Adonis Diaries

Who is the “Palpitating Heart of Arabism”? What’s going on in Syria? Part 3

Posted on: March 28, 2011

Who is the “Palpitating Heart of Arabism”?  What’s going on in Syria? Part 3

US State Secretary Clinton declared “No one is to think that we are to repeat exactly the same involvement in Syria as we did in Libya”.

This implicit threat to Syria for the latest mass upheavals is meant to encourage more “peaceful” demonstrations and test Syria’s reactions.  The purpose of that declaration is to offend the Syrian regime and push it into violent counter-offensive.

Syria has already extended many reforms in response to the uprising in Daraa, Banias, and Latiquieh.  For example, the Baath Party is no longer to be the leading party in Syria as mentioned in the Constitution.

The Emergency Law, enforced since 1963, has been canceled.

A packaged of reforms on salary increases, loosening of prison terms, taking news-people to court instead of being imprisoned first, the release of  political prisoners, laws on forming political parties to be reviewed, and more freedom of expressions…are to be sent to the Parliament for approval and ratification.  Only after the turmoil is over, and all the armed people deliver their weapons to the State…!

President Bashar Assad is expected to deliver a televised speech…Already 260 political prisoners from the various demonstrations, mostly Islamists, have been set free.

The last two weeks could be accounted as the longest and most terrifying events for the Syrian president, Bashar Assad.

External interventions could not scare the Syrian regime, but vast internal unrest is a serious different story:  Internal uprisings are to be considered very seriously, since they are not that frequent in Syria, at least in news media.

Vast internal uprisings mean that the people have broken the barrier of fear: 

The revolted citizens are willing to fight for regained dignity at the price of blood; and that exactly what many demonstrators said: “We are no longer afraid of the regime brutal tactics

That the recent demonstrators are not that afraid of the Syrian regime is not earth chattering:  Since Bashar succeeded to his father Hafez in 2000, the regime did not exhibit violent repressions, not in any scale for the media to cover.

At best, the repressions were judged mild compared to the other Arab dictatorial and absolute monarchy political systems.  Though the image of an all-encompassing internal security hold on power has been demonstrated frequently.

Young dictators who emerged from lower social classes like Qadhafi, Abdel Nasser, Abdallah Saleh of Yemen…were very promising figures of their period.

Bashar Assad is a young dictator, power inherited from the oligarchic class, and is serious about reforms for developing his country. Bashar and his wife scoured the Syrian countryside and listed about 40,000 families of the poorest in the State and allocated monthly stipend for them.

Bashar is not living in any palace, but in an apartment in Damascus.  Bashar and his wife occasionally mingle with the people …

The uprisings in Syria are qualitatively different from other Arab States:  Syria has demonstrated during this century that it is in fact the heart and mind of the Arabic concept.

Actually, Damascus was the Capital of the first Arabic/Islamic Empire (around 650 AC) and was the main bedrock for the development of the Arabic language and the dissemination of the new Empire civilization.

Syria was constantly steadfast for the dignity of Arab identity and civilization.  Syria has so far refused a peace treaty with Israel unless the Palestinian people recover their independent State…

We expect many reforms, but it would be tough for Bashar to reconsider giving away the oligarchic interests of the Assad extended family.

For example, the Syrian people might expect that a new modern Constitution be redrawn deleting the clause that “Islam is the religion of the State“.  Actually, Hafez Assad, after his successful military coup, deleted that clause in 1972, only to re-attach it as he was faced with monster protests.

I say, State should oppose protests by extending on the ground vaster civic reforms.

I say, if protest should be quelled, let it be for rotation of the highest positions of Presidency, Prime Minister, and Head of Parliament among the Sunni, Alawi, and Christian sects.

I say, if protest should be faced head on, let it be for democratic equitable election laws.

There are tacit blackout of information by most media channels, western, and Arab States for disseminating useful intelligent pieces on the uprising.

A few cable news mention over 100 killed, particularly in the southern city of Daraa, on the borders with Jordan.  The Syrian media displayed arms stocked in the Daraa mosque and denunciation of violent infiltrated elements.

Syria has grown to 20 million in population.

Amid the turmoil in the Middle-East, Syria of the “Assad/Baath party” socialist regime managed to bring a semblance of stability and security.  It maintained a steady currency and invested in decent infrastructure and schooling for all.

Invariably, oligarchic regimes ends up getting involved in widespread corruptions and considering the State Treasury as family holdings.

Most probably, the Syrian people want a moratorium on dictators, oligarchies, and absolute monarchies.

Sort of “it is okay, a decade later, for these forms of governance to return to the front scene?”  For the time being, most people are exhausted with decades of dictatorial regimes and want some fresh air to blowing away layers of technocrats that were trained to be amoral and unethical by serving the enduring power-to-be.

The steadfast and determined mass protests in the Arab States are the result of the population knowing full well the vengeful tribal mentality of their rulers:  The masses know that if they relent before the entire structure is gone, that any reprieve to the oligarchic system, means the reorganization and launching of mass arrests, summarily executions, humiliation tactics, and an open climate of terror.

Determination of the masses is the result of innate survival process:  Either they win or they are massacred.

Do you think that the Ben Ali and Mubarak would have learned the lesson of respecting their people desires and wants?

In Yemen, the people are not relinquishing their marches since the uprising started a month ago:  They know the reactions of the kinds of Abdullah Salef if he is given a breathing space.

Anyone doubt that Qadhafi would not have wiped out a third of the Libyan population if the UN postponed indefinitely any resolution for imposing a “No fly zone”?

You have an excellent demonstration of what’s happening in Bahrain:  The King has arrested all the leaders of the uprising, is readying to hire one thousand Pakistani soldiers, cut diplomatic relations with Iran and Lebanon on the basis that Hezbollah denounced the strong-arm tactics of this monarchy, and prohibited the Lebanese immigrants, legally working in Bahrain, from returning home and considering every Lebanese as enemy to their stupid monarchy, and on…

Do not be surprised when you hear news of blatant atrocities and crimes against humanity are perpetrated openly in Bahrain.

The main problem in the Arab World of dictators is not how rich the country is in natural resources, but the demographic explosion.

The process goes as follows:  Every dictator has his intimate sources of insider pieces of intelligence on the wealth of the other members of the “club of scums”.  They are jealous and want to be implicitly the number one on the list of the richest families hoarding wealth.  The leftover in the treasury has to be spent on the growing mouths to feed.  Thus, Egypt with over 80 million, the Egyptian is far hungrier than say the Syrian or Tunisians, and the odds for volatile tensions far higher.

Syria maintained a strong alliance with Iran for three decades and currently established firm alliance with Turkey.  The regimes of Mubarak of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan kept the squeeze on Syria by orders from the USA for two decades.

Syria had close ties with Libya of Qadhafi and is still supporting Qadhafi with jet pilots, until the “No Fly Zone” was established.

The Syrian regime masterfully kept diplomatic dialogue with the US  Administrations and reached many tacit agreements in cooperating with the US in Iraq, even though Syria is included in the “black list” as a “rogue State” not entirely supporting the US policies.

It is obvious that no foreign alliances can withstand the new wrath of the people for everlasting regimes of dictators, one-party regimes, and absolute monarchies.

Lebanon youth have been demonstrating for a secular political structure.  The monarchy in Morocco is witnessing mass upheavals in 40 cities.  Time for outraged is not going to subside any time soon.

Can Bashar push forward to substantial reforms?  Does he has the will and the charisma to shake off decades of lethargy in this bureaucratic regime?  The coming two weeks will inform us of “What is next to Bashar”.

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March 2011

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