Adonis Diaries

An honest test of mass feeling in Syria? Lebanese-type of March 8 and 14th mass rallies?

Posted on: November 22, 2011

An honest test of mass feeling in Syria?

Kind of Lebanese March 8 and 14th mass rallies?

There are suggestions in journalistic circles (for example Sarkis Naoum) for President Bashar el Assad to relax the interventions of the army and security services for a week, just to let the people demonstrate freely where they side.

Those suggestions are basically ironic because loosening of control is not going to happen and also because the Lebanese example was given the wrong political interpretation.

What is that all about?

As the Syrian mandated power over Lebanon withdrew its troops from Lebanon  in 2005, after the assassination of Rafic Hariri and the international pressures on Bashar to withdraw from Lebanon, the Lebanese population demonstrated in mass in the Martyr Square (downtown Beirut).

Hezbollah and the parties supporting Syria during its mandated period, mostly under duress, called out for a mass rally on March 8.  Hundred of thousands crowded the Martyr Square under the  banner “Thank you Syria”.

On March 14, a Sunday, hundred of thousands answered the call for another mass rally to celebrate the event with joy, after over 15 years of official mandated power agreed upon by the US and the western European States (including France).

Fact is both rallies were very happy of the withdrawal of Syrian troops and their intelligence services the “mukhabarat“.  Hezbollah was the most relieved because the physical presence of Syria in Lebanon was the major check and balance on Hezbollah strategy for getting involved in Lebanon politics.   The other Moslem shia faction AMAL, and headed by parliament chairman Nabih Berry, was representing Hezbollah in the parliament and municipal elections and in the government…

The political parties that called for the March 14 rally had also enjoyed privileged support of the Syrian regime, out of proportion of their representation among the population, but every party was relieved that some kind of Lebanese-style political game will be replayed as before the civil war that started in 1975.

Hezbollah was by far the most organized, united, and well-armed among all the other parties, and its tacit jubilation was the most striking of the Syrian withdrawal. Indeed, Hezbollah got totally immersed in Lebanon politics and gained membership in all political representative institutions. Hezbollah was expanding its support bases in many regions in Lebanon and was able to finance its social services from government funding and budget, in addition to Iran organizational, financial, and military support…

It didn’t go unnoticed in Syria what “Thank you Syria” really meant and its implicit malice, and the Syrian regime will not take seriously any Syrian banners among demonstrators saying “Thank you Bashar” and “Long live Bashar”…

Mass rallies in Syria in support of the regime is tacitly expressing feeling of fear and worries of the current situation and the after Bashar conditions.  Not many in Syria favor the coming to power of any Islamic parties, whether they claim to be moderate or otherwise, Turkish-kind or Saudi Wahhabi-kind: The minority sects and communities are very many, educated, and diversified and hate to live under the Islam Charia laws .

If Bashar relaxes its troops for “free” mass rallies, it still will be doubtful what they really mean in their extend of support to the regime.  The Lebanese political parties interpreted the March 8 and 14 rallies as either supporting Syria mandated presence or against.

It is all faked understanding in order to resume the political game without approaching the crucial and critical social and political problems of Lebanon: Mainly, stripping the 18 officially recognized religious sects from their political rights to meddle in civil status and election laws…

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November 2011

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