The Syrian National Council in Syrian eyes

Every problem has a solution, the current cracks in Syria, however, have yet to see any glimmer of hope of or solution even after the opposition (external and most of the internal) have gathered and formed the ‘Syrian National Council’. The situation in Syria is still as dark and as foggy as it has always been since the start of the crisis with a crackdown that has reached some unbelievable levels of violence according to Syrian activists.

Many Syrians, no doubt, support this council, while others (pro-regimers) consider it as the first step on the road to hell.

How do Syrians feel about this council? How are they going to interact with it? Should this council replace the current regime or should it become part of the current regime and government? What are the possibilities?

“The political vision of the council will give a push escalate the revolutionary work we are seeing,” said Sumaya Kadamany, the general secretary of the council said.

“In terms of external actions, the council will be seeking to fill the vacuum identified by the international community, as an alternative to the government and represent the position of the Syrian revolution in an efficient and credible way,” says Yaser Tabbara, a Chicago-based lawyer, who was in the steering committee for the council and was named among its members.

“We’re really committed to the demands of the people inside Syria, and we’ll seek a meaningful dialogue with those inside on the next step that they want us to take,” Tabbara said.

Many people, however, look to the council with suspension and some of them are even upset and angry. Visiting the markets and trying to get some opinions was very difficult, many were nervous and refused to talk about it because it is (the council) illegal and related to the west -the land of the conspiracies-!

“I want to know why do they hate Syria and its leadership this much, I want to know what do they –the council members- want from Syria and where do they want to take the country. They are vindictive people, they are trying to destroy Syria just because of their personal reasons, all of them have ties with western agendas and live outside Syria, they are strangers we will not support strangers to destroy our country. And they call themselves educated people!” says Solafa Dan, a teacher in a high school, 44 years old.

Her roommate Danya Shawky said: “This is not acceptable, such a council is a big team that wants to destroy Syria and to allow the invaders to occupy our country and loot its resources. By the way: I noticed that they are not forming one front, they are divided and they don’t have one specific place to go to, they meet in turkey, France and Belgium, no one is adopting them and no one will, this council is the most dangerous thing that could happen to Syria, I will never ever support such people who want to deliver Syria to the west”.

They are against each other

Haytham Manna is a Syrian writer and spokesman for the Arab Commission for Human Rights and one of the most known Syrian oppositionists. He said that “this council does not represent him or the whole opposition”. He accused the members of the council that “they are a group of hateful people, they live and eat by the western will, he (the west) pays them money to execute his needs and wishes, their agenda is an Islamic agenda that hides spies and low principles.”

“This council is nothing but a cancer it has been created to eat Syria and to destroy the Syrians. We all know that Europe, USA and Turkey are besieging us -us means the Syrian people – so they don’t care about us, and they are supporting the council, I can’t understand how they besieging the people who they want to save.” This is what Ammar SA, dentist, said about the council and about why he refuses to support it. “I will never support the people who want Syria to become another Iraq,” he added.

The conflicting views show the hidden danger and the dangerous reactions that could be found among people: “We will never surrender, we are ready to die to save our Syria, we are the people of Syria, they -the members of the council-are not,  I cannot recognize anyone of them. MRs. Kadamany is a member in more than three American committees, all of them will never refuse to work against Arabs for the sack of Israel, Bourhan Ghalyoun is an agent for France. They are paying him to attack Syria. It is the same Iraqi situation they want Syria to be divided into many states to control it and to steal its wealth, I will never support or admit such a council of agents. Oh my God; the image of the American soldiers walking through the streets of Damascus is not leaving me, I can’t accept that, no one can accept it” says Elham Al-Shofi, 37 years old, pediatrician.

Nour E, 28 years, HR manager in one of the biggest companies in Syria, says: “I prefer to support the people of the parliament although they don’t do anything useful, but I will never support the national council, I will never support people I don’t know or recognize, this is madness! We are talking about Syria, the state that fought for more than 30 years against Israel and its conspiracies against Arabs. I know that such council is nothing but a puppet to execute the wishes of the American and Israeli administrations. This is what I heard on Addounia TV last night, they proved that the council is an agent and will work for the good of America and Israel, no one in Syria is supporting them and no one will. They are crazy, they are dreamers of the impossible. Who are they? Who the hell are they? They have their life out there, they have their jobs and their families, just let them leave Syrians alone, we don’t want them.”

Asking people about the council is a journey of surprises; people claim to know everything, even the supposedly-secret things they know them and will tell you about them as a top secret information that only they knew about, what are the sources of such information; God only knows: “I know that France has given Ghalyoun more than 20 million euros to support him and to show him its commitment. They paid him the money at night in his hotel and asked him to raise the hostility tone against Syria and to keep this support as a secret” Omran KH, a baker in Old Damascus uncovered the news to us!!

The official attitudes against the council were so sharp and serious, Almoualem, Syrian foreign minister has threatened any state that will support this council or recognize it and asked them to kick it out because it is nothing and will lead to nothing: “Syria will take strong measures against any country that recognizes the opposition council formed in Turkey. I am not interested in what they seek,” he said, according to SANA. Mr. Bader Hasson, Syrian general Moufty said: “We will destroy any country that will support this council and will send our suicide bombers –who are already there- to attack USA and Israel.”

All this, however, was not enough to limit and control the actions of the council.

Limited steps and supports

International powers are mounting more pressure on the Syrian regime, providing the newly-formed opposition group with an umbrella of key backers in the Arab world. The new opposition movement, the Syrian National Council, has received backing from a coalition of Egyptian parties named: The Democratic Alliance for Egypt. The alliance and the council held a meeting in Egypt, said Sayed el-Badawi, whose al-Wafd party is a member of the alliance.

“The meeting aimed to forge a stronger relationship between the Syrian Council and the Egyptian parties,” Adeeb Shishakly, a senior member of the Syrian National Council told CNN. “At the conclusion of the meeting, the 43 parties recognized the Syrian National Council as a legitimate representative of the Syrian people,” he said.

Egypt’s military and political leaders have not recognized the Syrian opposition group, despite the delegation’s efforts. The Arab League has not recognized it either. But in Libya, the new authorities there have recognized the Syrian National Council as the ‘sole representative of the Syrian people’.

Double-Edged Sword

The EU has welcomed the formation of the Syrian National Council (SNC) as a “positive step forward” the statement, agreed on by EU foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg, called on other countries to do the same. It comes just a day after Syria warned that it would take “tough measures” against any country that recognizes the SNC.

“They are supporting the people of Syria why should we hate them?” says Nuha, a news editor in a foreign news agency who came to Syria to be close to the events. She add: “ They all know the situation here in Syria and all of them feel sorry for us, this council will help us to save the blood of the citizens and the army members. Such a council will help to control the armed groups and the brutal actions of the security forces on the streets.”

The supporters of the SNC are very optimistic, they feel secure and they “know that the world will never ignore us any more” a company manager said. “It will stand for us and support us, it is the right step to harvest the fruits of seven months of protesting. I am supporting the council in all its decisions, they know what to do and how to do it, I refuse any external interference, but -of course- I refuse what is going on in Syria especially in the hot spots”.

The announcement of the Syrian National Council at a conference in Istanbul appeared to be the most serious step, yet, to unify a deeply fragmented opposition. It includes representatives from the Damascus Declaration grouping; a pro-democracy network based in the capital, the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood; an Islamic political party banned in the country, various Kurdish factions and above all the ‘Local Coordination Committees’ which have led the protests’ movement across the country; as well as other independent and tribal figures.

Istanbul conference spokesman Ghalioun said: “One major benefit of the council to the Syrian opposition would be to provide a single body with which other countries could coordinate. He urged Syrians everywhere to support it and said that it will function as a mechanism for democratic change.”

“The SNC will end the farces in Syria, it will stop the blood flood and will put an end to the irresponsible acts of the security personnel in Syria” says Amal Naser, 30 years old, engineer.

Regarding whether the SNC will represent her or not she said: “I care about how they will stop the killing here, if they manage to stop the killing then they deserve to be the leaders no matter what their belongings were.”

The Syrian opposition consists of a variety of groups with differing ideologies, including Islamists and seculars, and there have been many meetings of dissidents claiming to represent Syria’s popular uprising since it erupted seven months ago. But the new council is the broadest umbrella movement of the revolutionary forces formed so far. This pushes some people to be suspicious about it: “The SNC council is representing me. I assure you that all the people in Syria are supporting this council but they can’t say that due to the tight security, they are afraid. The supporter of the government said that the members of the council are supported by imperialism so they are our enemy, if we judge people according to their supporters, how the hell should we judge an authority that is supported by China, Iran, and Russia; all of which are known by violating human rights.” Says Abbas M, 67 years old, male.

The dilemma in Syria is not a small anymore; it needs very unique solutions, and the gathering of all efforts. Denying or fighting against the SNC will bring nothing but more blood and more dead bodies.

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