[Marxism] WaPo: The deadly consequences of mislabeling Syria’s revolutionaries

Shalva Eliava shalva.eliava at outlook.com
Mon Jul 13 20:13:58 MDT 2015

My apologies to Louis if he already posted this article - I accidentally deleted a lot of e-mails from this listserv over the weekend, so I missed a lot... 

The deadly consequences of mislabeling Syria’s revolutionaries
By Labib Al Nahhas July 10
Labib Al Nahhas is head of foreign political relations for Ahrar al-Sham.

...In December, Secretary of State John F. Kerry stated that “Syrians should not have to choose between a tyrant and the terrorists.” There was, Kerry declared, a third option: “the moderate Syrian opposition who are fighting both extremists and [Syrian President Bashar al-]Assad every day.” Unfortunately, this commendable view has broken down because the United States has defined the term “moderate” in such a narrow and arbitrary fashion that it excludes the bulk of the mainstream opposition.

The group to which I belong, Ahrar al-Sham, is one example. Our name means “Free Men of Syria.” We consider ourselves a mainstream Sunni Islamic group that is led by Syrians and fights for Syrians. We are fighting for justice for the Syrian people. Yet we have been falsely accused of having organizational links to al-Qaeda and of espousing al-Qaeda’s ideology.

Nothing could be further from the truth. We believe that Syria needs a national unifying project that cannot be controlled or delivered by a single party or group and should not be bound to a single ideology. We believe in striking a balance that respects the legitimate aspirations of the majority as well as protects minority communities and enables them to play a real and positive role in Syria’s future. We believe in a moderate future for Syria that preserves the state and institutes reforms that benefit all Syrians.


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