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"Arab League and United States Not Fit to Intervene in Syria": Interview with Jadaliyya Co-Editor Bassam Haddad

[Screen shot from AJE interview] [Screen shot from AJE interview]

As regional and international pressure mounts on Syria, the domestic scene seems to be heading towards civil war. No sooner than the Arab League sanctions on Syria were announced recently, did the camps that support or oppose the status quo there entrench themselves further in their position, leaving little room for constructive dialogue, cooperation, or exit from the current impasse. The brutality of the regime's squashing of the uprising continues as regional and international pressure heads in directions that do not bode well for Syria--despite the pretense of intervening on behalf of the Syrian people.

In this interview, Jadaliyya Co-Editor Bassam Haddad asserts that condemning the regime's violence and opposing international intervention of any sort are not mutually exclusive, and that the best course of action is to leave the opposition to its own devices, as the regime seems to be heading in the direction of political and military suicide. Furthermore, the internal opposition seems to be growing in strength, a reality that is likely to produce fissures and serious splits within the regime and its armed forces about the best course of action. In this context, international intervention would only complicate matters, cause more mayhem, and produce inconclusive outcomes. 

"Arab League and U.S. Not Fit to Intervene in Syria": Interview with Jadaliyya Co-Editor Bassam Haddad from Jadaliyya on Vimeo.

"Arab League and U.S. Not Fit to Intervene in Syria": Interview with Jadaliyya Co-Editor Bassam Haddad

2 comments for ""Arab League and United States Not Fit to Intervene in Syria": Interview with Jadaliyya Co-Editor Bassam Haddad"


Thanks for posting this. It certainly raises a difficult question for those who, like Haddad, condemn the regime and oppose intervention. It seems then, for the outside community, there is simply no good possible action that can be taken, even if, let's say, there were massive human rights abuses. I'm not arguing here for intervention; I am just worried about the logical extension of strict non-interventionism in times of humanitarian crises. I don't think we should throw out intervention entirely in theory (and therefore in practice), even if we can accept that the present intervention will only exasperate the current crisis. I'm more curious of what Professor Haddad would say about intervention in general rather than this specific instance.

Kevin Chamow wrote on December 02, 2011 at 07:45 PM

Kevin I think that is an important point, it is extremely difficult to throw out the entire idea of intervention in a time of serious human rights abuses. But I feel with this Syrian question you have to weigh the good and the bad of a U.S. military intervention. A NATO or U.S. military intervention would cause so much more bad than good. It may produce good immediate results on the ground for the protestors, which no doubt is important, but the lasting effects of that policy step would be remembered around the Middle East as another case of the U.S. getting its hands in M.E. affairs when it isn't there place at all. Especially with Syria having the connections with Iran, right now would be a very bad time to exacerbate those tensions. I agree with Professor Haddad overall, but if there was an intervention on the part of the Arab League I don't think it would be as big of an issue. It still may cause problems, but it wouldn't be as of a big deal.

Mike V wrote on December 03, 2011 at 02:26 PM

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