So, yesterday, it was announced in Istanbul that yet another exile opposition group was formed. It has no head. There were conflicts among the various constituent groups.
But I will tell you this lesson from Arab contemporary history: there has never been a case in which leftists or secularists were aligned with fundamentalists (Sunni or Shi’ite, lest you make a distinction) and in which the fundamentalists were not the dominant party. Not one case. Usually, when leftist or secularists were strong (like the Lebanese National Movement in the early phase of the Lebanese civil war), they don’t align themselves with fundamentalists.
The lousy Muslim Brotherhood is the dominant party in this new front. The lousy Riyad Ash-Shaqfah, the “general inspector” of the Syrian Ikhwan, was in charge of questions and answers and he was the one who was invited to Al Jazeera for an interview.
The suspicions I had about those Ikhwan and their front liberals were only confirmed. This bunch is playing a cute game: they state that they are opposed to foreign intervention, and yet in the same breath they say that they call for international protection of civilians. Do those folks think that we are stupid? Did NATO not bomb the hell out of Libya under the pretext of “protecting civilians”? Even civilians supporting the NATO rebels were not immune from NATO bombs.
I don’t know which way it will play out in Syria, but the lousy regime has been blessed with such lousy opposition. No wonder the Syrian opposition in the inside has been quite critical of the exile opposition. The meeting in Istanbul yesterday only needed Ahmad Chalabi.
As’ad AbuKhalil is a professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus. This note was first published in his blog The Angry Arab News Service on 3 October 2011; it is reproduced here for non-profit educational purposes.