Syrian Opposition: Assad's Overthrow Wouldn't End Violence


Syrian Opposition: Assad’s Overthrow Wouldn’t End Violence

By  Mohammad al-Shazli

The head of the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change (NCC)  in exile, Haytham al-Manna, said that the Syrian regime is seeking to “clone the  Algerian solution” to solve the crisis in the country. He called on “friends” of  the regime to pressure the regime for serious negotiations that can “rescue  those whose hands haven’t been stained with the blood of Syrians.”

Speaking to Mohammad al-Shazli, prominent  Syrian opposition activist Haytham al-Manna said that the Syrian crisis must be  solved politically and that a violent overthrow of the regime would only lead to  more violence.
In an interview with Al-Hayat, Manna added that the conflict could  not be solved militarily. He said, “We have the choice of either the Somalization of the country or a political solution. We  blame the regime for wanting to clone the Algerian solution; it will not  succeed.” He added that the opposition “will not succeed in reaching a military  solution.”“Thus far, the regime has not made any progress toward serious  negotiations,” he said.
“It is focusing on public relations and agreeing to  anything it is offered. However, when it comes to implementation, there is no  practical element to this approval.”Manna said he believed that without serious pressure by “friends of the  regime” — such as Russia, China and Iran — on the regime for serious  negotiations to rescue those whose hands haven’t been stained with Syrian blood,  the regime won’t make “painful and necessary concessions in order to bring about  democratic transition.” Manna added that the regime will not transfer  presidential power to a transitional government.
He said that a political solution means that parliamentary and  democratic institutions must start working. Manna noted that Syria “needs 20  years to get rid of the problems caused by the cult of personality and the  dictatorial regime.” Manna called on all parties that care about the Syrian  people to stop supplying arms to any party. He explained that, according to  American analysis, the regime can survive for another two years and that “the  problem is that we’ve put the state and the regime in one box.”
Manna noted that army defections were decreasing, amid growing fears on the  part of minorities due to the militancy and the “Islamization” of the  opposition, a reference to the growing influence of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Manna said in response to a question: “I am convinced that the departure of  President Bashar al-Assad would not spell the end of violence in Syria,”  pointing out that “his violent overthrow will only lead to further  violence.”
Manna said it is important that the joint UN-Arab League envoy continues with  his mission. “At any negotiating stage we need a safety valve, and Lakhdar Brahimi represents this safety valve. We must  keep him in place until the moment when he can act as mediator and as a person  capable of intervening.” Manna stressed that “Brahimi should not resign before  this moment.”
Manna blamed both the government and the opposition for the current situation  in Syria and the “spread of a dark atmosphere.”“
Everyone is currently contributing to the spread of this dark atmosphere at  all levels of the situation in Syria,” he said, pointing out that the  authorities “do not recognize the usefulness or benefit of any political  development, but are rather clinging to the military security solution.”
He also pointed out that the opposition includes a group that “believes in  the virtue of victory, and that victory is possible if they can avoid the  weaknesses experienced by the armed movement over the past year and a half.”
He  added that “the political opposition has never been through a worse  situation.”He said the dialogue between the NCC and the Syrian National Coalition was between individuals, not  an institutionalized dialogue, pointing to the fact that some forces from  outside the coalition were present. He said the Brotherhood will not give up its  privileges, and explained that “there have been no serious proposals on the part  of the coalition; they have only offered a few seats within the coalition to  other opposition forces that are not part of it.”


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