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Reply #3: Thomas Friedman published an interesting article about this at the weekend [View All]

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Turborama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-28-11 10:00 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Thomas Friedman published an interesting article about this at the weekend
In the Arab World, Its the Past vs. the Future

Published: November 26, 2011

IN 2001, a book came out about George Mitchells diplomatic work in Northern Ireland that was entitled To Hell With the Future, Lets Get On With the Past. One hopes that such a book will never be written about todays Arab awakenings. But watching events unfold out there makes it impossible not to ask: Will the past bury the future in the Arab world or will the future bury the past?

I am awed by the bravery of the Syrian and Egyptian youths trying to throw off the tyranny of the Assad family and the Egyptian military. The fact that they go into the streets knowing they face security forces who will not hesitate to gun them down speaks of the deep longing of young Arabs to be free of the regimes that have so long choked their voices and prevented them from realizing their full potential.

But I am deeply worried that the longer the fighting continues in Syria and Egypt, the less chance that any stable, democratizing order will emerge anytime soon and the more likely that Syria could disintegrate into civil war. You cant exaggerate how dangerous that would be. When Tunisia was convulsed by revolution, it imploded. When Egypt was convulsed by revolution, it imploded. When Libya was convulsed by revolution, it imploded. If Syria is convulsed by revolution, it will not implode. Most Arab states implode. Syria explodes.

Why? Because Syria is the keystone of the Levant. It borders and balances a variety of states, sects and ethnic groups. If civil war erupts there, every one of Syrias neighbors will cultivate, and be cultivated by, different Syrian factions Sunnis, Alawites, Kurds, Druse, Christians, pro-Iranians, pro-Hezbollahites, pro-Palestinians, pro-Saudis in order to try to tilt Syria in their direction. Turkey, Lebanon, Hezbollah, Iraq, Iran, Hamas, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Israel all have vital interests in who rules in Damascus, and they will all find ways to partner with proxies inside Syria to shape events there. It will become a big Lebanon-like brawl.

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