Home

Libya has opened the way to diplomatic sanctions against Syria

One of the first actions of the Libyan Transitional National Council has posed a challenge for European countries.
Rupert Read
27 October 2011

In a move that has not yet been widely enough noticed, the Libyan Transitional National Council a few days ago shut the Syrian embassy and recognised the Syrian National Council (which has recently unified virtually all the non-violent anti-Assad Syrian Opposition behind its banner) as the government-in-waiting of Syria.

This is an exciting development, and a move that ought to be followed up by Britain and by other European countries (and by the EU itself).

One of the things that the Syrian protesters now most want (they of course mostly do not want foreign military intervention) is precisely this: serious diplomatic sanctions against Syria, to delegitimise the Assad regime in the eyes of the world.

As was the principle with the anti-apartheid struggle, the prima facie weight should always be put on what the righteous indigenous want. This should be the default position of what those in solidarity with democracy protesters call for. In South Africa, back then, this was: economic sanctions. In Libya earlier this year, this was: a NoFlyZone. In Syria, now, it is: diplomatic (and some economic) sanctions.

Let's close the Syrian embassy in Britain (unless it is prepared to declare 'UDI' from its capital, as some Libyan embassies did during the uprising there), and make the bold move of recognising the SNC as the only legitimate government of Syria. The facts on the ground are that Assad doesn't govern Syria any more. He merely tries (and mostly, due to the extraordinary bravery of the bulk of the people, fails) to terrorise it.

How can Americans fight dark money and disinformation?

Violence, corruption and cynicism threaten America's flagging democracy. Joe Biden has promised to revive it – but can his new administration stem the flow of online disinformation and shady political financing that has eroded the trust of many US voters?

Hear from leading global experts and commentators on what the new president and Congress must do to stem the flood of dark money and misinformation that is warping politics around the world.

Join us on Thursday 21 January, 5pm UK time/12pm EST.

Hear from:

Emily Bell Leonard Tow Professor of Journalism and director, Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Columbia Journalism School

Anoa Changa Journalist focusing on electoral justice, social movements and culture

Peter Geoghegan openDemocracy investigations editor and author of 'Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics'

Josh Rudolph Fellow for Malign Finance at the Alliance for Securing Democracy

Chair: Mary Fitzgerald Editor-in-chief, openDemocracy 

Further speakers to be announced

Had enough of ‘alternative facts’? openDemocracy is different Join the conversation: get our weekly email

Comments

We encourage anyone to comment, please consult the oD commenting guidelines if you have any questions.
Audio available Bookmark Check Language Close Comments Download Facebook Link Email Newsletter Newsletter Play Print Share Twitter Youtube Search Instagram WhatsApp yourData