Jana El Hassan writes at the Daily Star:
“Human beings are destroying themselves,” said luminary Noam Chomsky, warning that unrest in Syria could turn into a Sunni-Shiite conflict that would spread to the whole region and eventually lead to a global war.
“I aspire for a world in which my grandchildren can live in peace and I do not see that happening anytime soon. I think that if someone is watching us from Mars right now, he would be thinking that human beings are destroying themselves just like Syria is destroying itself,” Chomsky, a world-renowned linguist and anti-war activist, told The Daily Star.
Although he admitted that the demands of the Syrian people for a better life at the beginning of their uprising in March 2011 were “justified,” Chomsky said that the war-torn country is now heading towards “suicide.”
“The protests were entirely justified, the people could not have predicted that there will be this brutal response, and once the brutal response took place it was almost inevitable to help turning it into a militarized uprising, he said.
“The country is heading toward suicide, it is destroying itself and it is very dangerous. … The only slim hope that I can see is the Geneva-style negotiated solution, although its prospects are very limited.”
Chomsky also said that the military involvement of Hezbollah in Syria is only going to make things worse, and increase the threat of turning the conflict into a sectarian one.
“The Sunni-Shiite conflict which was exasperated by the U.S. invasion of Iraq is now spreading to the whole region, and it is splitting it in two, and that is murderous, he said.
“What is happening in Syria is part of it. I mean it was an effort to achieve more democracy through peaceful means and it was crushed brutally and became more militarized.”
“Any kind of militarization is going to widen that conflict,” he added in reference to the growing military role of Lebanon’s Hezbollah in Syria unrest.
However, Chomsky seemed more optimistic about the so-called Arab Spring in Tunisia and Egypt.
“It was a spring. I think it achieved something, it achieved something not insignificant – mainly in Tunisia and Egypt there are gains and maybe permanent ones, there is more freedom of speech and freedom of press,” he said.
But he added: “The major aims were not achieved [and] the economic policies of the government [did not change]. I also think the people do not want the Muslim brothers in power.”
He also said that the Muslim Brothers will not stay in power for long because they will “fail to deal with the problems that led to the uprising against the earlier regime.
“They are following the same policies [although they are] not as repressive. The Arab Spring is kind of on hold but I think it will break out again.”
Chomsky also said that there is a “serious conflict throughout the region between the Islamic forces of various complexions and the secular population which wants a different path.”
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