Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Syria, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain are all on a similar path.

What happens in Syria if the current government is toppled?
We have many examples to look at, Egypt and Libya are two.  There will be a struggle of communicating effectively and making progression swift enough. Both of these will combine to erode the legitimacy of any new government.
In Egypt the military is still in power. In Libya the government is an ad hoc group that was a natural progression. Now in Libya the international support has dried up leaving it twisting in the wind. In both situations the people are left to seek other options other than what is being offered at the moment. These options will come from armed groups because we live in a reality where might makes right.
This might makes right attitude can only be culled by the mass peaceful rally of the people. We have learned from Poland, Czech Republic and Egypt that if the people stand united in peaceful mass rallies, the use of violence is defeated. The defeat of violence will give space for peace.
Next there needs to be a strong effort to communicate the planning process. This process has to have a constant avenue for public inclusion. Such inclusion provides transparency, legitimacy, stability, and unity. With these four elements, society will hold a great deal of patience as a new government is brought to power.
There is no mystery to how or why revolutions take place. The people simply no longer trust the leaders, they feel alienated by their own government and they lived with fear of the government too long. This combination of reality factors in every revolution. At the moment mistrust and alienation are quickly rising in Libya.
A peaceful transition is still very possible in Libya. What needs to be done is a major show of support by the international community in the form of leadership visits, major funding of programs, and infrastructure building. Within this support, armed groups will have a point of reference to hold trust in as the governance processes are continually worked on.
The capacity is there and so is the determination of the people to achieve peace. What is missing is the work needed to connect the people with the government on a unified vision of the future. At the moment there is no such unified vision, nor is there an avenue for dialogue to discuss this vision.
Communication builds trust, it can also destroy trust as well though. Due to that, the communication must settle on finding a cohesive and agreeable path forward to peace. At the moment the communication between the government and the people of Libya needs greater support and effort.
With all of the above, we can see exactly the same situation in Syria. Poor communication, mistrust, no clear vision of the future, alienation of the people and ultimately violence can be mapped out to see how Syria fell into such chaos. The road back to peace will begin with lowering the weapons, increased communication, inclusion of the people and building a common vision of the way forward.

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