10 years after the Arab Spring: Celebrating Syria’s destruction

10 years after the Arab Spring: Celebrating Syria’s destruction

Political scientist Barah Mikail reflects on the last 10 years of Syria’s war, an anniversary not to be celebrated, he writes.

Paris (Brussels Morning) Over the last few days, we’ve heard much about the anniversary of the Syrian conflict, while there is, in fact, nothing deserved of celebration. A decade on from the “Arab Spring”, Syria has known war’s destruction and the human and material loss that gives. More than half of the country’s population had to flee their homes to become asylum seekers, refugees or internally displaced persons (IDPs). Services in Syria are not functional, state sovereignty is random, foreign interference is wide, popular unrest keeps prevailing, autonomous claims are stronger than ever, and COVID-19’s spread is worryingly not disappearing.

Incoherence, mistakes and persistence

Back in 2011, few observers expected the war in Syria to last not least to where it is today. The “Arab Spring” had fast effect, overthrowing some of the region’s autocrats (Tunisia, Egypt, Libya) and many expected that the Syrian president Bashar Assad would face the same fate. The common belief was that a president who had inherited his position from his father and who had done little if anything to favor democracy in his country had no legitimacy; therefore, Syrian people would push him out.

But this same point of view has more to it that the non-democratic DNA of the Syrian regime.