Posted by Joshua on Monday, April 6th, 2009
The Muslim Brotherhood has withdrawn from the National Salvation Front led by ex-Vice President Abdal Halim Khaddam.
Assharq Alawsat and Levant News. Also see al-Akhbar‘s coverage. The article begins
Bayanouni: Yes, There are differences but we remain in touch
Khaddam: The Brotherhood is in touch with the regime through the Security Committee
A Syrian Baathi: This is a positive step that deserves to be rewarded
Khaddam is accusing the Brotherhood of doing nothing to oppose the Syrian regime.
The article explains that the differences between Khaddam and Bayanouni became clear during the Israeli invasion of Gaza. The Muslim Brotherhood announced during the conflict that it supported the resistance to Israel and stood by its brother organization, Hamas. It also declared an end to its opposition activities in Syria, because Syria was supporting the resistance. In essence, the Muslim Brotherhood was obliged to close ranks with Syria behind its Palestinian counterpart.
Khaddam supported Saudi Arabia and Egypt, who opposed Hamas. He also supports the March 14 coalition in Lebanon, who are opposed to Hizbullah, which supports Hamas’ efforts to resist Israel.
[Landis addition] The alliance between Bayanouni and Khaddam was concluded in 2005 for strategic reasons that no longer make sense. Bayanouni thought that Khaddam would be able to split the Syrian Baath Party and bring secular Syrians over to the side of the opposition.
Khaddam may also have promised that he could bring the support of Saudi Arabia a and the March 14 Coalition in Lebanon to the side of the Muslim Brotherhood. At the time, it seemed that President Bush was serious about destabilizing the Assad government. The formation of both the National Salvation Front and the Damascus Declaration — efforts to unify the splintered opposition in Syria — were both motivated by the belief that the Syrian regime would give way to US pressure.
Khaddam saught to make the Muslim Brotherhood acceptable to Washington, but in vain. Ultimately, the US government, although allowing the NSF to open offices in Washington DC, would embrace neither Khaddam or the Brotherhood. Because of Khaddam’s failure to split the Baath Party, win US or Saudi support, or destabilize the Syrian regime, his usefulness to Bayanouni is not obvious. In fact, it would seem that Khaddam has become a millstone around Bayanouni’s neck, for he is disliked by many Islamists as a 30 year ally of Hafiz al-Assad. Also, with Obama pursuing engagement with Syria, the opposition must return to the difficult work of educating average Syrians and bringing them into the fold of the opposition. The Brotherhood’s alliance with Khaddam only muddies their message to the young.
The Gaza operation underlined how the two elements of the NSF sit on opposite sides of the larger political divide of the Middle East.
صحيفة الشرق الأوسط اللندنية – الأحد 05 نيسان/ إبريل 2009
البيانوني: نعم هناك خلافات ولكن بدون قطيعة
خدام: الإخوان يجرون اتصالات مع النظام عبر لجنة أمنية
بعثي سوري: خطوة إيجابية تستحق التقدير