17. Altair said:
This rewrite of history by Michael Doran and many other western commentators annoys me to no end. Syria is not an artificial construct of 4-5 regions. Rather Syria was one unit under the Ottoman empire and partitioned by Britain and France.
The southern half became Palestine and was further partitioned with the creation of Transjordan, while the northern half had Syria’s coastline further reduced with the loss of Lebanon and furthermore the loss of Iskenderun.
Will these (probably Zionist) enemies of Syria never stop? I think we should throw this sectarianism back at them. The sectarianism began with the foundation of Israel as a Jewish state, and the foundation of Lebanon as a Christian one (albeit one that didn’t stay that way).
Syrians should never accept this as legitimate, ever. Once the sectarian precedent was set, look what happens. The pieces get broken more and become smaller and smaller. Let these enemies have their way, and there will be a bunch of economically dependent mini-states all over the region, beholden to outsiders for just about everything. Look at Kuwait as an example. Or Lebanon. Or Jordan. None of these countries are truly independent and probably never will be.
Actually, Syria (the downsized one) is the only one currently with any chance of an independent future economically. Anyone who suggests that it should be further partitioned should be treated as an enemy and opposed categorically.
This move towards sectarianism must likewise be opposed. It is absolutely ludicrous to have yet another mini-state, an Alawi one this time. And why? Alawis can’t live with Sunnis? They did fine prior to the Baath takeover. So did the Kurds. Let the healing begin as soon as possible. Let a new constitution guarantee every citizen full and equal citizenship rights.
Look at Lebanon. Was this a raving success? Will Lebanon ever really have a future as a strong state. The answer is simple: no.
Instead of talking about more mini-states, the people of the Levant should be talking about reversing this sectarianism that has been manipulated by outside forces and reuniting the region. It can be put back together: it has been united as one region far longer that it was divided.
(Need a historical precedent: in 1869 German was more than a dozen states. In 1870, it was one).
(Need an example of many sects living within one nation: the United States of America).
It might be difficult to talk about Lebanon or Jordan or Palestine reverting to or reuniting with Syria today, and certainly Israel will be an obstacle to any strong state emerging. But the history shouldn’t be forgotten, nor the ideals of unity (read the report of the King Crane commission of 1919 for evidence). But in the meantime, it should be unthinkable of dividing Syria further. That idea was rejected in the 1940s by the Syrians themselves and should be rejected now.
Syria is one of the oldest nations in the world, the land of the original alphabet. It is a crime to suggest its further partition.