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9 Years Since the Start of the Syrian Revolution: An Arena for Regional Wolves

9 Years Since the Start of the Syrian Revolution: An Arena for Regional Wolves

Friday, 20 March, 2020 - 11:15
FILE PHOTO: Soldiers walk past damaged buildings in the Yarmouk Palestinian camp in Damascus, Syria May 22, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki
Hussan Itani

The 9th anniversary of the Syrian revolution has left a severe bitterness in the mind and heart. Here, where beginnings seem distant and details are lost while endings are unforeseeable behind a horizon of destruction, displacement and broken fates. This anniversary leaves behind it an Arab world that is frozen awaiting change.


Perhaps the lessons learned from this betrayed revolution are negative, in the sense that they should not be followed. They are lessons about today’s world, its values, institutions and standards all of which appear as a scandal when compared with the image marketed since the end of the Cold War when quotes were promoted on human rights, international protection and the role of non-governmental organizations as alternatives to the balance of power imposed by the two camps and the ability of countries and their peoples to make tangible gains under a struggle between the two mighty forces, socialism and capitalism, such as the national liberation of colonized countries and the welfare state in wealthy nations.


Since the start of the revolution, near and far countries have offered nothing but opportunistic policies that looked more like 19th-century policies than the new international order that was established after the Cold War. The Syrian Revolution shed light on the fake concerns of the United Nations, and on the inability of its delegates to produce solutions through their diplomatic pleas and shenanigans.


The revolution revealed the true bitterness of the extent that violence could reach in an ethnically and religiously divided country, where nothing is left of power and arms other than the delusion of exterminating the other.

Among the things that the revolution displayed in front of its followers in the East, was the bloody undertones of the notions of majority and minority. Those who classify themselves as a majority, see the latter as nothing but a means to crush and marginalize minorities and deprive them of their rights to political participation based on the miserable experience of the Baath rule and the Alawite sect that has dominated it since it reached power in the coup of March 1963.


The minority, however, raising slogans of progress and secularism, is quick to turn these slogans into means to eliminate the identity of the majority and destroy it under the pretense that it would guarantee the rights of minorities and prevent political Islam from reaching power.


Between these two views, and after different opposition groups failed over nine years to provide any viable model for them to coexist by accepting diversity among the opposition, it is not strange that the opposition was eroded and their activists assassinated in the “liberated" areas and in countries that were thought to be safe for the opposition.


The opposition's demands for a civil state were all struck down by foreign and Syrian murderers. They opened the door for international powers to divide Syria into areas under Russian, American and Iranian influence with Turkish monitors, let alone the sectarian militias brought from Afghanistan, Lebanon and Iraq that have no use except in raising the wall against a political solution after the opposition's military venture failed.


The defeat of both the opposition and the regime, whose ghosts only remain now, has invited wolves from the outside to negotiate and split up gains among them. The Syrian people and society will need a very long time before they have any influence again.


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