Experiments with Truth: Analysis

The Syrian resistance: a tale of two struggles

When armed resistance fully overtook civil resistance during 2012, it gained exaggerated influence over the outside world’s view of the Syrian conflict. Once the revolution embraced using violence, the only way it seemed possible to prevail over Assad was to acquire more arms. Because the fate of any armed resistance that is weaker than its adversary is necessarily determined by external assistance in the form of weapons, army training or air strikes, the door is opened to all the negative consequences that stem from outside military involvement. By contrast, nonviolent resistance does not historically need military intervention to prevail. It might welcome help from external civil society groups, but what it needs most of all is the force of its own mobilized citizens. Such struggle comes with fewer overall costs for the society and greater self-control over the internal trajectories of the resistance and its eventual outcomes.

More Follow External Link to Maciej Bartkowski and Mohja Kahf, openDemocracy