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US is a false friend to Syria revolt

by Siân Ruddick

The US claims to back the movement against the Syrian regime. But in reality it wants to stabilise the situation for its own benefit.

French and US envoys visited the city of Hama last week claiming to call on Bashar Assad’s regime to negotiate with the movement.

US secretary of state Hillary Clinton said, “President Assad is not indispensable and we have absolutely nothing invested in him remaining in power.

“Our goal is to see that the will of the Syrian people for a democratic transformation occurs.”

But the US has not called on Assad to go. He knows the US is half-hearted in its support for the revolt.

Both Assad and the US fear that the movement will follow those in Egypt and elsewhere. If the regime is overthrown it could further challenge the dominance of the US, and its key ally Israel, in the Middle East.

Assad has begun sham negotiations that were supposed to involve the opposition—but most forces refuse to deal with him. And the repression continues.

Raged

Despite this, protests rages in Hama and Homs over last weekend.

In Hama, workers have struck against the regime. The strike closed shops and services.

But the huge workforces in the industrial factories have yet to come out in an organised way.

The regime is clearly worried though. It has sacked the governor of Hama and replaced him with an Assad loyalist.

The regime has also sacked the governors of Homs and Derra.

The movement continues to rock the regime.

It must look to its own strength and not the machinations of the West to bring about fundamental change in Syria.


Article information

International
Tue 12 Jul 2011, 17:04 BST
Issue No. 2260
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