On the eve of the third anniversary of the Syrian uprising
The Syrian uprising began on March 15th, three years ago, with massacres committed by the Ba’ath regime. Let us take the occasion of the approaching third anniversary to rehash the events of the Syrian uprising once again. In the past three years, the Ba’ath regime was transformed from a government into a gang. Although Assad and the apparatus of security that surrounded him managed to survive, their obstinacy left Syria in ruins.
Russia, let alone contributing constructively to debates on the global and regional order that dominated the world’s agenda since the millennium, has reduced Russian geopolitics, from its global and regional power to its “veto power” at the Security Council in the UN. Iran, instead of thinking about cultivating relationships with the new actors of the Middle East, chose to become a deaf, mute and blind actor. Europe and the U.S., in the face of boiling tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean, have become “indecisive powers.” Israel, instead of blowing with the winds of change to end its policy of occupation and initiate the peace process, chose to become the “alien power” of the region in every sense of the word. Saudis and other Gulf countries, instead of learning a lesson from the collapse of dictatorial regimes that could be considered their ideological cousins, preferred to take advantage of the situation by becoming “sectarian powers.” Turkey, on the other hand, has become the most coherent and stable power in the region with the explicit support it lent to the process of change that began in Tunisia.
More important than the changes cited above was the revolution the Syrian people undertook. Syrian citizens overcame the threshold of fear and put up a legendary resistance against the Ba’ath regime that has responded to even the faintest demands of democracy with massacres for decades. They shined as an example of resistance that could not be overshadowed by any regime—an unseen phenomenon in the Arab World in the near history. As the Syrian uprising approaches its third anniversary, it has claimed approximately 100,000 lives. The total arrested and/or missing people has reached 250,000. Millions of Syrians were displaced in the country and a million Syrians were displaced from their homeland. While the Syrian people paid the heavy cost of the uprising with their blood, those actors who carried on their proxy wars at the cost of the Syrian people’s blood did not show the slightest indication of remorse.
Russia and Iran are in the same position they were three years ago. Russia, Iran and Assad’s claim that the Syrian uprising was a “fight against terror” found support in the United States. In fact, it could be stated that the only move America has made that affected a tangible result was its declaration of the Syrian resistance groups as “terror organizations.” This move, criticized even by the former U.S. special advisor for Syria, Frederic C. Hof, has only served to expose the cheap imperialist propagandas of the Ba’ath apologists. It seems that the Syrian people, just as it has overcome the threshold of fear and transformed itself from an uprising without arms into a national resistance movement without any powerful help, will bring Assad down in similar isolation.