Foreign and Defense Policy

The Friend of My Enemy Is My Enemy

Two weeks ago a video appeared on the Internet purportedly showing demonstrators in the Syrian city of Hama burning the Iranian, Russian, and Chinese flags.

Last Friday, according to Reuters, protesters in the Syrian city of Albu Kamal on the Iraqi border burned pictures of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, apparently angry over Nasrallah’s speech in Beirut last week praising Syrian President Bashar al Assad.

The two young Iraqis who have been blogging for years at Iraq the Model are understandably delighted:

For decades we watched protesters in the Middle East burn the flags of America, the UK and Israel, as these countries were believed to represent the “enemies of the people.” For the first time, we see protesters burn the flags of Iran, Russia and Hezbollah for a change! Are we witnessing a moment of redefining the “enemies of the people” in the Middle East?  The first video shows protesters in Syria burning the Iranian and Russian flags. The second video shows a protester holding a handwritten sign written in Russian and Arabic addressed to the Russian leadership saying that the Syrian people want their freedom. In the third one, Hezbollah flags are set ablaze in Syria as protesters chanted No to Iran, No to Hezbollah!

Thanks to the blackout that the Assad regime has imposed on news out of Syria, it is impossible to know whether these are representative of sentiment among Syrian protesters or simply isolated incidents. However, they do show that people in Syria notice who is with them and who is against them. They are probably wondering now, as Iranian protesters chanted two years ago, “Obama, Are You With Us or With Them”?

Comments are closed.