Kobani: They resisted and won…no Taef, no Doha…
Dr. Walid Phares
In past decades it was said that: had it not been for Taef or for Doha (where deals were cut favoring Syria and Hezbollah’s roles in exchange of few seats for politicians in the central Government), free Lebanon in 1990 and the Cedars Revolution in 2008 would have perished. Wrong indeed.
Look at the Kurds of Kobani celebrating their victory, even partial, even momentarily, in dances. The Lebanese people produced dozens of Kobanis in the 1980s and produced the first popular revolution in the Middle East in 2005, but their politicians didn’t go to the end of the popular energy.
They stopped the ship before it reaches destination. “We have no international cover” they said. Since when resistance movements waited for the international cover. Resistance movements stand up, and international backing comes after, not the other way around. Kobani’s Kurds were surrounded from all fronts, including from Turkey yet they fought with all what they’ve got. It is only after and because they fought, that Coalition warplanes bombed ISIS around the city. It was only because the city fought.
The Pentagon declared Kobani lost for days, but the Kurds fought on, retaining only 30 percent of the city. It is only when the young men and women showed the world that there will be no surrender, that public opinion moved and air strikes intensified. No resistance, no support.
The courage displayed by the young men, and especially young women, wasn’t unique to that part of Syria and the Middle East. It was seen in Zahle, Ashrafieh and Qnat in the 1980s against the Assad armies but the resistance was terminated by the so-called Taef agreement of 1989. Decades later, the Lebanese rose again in West Beirut, Aley and the Chouf in 2008 against Hezbollah’s aggression, and again politicians ran to Doha, crying that there is no international support, ignoring their own popular resistance.
In Syria, a a small city of Kobani won without a Taef agreement or a Doha deal. Why? Because their politicians were on the front lines leading the fight. That is the lesson for the third generation of Lebanese today. The rest is arguments consumed and re-consumed again, unable to convince us of otherwise…