Monday, 25 August 2014
Peering into the faultlines: a response to 'New faultlines in the Middle East: ISIS in a regional context'
Sam Charles Hamad:
"The Assad regime isn’t waging a war against ‘terrorism’ and ‘extremism’, it is carrying out a genocidal war to maintain its own power and destroy those forces who have risen up against it – this is the point that should never be forgotten. Not only has the Assad regime all too often tactically ignored Daesh in favour of bombarding rebel-held territories, but it is also the single greatest cause of it maintaining a presence in Syria. Those who think that they can choose the Assad regime over Daesh, one brutal fascism over another, on the basis that there are no ‘moderate rebels’, as they’d have it, will actually be endorsing an argument that would see those real forces who are opposed to both Daesh and the far greater evil of Assad crushed once and for all.
The logic of Daesh is provided most forcefully by the continued sectarian slaughter being carried out by the Assad regime and its allies, while the logic of the Assad regime, with its appropriation of the ‘war on terror’, is provided most forcefully by Daesh. There is a third alternative, but it is delicate and precious. It is this alternative that, as I write this, faces the twin evils of Daesh and the Assad regime marching towards it in Free Aleppo; that faces bombardment, beheading and besiegement on an unprecedented scale. Yet still it fights on, despite being, as Barack Obama rather sneeringly put it when rubbishing the claims that his administration made a mistake by not providing more arms to the rebels, made up of ‘farmers and pharmacists’. It’s this alternative that risks everything to rise up against Daesh in Deir ez-Zor, while also resisting a regime that is doing everything in its power to brutalise and exterminate them. The people of Syria and their revolution against Baathist tyranny and now also the theocratic tyranny of Daesh is still alive. This is the force that demands our unconditional support and solidarity, however much it’s worth, now more than ever."