Saraqeb, Syria, December 2012
In this period of celebrations for Christmas and New Year, we hear, read and see a lot of messages of solidarity from people around the world for the Syrian people struggling for their freedom and dignity against the criminal Assadist regime.
Lots of friends, families, comrades and others have asked me, what are the solutions for the Syrian people? What can they do against this regime? But above all, how can we bring peace to Syria and the Syrian people?
Peace can have many meanings and understandings, I view it the following way…
Firstly, I remind everyone that there was no true peace before the beginning of the revolution in Syria in March 2011, but there was only the illusion of peace. Why? Because the Syrian regime since the arrival of Hafez al Assad in 1970 to power has launched a permanent war against the Syrian people, through harsh repression, attempts to divide the people of Syria through sectarian and ethnic lines, and impoverishment of the majority of the Syrian people through corruption and, but above all, accelerated neo liberal policies implemented by Bashar al Assad and plunging 60% of the Syrian population under or just above the poverty line.
In March 2011, and in the continuity of other popular uprisings in the region, the Syrian people started their revolutionary process to put an end to this illusion of peace and the reality of oppression, and to live free and in dignity.
It is not the armed popular resistance that brought war on Syria and the Syrian people, but the regime and its will to continue its permanent war against the people and to submit every one of them, being an armed and / or a civil resistant. The new massacres committed by regime forces in the town of Helfaya in Hama and in Talbiseh, Damascus’ Suburbs few days ago, taking the lives of hundreds of martyrs and resulted in many wounded people, show the criminal side of this regime. In both cases, the area targeted were civilians who were crowding to get bread. Martyrs of the revolution have exceeded the 50 000 individuals, while many cities and neighborhoods have been destroyed by the shelling of planes and tanks of the regime. In the same time, today, there are over more than half million of refugees outside the country in neighboring countries, while more than 2.5 million Syrians are internal displaced inside the country. In 2013, this number could rise to 4 million Syrians according to a recent report of the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA).
This is why no peace can be achieved without the fall of this regime. Indeed no peace can be achieved through the so called UN Peace envoy Lakhdar Ibrahimi who suggested as a “peace plan for Syria” the formation of a transitional government which holds the total responsibility of executive power to govern Syria until Presidential and legislative elections in 2014 under the auspices of the UN. During this period, the dictator Bashar al Assad would stay in function at the top of the State. This plan or any other one not suggesting the fall of this regime will not bring peace.
This does not mean that no mistakes and crimes going against the spirit of this revolution have been made by the armed popular resistance, which we condemn. The rising of some sectarian islamist groups such as Jabhat al Nosra and others have to be condemned and understood in the game played by some regional actors to transform this popular revolution into a sectarian war, in other words to fail this popular revolution.
The Gulf States do support financially some small armed Islamist and sectarian groups, but not with the aim of seeing or allowing the victory of the Syrian revolution. Quite the contrary, it is an attempt to divert the Syrian revolution from its initial and always present objectives, that is to say, principally civil and secular democracy, social justice and freedom, into sectarian war. The Gulf states in fact fear a spread of the revolution in the region that would threaten their power and interests. The transformation of the nature of the revolution into sectarian war would also enable them to frighten their own populations in the following way: any change in the region is likely to descend into sectarian wars and therefore we must encourage the status quo, in other words, the maintenance of dictatorial powers.
It is important also to say that the mistakes and crimes of the FSA were firstly denounced not by the International Community, but by the Syrian revolutionary people who want to defend the principles for which they started the revolution, freedom, dignity and no sectarianism.
The armed popular resistance groups of the Free Syrian army which are following the principles of the revolution and defending its principles are on their side most often not financed or assisted by the International Community and / or the Gulf countries.
Nevertheless the popular movement continues, on Friday 21st of December, the Local Coordination Committees in Syria were able to document 291 demonstrations that set out in various cities and areas in Syria. The largest were in the city of Hama with 87 demonstrations to salute the Free Syrian Army, followed by Deir Ezzor with 61 demonstrations to salute the martyrs and to vow to continue their fight; in Aleppo, the city which this Friday’s name was dedicated to, 39 demonstrations set out to demand the Free Syrian Army to commit to its duty to protect civilians; Idlib with 31 demonstrations to demand the release of all detainees from Syrian prisons; Damascus and its Suburbs with 28 demonstrations to vow to continue the revolution until the ouster of the regime and in solidarity with their Palestinian brothers in the Yarmouk refugee camp, who are struggling to deal with the aftermath of the shelling, destruction and displacement at the hands of the Assad regime forces; Daraa with 17 demonstration to demand the unity of opposition and the commitment to the morals and ethics of the revolution, Homs with 13 demonstrations is solidarity with the displaced people, Hasakeh with 11 demonstrations to assert the importance of national unity, Lattakia with 3 demonstrations to chant in solidarity with the detainees and Raqqa with 2 demonstrations.
The fall of the regime will definitely be a great victory and achievement for the Syrian people, but we cannot hide that this will not be the end of the Syrian revolutionary process. Indeed the only way to tackle poverty, unequal social and economic redistribution, sectarianism (spread by the regime for decades and used by some opposition groups), end to all discrimination and recognition of full equality between women and men, between religious and ethnic communities, with the support to the self determination of the Kurdish people.
Peace is therefore a path and fully part of the revolutionary process, and the popular movement has united people, just as Egyptians and Tunisians united during their revolutions, and broke the wall of fears between the Syrians. No unity is possible under a dictatorship, which has developed a strategy of fear between sects. The popular movement in Syria is struggling for social solidarity that transcends sectarian and ethnic divisions. The only assurance and security the Syrians need is the victory of the Revolution in order to build a new democratic, social and independent Syria.
And for all who fear the future, let’s work and struggle together to build a new Syria, because this regime does not protect anyone or any minority, but protects only the sections of the population submitting to its interests regardless of their community. No Human need a corrupt, authoritarian and oppressive regime to protect anyone, and especially not the people of Syria! The only protection we need is a Democratic, Secular, independent and a Social State, which respects the basic rights of the people to live in dignity and freedom.
In Conclusion, all I really want for Christmas this year is peace for Syria and the Syrian people, but peace will only be achieved with the fall of the Assad regime, the building of a democratic, secular ( respecting religious beliefs and treating everyone equally without any form of discriminations, Christians and Muslims, Women and Men, Arabs and Kurds, etc…) social and truly independent Syria in solidarity with other’s people struggle, especially the Palestinian people because our freedom is linked to their freedom. All my thoughts are for the Syrian people, family, friends, comrades, and above all for all the martyrs, etc… Peace in this perspective means permanent revolution and victory for the Syrian people.
Viva a Free Syria!