Two of neoconservatism’s leading ideological lights, John Podhoretz, editor of Commentary magazine, and Elliot Abrams of the Council for Foreign Relations, are pushing the so-called ‘Damascus Declaration’ as a blueprint for the transition of Syrian governance from the totalitarian rule of the Assad’s to ‘democracy’ after the imminent fall of the Syrian leader.
Elliott Abrams, longtime COMMENTARY contributor (and my brother-in-law), has an important post on his blog at the Council on Foreign Relations that ought to offer surprising grounds for hope about the future of Syria following the eventual collapse of the Assad regime—there is a working document that offers a map to a democratic future called the “Damascus Declaration.”
On checking out what Abrams has written one finds:
The bloody war that the Assad regime is waging against the people of Syria will end in the downfall of the regime. Whether that will take months or years is impossible to say; how many peaceful demonstrators and unarmed Syrians the regime will kill is equally uncertain.
But in the end the regime will fall. Then what? Those who think the Muslim Brotherhood will take over and impose a Saudi-style Islamic regime are forgetting the ‘Damascus Declaration’…
One wonders, however, if either of these neocons has actually read the ‘Damascus Declaration’ or is aware of the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood is actually a party to the Declaration.
Furthermore, if I were a neocon, I’d be worried about some of the aims of the ‘Declaration’ – particularly the bit where it says it is committed to:
the liberation of the occupied territories and regaining the Golan Heights for the homeland, and enabling Syria to carry out an effective and positive Arab and regional role.
I doubt very much if the neocons support the idea of ‘liberating the occupied territories or the Golan Heights’ so you have to wonder what the neocons are thinking by supporting the ‘Damascus Declaration’. Or maybe they know something that the rest of us don’t. What other event in the Middle East could be such a game-changer as to render the ‘Damascus Declaration’ completely academic?
Perhaps the neocons hope that nobody actually reads the ‘Damascus Declaration’ - least of all the Syrian people.