Syria has successfully held a referendum on a constitution, but been hit with new sanctions by the EU anyway.
Neil Clark, a journalist and contributor to The Guardian, believes Western leaders are being highly hypocritical when they criticize the Syrian regime for being undemocratic, and yet fail to respect the views of the majority of Syrians.
“Fifty-seven per cent of Syrians have voted and an overwhelming majority of them have said yes to it,” he told RT “It’s a great day for democracy in Syria. And yet what’s the reaction been by the Western leaders? Well, Hillary Clinton denounced it as a cynical ploy. Guido Westerwelle, the German foreign minister, said that it was a sham, but in fact what is a sham is the West’s approach because the reaction to this referendum shows us that they’re not really keen on democracy in Syria.”
Clark said the West tends to cast a blind eye on huge pro-Assad demonstrations and the fact that 55 per cent of Syrians want President Assad to stay.
“The reality is that the majority of Syrians support Assad, but for the West these are non-people, their views don’t count”.
He noted the symbolism of the announcement of new sanctions against Syria by the EU.
“On the very day that Syria, after five decades of one-party rule, votes for democracy, what does the EU do? It announces tough new sanctions on Syria. It’s highly symbolic.”
Clark expressed his opinion that the EU was hardly a democratic body itself.
“I think that it’s quite ironic on this very day we also have the French President Nicolas Sarkozy explaining why we, the European people, are not going to be allowed to vote ourselves on the EU fiscal treaty. He says it’s too hard for us to understand. So the EU, which is claiming to be in favor of democracy, is actually working against it.”
He concluded by saying that the majority of Syrians do not want their country to disintegrate like Iraq or Libya and see President Assad and the Ba’ath party as the preferred solution to hold the country together.