by Noureddine Merdaci, The Sham Times, TruthOut
Dec. 12, 2012 (TSR) – It will perhaps take months, if not years, before we will be able to reconstruct the process by which Syria found itself trapped in this civil war. Obviously, Damascus had not measured the danger, not only for the regime in power, but even for Syria itself, now in danger of disappearing as a nation-state. However, the veil begins to lift on the circumstances of the “conclave” held in Doha in early November, which saw a heterogeneous “opposition” – divided, without a program and without perspective – provide itself with a leader, Moez Ahmed al-Khatib, and a “coalition.”
But to achieve this, according to sources familiar with the matter, the Syrian “opponents” were ordered by Qatar to “find” an agreement, sine qua non, before leaving the room they were provided. This means that the “Syrian opposition” had a gun to its head, forcing it to reach this minimum agreement. Qatari Prime Minister, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani, took a personal interest in the proceedings. In reality, the “revolt” in Syria, totally managed by foreign countries and their intelligence services, was a proxy war against the Syrian national state, a war which needed “Syrians at their service” only to serve as “local color.”
In Syria, it is fighters coming from many Arab countries, elements of al-Qaeda, jihadists from Afghanistan, Somalia and Pakistan – well-armed – who kill Syrian civilians and fight against the Syrian army alongside a handful of deserters. So, in Doha, it was necessary to “unify” the opposition, whose credibility was placed in question, even by one of its main sponsors, the United States, which has applied its full weight to restore a semblance of consistency and visibility to an opposition created completely by France, Qatar, and the United States in particular, and supported by Turkey, which “persuaded” NATO to install “Patriot” missiles on its territory – more precisely on the borders with Syria. Doha has been a refocusing of a rebellion that had not been able to achieve the goals ordered by its sponsors.
In fact, we can better understand the situation when we know the terms of the “Doha Protocol,” a document we have been able to consult, which contains the following 13 points:
1. Syria should reduce the number of soldiers of the Syrian army to 50,000;
2. Syria will assert its right to sovereignty over the Golan only by political means. Both parties will sign peace agreements under the auspices of the United States and Qatar;
3. Syria must get rid of, under the supervision of the United States, all its chemical and biological weapons and all of its missiles. This operation must be carried out on the land of Jordan;
4. To cancel any claim of sovereignty over Liwa Iskenderun (Alexandretta) and to withdraw in favor of Turkey from some border villages inhabited by Turkmens in “muhafazahs” in Aleppo and Idlib;
5. To expel all members of the Workers Party of Kurdistan, and to hand over those wanted by Turkey. This party should be added to the list of terrorist organizations;
6. To cancel all agreements and contracts signed with Russia and China in the fields of subsurface drilling and armaments;
7. To allow Qatari gas pipeline passage through the Syrian territory toward Turkey and then on to Europe;
8. To allow water pipes to pass through the Syrian territory from the Atatürk Dam to Israel;
9. Qatar and United Arab Emirates pledge to rebuild what has been destroyed by the war in Syria on the condition that their companies have the exclusive access to contracts for reconstruction and for exploitation of Syrian oil and gas;
10.To terminate relations with Iran, Russia and China;
11.To break off relations with Hezbollah and with Palestinian resistance movements;
12. The Syrian regime should be Islamic and not Salafi;
13. This agreement will come into effect as soon as power is taken ((Algerian) Editor’s note: by the “Opposition”).
This is the price of foreign pressures and of resignation and treachery on the part of Arab states. A high price, an exorbitant price for Syria that persons calling themselves “Syrian” have endorsed. Indeed, this agreement, or rather “Protocol,” is thus the price that the Syrian opposition will have to pay once installed in power in Damascus, as stated in Article 13 of the “Doha Agreement.”
In this way, each of the sponsors of the “revolt of the Syrian people” has helped himself according to his own interests and appetite. The United States, by disarming Syria and distancing the nation from its friends; Turkey, by retrieving Syrian villages and modifying the common borders according to its interests; Qatar, by being granted contracts for the “reconstruction” of the country; and Saudi Arabia, by the establishment of an Islamic regime of its devotion.
This is a virtual castration of Syria, to be stripped of its sovereignty just as Egypt was by the Camp David Agreements in 1979. Actually, it is as if the “opposition” – supported at arm’s length by Qatar – were to demand the immediate recognition of Israel, with, however, as in Article 2 of the Doha protocol, a negotiated settlement.
This is a sharing of Syrian hoard! Nowhere is there any question of democracy, freedom, human rights, building a new Syria in which the Syrians, whatever their ethnicity, religion and belief, enjoy the same rights. Instead, each of the “sponsors” served himself first, taking whatever he wanted.
For those who know the turbulent history of the Ottoman Middle East, everything is explained, and Doha was the point of no return for a Syrian opposition that no longer had a voice. It was only to justify the “syrianity” of the events. This was clearly seen in Cairo when the new “boss” of the “coalition,” Moez Ahmed al-Khatib, arrived in the baggage of Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani for the Arab League meeting that took place in the mid-November.
In Syria, the scenario acted out for Libya is surpassed, and there is now danger of a general destabilization of the world, even that fragmentation for which American civilian “experts” and military have been working without interruption. We should consider this situation seriously!
Noureddine Merdaci, frequently described as ‘the dean of Algerian journalists,’ wrote this article for The Sham Times.
Translated by Chrysanthie Therapontos, edited by Henry Crapo, translators for Humanité in English.
Originally published in TruthOut.