France Recognises National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, Doubts from the Left.
France Officially Backs Syrian Opposition.
France has become the first European country to recognise the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces (NCSROF) as the sole representative of the Syrian people. (Here) President François Hollande has also announced that France is exploring the question of arming the anti-Assad forces as soon as a provisional government is formed. Six Gulf Arab states took a similar step on Monday.
The NCSROF elected the cleric Mouaz Alkhatib as its leader. Riad Seif and Suheir Atassi, both prominent democracy activists and the latter a secular feminist (according to Wikipedia), were elected vice presidents. The Coalition has “restated its commitment to humanitarian and non-lethal assistance and commended Qatar for its role in the conference” that led to its formation.
It looks probable that the NCSROF is being shaped up for a final confrontation with Assad. The present level of external support, from Turkey, the Gulf States and, more directly, the West, will rise to the point where it will become open.
Is this to be welcomed?
In May the leader of the Front de Gauche, Jean-Luc Mélenchon stated,
L’utilité d’une intervention militaire est une ”illusion”, a estimé aujourd’hui Jean-Luc Mélenchon, le leader du Front de gauche, interrogé sur les déclarations du président François Hollande évoquant l’éventualité d’une telle opération en Syrie.
The usefulness of a military intervention is an “illusion”, Jean-Luc Mélenchon judged today. The leader of the Front de Gauche, replied when asked about the statements of President François Hollande regarding the possibility of such an operation in Syria.
The Parti Communiste Français has stated that,
Le PCF réaffirme sa solidarité avec toutes les forces qui agissent pour la démocratie, la souveraineté et la dignité humaine en Syrie, pour la fin d’un régime de dictature incapable d’assurer un avenir à son propre pays.
The PCF reaffirms its solidarity with all the forces that are fighting for democracy, sovereignty and human dignity in Syria, and for the end of the dictatorial regime that is incapable of guaranteeing these for its own country.
In this vein the PCF recently participated (26th October) in a “MEETING DE SOLIDARITE AVEC LE PEUPLE SYRIEN“.
These positions appear more reasonable than the blanket opposition to attempts to remove the Syrian regime held by some sections of the British left.
But is what will effectively become a proxy armed intervention a move that favours democracy, let alone Syrian sovereignty?
The issue of ‘humanitarian intervention’ is a complex one.
It is clear, however, that France’s decision relates to its interests as well as to democracy. At stake are considerations of political stability and the creation of a regime that is not ‘anti-Western’, even if it is – ‘moderate’ – Islamist.
Qatar, the host for this new alliance, is not, we note, a democracy itself.
There must be serious doubts about engaging one side in a bloody civil war.
The methods used by the armed opposition are not always examples of standards of “human dignity”. Their forays into sectarianism weigh heavily.
The outcome is far from certain.
Will their victory will result in a regime that respects human rights?
Nothing is less sure.