This is an excellent article by Kourosh Ziabari, not because it necessarily has all the answers, but because it asks some very important questions!
The first question he asks is one I really hadn’t considered properly before. What is it that distinguished the Syrian uprising from other popular uprisings of the so-called ‘Arab Spring’? The answer that Ziabari gives is chillingly insightful: all the other countries -Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain and Yemen – were lackeys of the United States “ruled by quisling politicians ready to sacrifice the rights and interests of their own people at the expense of the satisfaction of their American lords”!
Even if Ziabari exaggerates the point, he is surely right in seeing the Syrian ‘uprising’ as a unique phenomenon, and regardless of how the war started, it’s obvious now that those fighting the government are no longer seeking democracy and freedom.
Who benefits from the protraction of war in Syria?
by Kourosh Ziabari
It all started on March 15, 2011, when groups of the Syrian people took to the streets of Damascus to protest what they considered to be the government’s unfavorable social and economic policies. The Western powers tried to portray the scattered demonstrations as a continuation of the revolutionary wave in the Arab states of the Middle East and North Africa known as the Arab Spring. However, there was a major difference, that Syria was simply dissimilar to all the other countries where the people had taken to streets to demand a regime change: Syria was not a U.S. puppet regime!
Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain and Yemen where the core of the “Arab Spring” had taken shape and come to existence were all countries which were in some ways politically allied with the United States and ruled by quisling politicians ready to sacrifice the rights and interests of their own people at the expense of the satisfaction of their American lords.
Shortly after the first anti-government protests spread throughout the Syrian cities, the supporters of President Bashar al-Assad, who won more than 11 million votes in the 2007 presidential elections and grabbed 97.62% of the votes, poured into the streets to respond to the discontented and unhappy anti-government demonstrators and show that if there are some people who may have objections toward the government and the way it runs the country, there are a greater number who approve of the government policies and support the president.
The fact that the government of President Assad, like every other government in the world, has domestic opponents and critics is undeniable. Some of the social, cultural and political decisions of President Assad since 2000 that he has been in office don’t sound appealing to his critics and certain factions of people, especially the Arab-Sunnis and Kurd-Sunnis who aggregately comprise 69% of the Syrian population and believe that are being treated in a discriminatory manner, which is in turn subject to debate.
However, what country in the world can claim that it has met the demands of all its citizens to the full? Even the United States that ranks third in the 2013 list of the world countries by the Human Development Index is accused to have been a major violator of the rights of the African-Americans and Muslims for a long time. To digress for a while, it’s noteworthy that the United States lived with the legacy of slavery and racial discrimination for several decades. From 1620 to 1865, 597,000 slaves were imported to American colonies from Africa. Although the American academics try to put a lid on this vivid reality that the United States has been an unconditional accomplice in what is known to be slave trade, the U.S.-based Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database reports that the United States absorbed around four percent of all slaves carried off from Africa. And racial discrimination against the blacks in the United States continues to this day. Moreover, the modern United States is facing the throbbing phenomenon of Islamophobia. Since the commencement of the so-called War on Terror, the political establishment, interest groups, mainstream media and multinational corporations in the United States began to launch a war against the American Muslims. It means that the United States government has failed to provide a safe, secure and tranquil environment for the living of its tiny Muslim population: there are only around 5 to 7 million Muslims in the United States.
So, to return to the main argument, it can be logically concluded that discrimination and inequality exists everywhere, only to different extents, and any political leader who claims that he has eradicated all forms of social discrimination and inequality is a big liar, and of course President Assad has never made such a promise, and even has said in an interview that democracy in Syria needs time to emerge, that it’s “a tool to a better life” and that Syria is striding on this path.
And there’s one more thing which cannot be disputed. Those who have taken up arms against the Syrian government, are identifying the supporters of Bashar al-Assad on Facebook, Twitter, blogs and other social networking websites to assassinate them in the daylight, and in their own calculation, reduce the number of the “pro-regime forces” are not the ordinary citizens, the Sunni or Kurd citizens who are somewhat dissatisfied with the state of affairs in their country. They are rebels, Al-Qaeda terrorists, the Al-Nusra Front fighters and other extremist mass-killers from across the world and the Arab world who are pouring terrorists into Syria. The Syrian Minister of Interior Mohammad al-Shaar once said, “Currently more than 80 countries send terrorists to Syria.”
A similar statement was made by the Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem who spoke to BBC World Service’s Jeremy Brown and revealed that “terrorists from 83 countries” are fighting against the Syrian soldiers and civilians and wreaking havoc on the crisis-hit country.
In his speech to the 68th session of the UN General Assembly on September 30, Mr. Muallem said, “In Syria… there are murderers who dismember human bodies into pieces while still alive and send their limbs to their families.”
“Political hypocrisy increases to intervene in the domestic affairs of States under the pretext of humanitarian intervention or the responsibility to protect.” And when those aggressive policies did not prove beneficial for some countries, like Syria, those well-known States “reveal their true face and threaten with blatant military consensus,” he added, saying that those same countries are supporting terrorism in Syria.
And of course Mr. Muallem is right. The war on Syria is not a suppression of the anti-government protests by President Assad’s forces, as some Western states simplistically and childishly claim. The clichéd statement that President Assad “is killing his own citizens” is a blatant lie parroted by those who want to lay the groundwork for a “humanitarian” military intervention in Syria.
As the Syrian Foreign Minister noted, the double standards and hypocrisy of the world powers know no boundaries and limits. It was announced after August 21 when the reports on the chemical attack in the Ghouta district of Damascus were published that the U.S. government has waived anti-terrorism provisions to arm Syrian rebels. “The Obama administration waived provisions of a federal law which ban the supply of weapons and money to terrorists. The move is opening doors to supplying Syrian opposition with protection from chemical weapons,” reported Russia Today on September 17. According to the Russia Today, President Barack Obama ordered such a waiver for supplying chemical weapons-related assistance to “select vetted members” of Syrian opposition forces.
There’s a consensus among the world’s truthful, honest political observers that the United States and its European and regional allies are making efforts to maintain the chaos and crisis in Syria with the final objective of disintegrating the government and turning the arch-foe Syria into a new stalwart ally in the Middle East where the allies are being lost one after the other.
The only parties which will benefit from the prolongation and protraction of the crisis and conflict in Syria are those powers – and their proxies – who are accustomed to meddling in the internal affairs of other countries through political propaganda, sanctions regime and military force. Otherwise, the government of President Assad and those who really seek peace and justice in the region, like Iran which has long called for a political solution to the crisis in Syria, have been demanding comprehensive dialog between all sides of the conflict for at least two years. They are the separated, indecisive opposition factions who don’t accept these calls, or have failed to reach a consensus among themselves and don’t know what they really want.
Again, nobody claims that President Assad is a 100% perfect and untainted leader. He has his own flaws and does his own mistakes like any other politician in the world. But the war he is fighting is not a war “against” his people as the corporate media tend to propagate; rather, it’s unquestionably a war “for” his people.
Those who have ceased to critically assess the situation in Syria as a result of the Western mainstream media’s indoctrinations had better refer to a YouGov Siraj poll commissioned by the Doha Debate, funded by the Qatar Foundation – under the supervision of the Qatari government which is hell-bent on removing President Assad from power and has pulled out all the stops to achieve this goal through funding the foreign-backed mercenaries and sending arms and terrorists to the country – which show that the majority of Syrians (more than 55% of them) support the government of President Assad. Let’s not forget about the more independent polls which report higher numbers.