a major threat to its interests by the United States in just a year and a half ago, have been involved in this “compromise.”

Are these developments a sign of rapid transformation of revolution in Egypt and Tunisia? Is the “honor” that the US Secretary of State gave new Tunisian leaders by taking part in the conference similar to the repeatable scenario of destroying another Arab government?

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Press TV is a 24-hour English language global news network owned by Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB). Its headquarters are located in Tehran, Iran. Press TV carries news analysis, documentary talk shows and sports news worldwide with special focus on West Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle East.

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