The Structure of Syria’s Revolution

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/01/201211313229137341.html

Larbi Sadiki’s piece on the professionalisation of the Syrian revolution has many interesting insights into protests’ hierarchy, the most notable being it’s analysis of moblization across sectarian and ethnic divisions, implying a contrast to the chaotic communalism surrounding the forced ouster of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Also informative is it’s discussion of the specific groups that organize the contemporary protests in Syria,  including not just well known bodies like the Syrian National Council and the Free Syrian Army but also the National Coordination Body, the various Local Coordination Committes and even the Muslim Brotherhood, whose organizational rigour and discipline in the face of autocratic repression have given it a sharp competitive edge over the failed secular democratic competition to Arab Nationalist parties such as the Ba’ath or the Free Officers movement in Egypt. Nevertheless, I still have reservations concerning it’s somewhat uncritical appreciation of some of these groups in relation to furthering the revolution’s goals. True this piece may not have been intended to perform an evaluative function but when crediting groups such as the National Council with giving the revolution organization and voice, it risks obscuring debates surrounding members links to the regime, corrupt political practices or even dubious priorities – factors that may be problematic for the revolution’s success.

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