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Will Syria become the next Libya?

Image of Syrian civilians finding refuge after Assad Regime forces carried out airstrikes in Damascus, Syria on 15 February [Hamza Adnan - Anadolu Agency]
Syrian civilians try to find refuge after Assad Regime carried out air strikes in Damascus, Syria [Hamza Adnan - Anadolu Agency]

Karl Marx once said: "History repeats itself, first as a tragedy, second and as a farce", it is upon this notion that the free world has been unhinged in its involvement in the Syrian conflict. Fixed upon its reason to suggest that Syria will in fact become another Libya. This paradigm of political thought is one set in a recent harsh past, in an area found on the brink of the Sahara. The two countries bound by their convergent, benevolent history which spans far beyond their independence in 1946 and 1951.

The tragedy

Libya is yet to find a solution to the political eruption which led to the deposition of longtime leader Muammar Gaddaffi. The enervating situation in Libya, along with Russian and Iranian involvement is what has caused the White House to become prudent in its approach to the unquestionable tyranny of Syria's Assad regime; a regime which has by far exceeded the tyranny committed by that of the Libyan dictator.

The US' action against the Assad regime, and not just against Daesh targets in the country, bares parallels to the preliminary NATO and allied involvement in Libya.

The difference, however, is that for the Syrian people international involvement has come six years into a war that has already displaced 13.5 million; seen 400,000 killed and destroyed the country.

The farce

The parallels in ideology and political stature prior to their "Arab Springs" has been profusely used by a hedonistic west to impose their long term plans for a future in both countries which arguably suits only two sides of the world; the West (America and Europe) or Russia and Iran in the East.

The issue for Syrians post-Assad is that, unlike the situation in Libya, the Russians have made their stance clear in their support for Bashar Al-Assad. This leaves the Syrian opposition bound to the West.

In Libya, however, international involvement has questionably hindered social and political progression. The country has been left lacking without a functioning government, or perhaps too many governments, causing the situation to worsen. The impetuous in military involvement in Libya by the West is considered to have had an adverse effect and led the country to its current situation.

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Although it could be argued that the decision to allow a socialist country of 47 years to find its own way to democracy was a detrimental move by the West, with little clairvoyance it is evident that this could become a formidable issue for a Syria without Al-Assad.

The tug of war being played with both countries has left a volatile Middle East. Although, it is true that both Libyans and Syrians wished and fought for their freedom, the freedom which they can hope for is not utopian.

It is interlaced with struggles from the onset, issues of inclusion of all parties and tribes, stability in a post dictatorial state, rights and freedoms, and most difficult of all is the implementation of the constitution. Followed by rebuilding social care including education, planning, health and finance.

There will also be remanence of the old regimes who linger on; in the case of Libya this is in the form of the rogue General Khalifa Haftar. Whether Syria will have a similar agent is yet to be seen.

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The parallels between the two countries are similar only in so far as both countries have seen an abundance of struggle, sharing a common culture and language. The futures of both countries are woven around their people instead of the political leaders, on their achievements and not their casualties, on their acts of charity and not their acts of war.

In a game of chess between America and Russia, Libya and Syria are seen as only pawns to be sacrificed.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

AfricaArticleEgyptEurope & RussiaIranLibyaMiddle EastOpinionRussiaSyria
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