Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘occupied Golan Heights

For over 30 years: Generations of Syrians endured prison terms, torture, and isolation…

The Assad regime, from father Hafez to Bashar, conducted systematic genocide and perpetual and extended prison terms and tortures of “potential” political opponents. After the 1982 mass killing in the city of Hama, every Syrian suspected of being a member of the Moslem Brotherhood was detained and assassinated in the prisons.

The members of the suspected opponents were detained, interrogated and tortured. Many of them endured extended prison terms and frequent torture sessions.

For over 30 years, recruits and soldiers suffered terrible humiliation and indignities: Treated like human farms, cursed, mishandled, sent to work in officers homes and farms to save on expenses…

The skilled recruits were sent home to generate money and a cut taken from them every month. Recruits left alone in remote area to fend for themselves, wearing thongs (shahhata) and tattered “army” clothes, in harsh cold weather and desolate regions.

The Syrian army was not meant to fight Israel: Just to take the youth out of the streets and use them to enrich the officers and the officials.

For over 30 years, the occupied Golan Heights by Israel were a haven for peace and tranquility, like Gaza was during Egypt Muhammad Morsi one year Presidency.

The Syrian army was not meant to fight Israel: Just humiliate the occupied Lebanese, torture them and rob them dry and tell the occupied Lebanese: “you cannot curse Syria, Hafez, Bassel, Bashar…”

And the UN, the Western “democratic” States and major news media knew all about these practices and refused to condemn or expose the Syrian regime. They even gave this regime “carte blanche” to exterminate opponents and spread humiliation on the society, as long as no pictures or gruesome news seep out of Syria.

Until the interests of the Western States and the USA were at stake, and Syria was to be devastated, weakened and submitted. And the Syrian people had to suffer another round of mass slaughter on the hands of the regime and the Takfir Islamic, Nusra Front, and Da3esh.

On April 16, 2011, a large peaceful demonstration in Homs was disbanded by live ammunition and 7 people died. By noon, over 500,000 gathered at the Clock Square and accompanied the martyrs to their graves shouting “The people want to overturn the regime

The demonstrators kept their ground till 8 pm. The security officials warned the demonstrators to disperse by midnight. Over 50,000 youth refused to go home, and by 10 pm, live bullets were targeting the youth.

Still, by midnight, more than 5,000 youth stayed and defied the authorities. Around 4:30 am, the square was emptied but for hundreds of corpses. The authorities loaded the dead people in trash trucks to unknown destination or mass graves. It was estimated that 500 Syrian citizens lost their lives. Only 35 bodies were returned to their families.

Syrian Alawite actress Fadwa Suleiman joined protests last year against President Bashar al-Assad: She took the stage at demonstrations in the city of Homs, center of resistance to his family’s four-decade rule, and in Damascus and other cities after the regime slaughtered peaceful demonstrators in the southern city of Dar3a.
Fadwa Suleiman
Actress Fadwa Suleiman after she cut her hair short to protest her family members disclaimer of behaving properly. Picture taken Dec. 14, 2011. REUTERS

In Douma, a new revolutionary song caught fire:

“Hi, hi, my prison guard

Hi, hi the obscurity of my prison cell

Your darkness is gone

Your Baath is disintegrating

Your cruelty vanquished

My sun is waiting to shine on me tomorrow

Syria wants freedom, freedom…

Syria, freedom, freedom “wa bass” (only)…”

It is to be noted that many angry demonstrations have roots in the mixed schools that the regime enforced after the Hama killing in 1982.

The regime even pressured the girls to unveil as they entered the school premises. All these regulations were meant to humiliate the traditional Sunnis, suspected of supporting the Moslem Brotherhood, and exercising vengeful practices.

The irony was that the high officials in Damascus, highly secluded and isolated from the rest of the communities, were not aware that schools in Banias (town of 50,000)  were mixed, as if living in another planet. The system was in place and immutable, even after the succession of Bashar Assad to power, and no one dared revisit or suggest to review the rules and regulations of 20 years ago.

The demand of the town to separate genders were understood as separating Sunni from Alawi communities.

The isolated authorities in Damascus were unaware that the rules imposed 20 years ago were still alive and kicking and nothing had changed.

The authorities agreed for separation of genders in schools and for permitting the girls to enter classrooms veiled.

But the people in Banias were scared as the security forces amassed their forces in order to resume their old tactics, and the demonstrations got larger and more frequent, and the crackdown more brutal…

The Syrian regime had about one thousand extreme Islamists in prison before the uprising in 2011, and 43 of their leaders. Those radical Takfir Islamists were Syrians and Iraqis, until foreign mercenaries were dispatched to Syria from Somalia, Tunisia, Jordan, Libya, Saudi Arabia, and the Caucasus region.  The Assad power used these Islamists during the Iraq war with the USA and in Lebanon, and manipulated them in situations that matched their destabilization policies.

When the Syrian uprising began after the fall of Egypt Mubarak, mass demonstrations swept the Syrian cities in Dar3a, Homs, Banias, and even in Damascus. The uprising was peaceful because people had no arms or the courage to overcome 30 years of silence and humiliation and fear.

And the regime decided to let the extreme Islamists out of prison without any conditions or further crackdown: The regime decided to turn the uprising into an armed confrontation for an excuse to resume armed squashing of the opponents.

The US ordered Qatar and Saudi Arabia to untie their purses and finance the uprising in money, arms and communication tools.

And the Nusra Front took over the armed confrontation against the regime, and the civil war has been going on for two years now.

The main cities of Aleppo, Homs and many parts of Damascus have been demolished, devastated and ransacked.

And over 100,000 perished, and 4 million Syrian refugees have been displaced within Syria and 3 million took refuge in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.

Note: You may read the Arabic book “Death of the Eternal Syria: Eye witnmess accounts of the generation of Silence and Revolution” by Mohammad Abi Samra

It is good what is happening in Syria

Peaceful demonstrations in Syria got usurped by violent armed militants.  The regime of Bashar Assad reacted accordingly and very efficiently to armed uprising, as it used to do for 40 years.  The tanks of the army entered and “cleaned up the violent elements” in Daraa, and moved on the “cleaning machines” to Banias, and Homs…

As the regime is about to proclaim that it stomped out the armed elements, and the counter-offensive ia about to end on violence, the next phase for the non-violent marches will prove to be very efficient in winning political changes. Whoever was excited to destabilize Syria in violent tactics will be proved wrong in his judgment.

Syria has always been a cross-road to extremist Islamic militants, converging in Syria before forking out to “hot regions”.  The Syrian regime has accurate intelligence on most of these extremist factions and has used them frequently in many bordering States.  Lebanon suffered heavily from these Islamist militants in the war of the Nahr al Bared Palestinian camp (over 200 Lebanese soldiers killed during 6 months of fighting), and in the slaughter of 11 civilians in the Lebanese village of Halba in 2008.

It is not a matter of earning higher salaries.  The people in Syria are demanding that opposition movements share in political decisions and processes.  The people want to feel safe expressing their opinions and upholding their rights of gathering, and organizing publicly and privately.  The people want equitable and legitimate legal systems, legitimate election laws, fair representation in the parliament and municipal councils…

The next phase of non-violent marches will face harsh difficulties.  In Egypt, the non-violent movements were against a Mubarak regime that demonstrated total subjugation to the US and Israeli dictates and senile incapacity of reigning in the wave of blatant speculations, at the expense of the growth and need of the people; speculations run by Mubarak sons and close relatives…

Syria has disseminated the image of confronting US and Israel interests in the region.  It was basically an image, since the regime in Syria is holding tight for the tacit support of the US and Israel.  And the Syrian regime has maintained a socialist policy that provided free education and health care…

It will not be enough to brandishing the banners of democracy and liberty. The non-violent Syrian movements will need time to structure a very convincing alternative that should secure the same level of basic care, in addition to reforming the political decision-making system.

It is total nonsense proclaiming that the Syrians are not ready for democratic institutions:  Syria enjoyed democratic institutions for two decades and it had the highest education level in the region.  The Syrian people has experienced many forms of political systems and they can design a system that is very performing in matters of human rights and human development indicators.

Unlike the non-violent movements in Egypt and Tunisia, the non-violent movements in Syria will have to negotiate with the tyrant Bashar and his oligarchy:  Simply because this regime is supported by the US and Israel.  The interim phase of succession will keep Bashar in power (without the close oligarchy), and Israel will be wise to accept a short timetable for withdrawing from occupied Golan Heights.  The next regime in Syria will have no alternative but to recover the occupied lands by force, and nothing but force, no matter the cost, and it will be successful.

The Assad dictatorship has to go and its oligarchic structure, but how to go about it? The Syrian people are about to shed many more sacrifices (proportionally to the population) than the Egyptians might have been ready to. A people’s victory in Syria will be the definitive proof that non-violent resistance movements can smash any kinds of oligarchies, no matter how entrenched the system is.

Once the people change this regime that lasted 40 years, the Syrians will be freed from the constant humiliations of pressures exercised by the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia and will recover their lost lands occupied by the puny State of Israel.

Note 1: Rami Makhlouf (41 of age and a close relative of Bashar) and the main financier of the family Assad said in an interview to the New York Times “Any destabilization of Syria will have direct destabilizing effects on Israel.  The Syrian government has decided to fight back and the “oligarchy” has rallied around Bashar in this critical moment.

Note 2:  The European Union has listed recently 13 Syrian officials as persona non-grata for participating in the repression of civilians.  Among these names: Maher Assad (younger brother of Bashar) and chief of the 4th army division; Ali Mamlouk (chief of general intelligence); Hafez Makhlouf (close relative of Bashar) in the military intelligence; Rami Makhlouf (close relative of Bashar) and the main financier of the family Assad; Munder and Fawwaz Al Assad; Rustum Ghazali (chief of military intelligence in the suburb of Damascus (reef Damascus) and who was the latest highest Syrian official during Syria occupation of Lebanon before 2005…




March 2023

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