Discovering the truth about Syria and Assad



On a visit to Syria as part of an international fact finding mission comprising of peace and youth activists belonging to 29 national organisations covering 24 countries, reminded me of the Charlie Chaplin classic Monsieur Verdous. Our mission was finding out the facts about the claim being continuously made bythe US and its NATO allies.

These allegations, suitably amplified by the global media, charged that the Assad regime has unleashed an unprecedented barrage of ‘violence’ against ‘peaceful opposition’ who are ‘exasperated’ with the undemocratic tyranny of the regime. This campaign blitzkrieg vociferously demanded that the Syrian government ‘mends itself’ according to what the US-led combine and its regional ‘muscle power’ Israel dictates.

Monsieur Verdous used to be a humble clerk who had a bit of Jekyll and Hyde in him.Obviously, the modest earnings from his lawful profession was notenough to ensure the huge costs of medical care to support and sustain his terribly ill and disabled wife.The need for this extra money led to Verdous marry rich divorcees or single middle aged women.

Verdous with the silken grace of a cold blooded professional killed those unsuspecting ‘wives’, eventually inheriting the property of those hapless women. After 18 such murders, Monsieur Verdous was apprehended and charged for these killings. Defending himself in the court Verdous made the insightful observation, “One murder makes a villain, millions a hero — numbers sanctify”.

Through Verdous, Chaplin made a statement on contemporary fascism.What is happening in the Middle East — West Asia and now in Syria in particular that perceptive observation seems to be very appropriate in describing the high moral ground which the US-led imperialist alliance in the region. 

Those responsible for the death of a million in Iraq, demand that Syria must be punished for a few thousands for which it is not directly responsible; monarchies in Gulf complain of lack of democracy in Syria!

Syria is no paradise. But so are so many other countries.But the Arab Spring necessitated certain urgent measures to make up for the huge loss that the imperialist camp suffered in Egypt.So, in a quickly drawn up plan taking advantage of some discontent among some sections of the people the so-called ‘peaceful opposition was foisted’.There is strong evidence to suggest that this opposition comprises of al-Qaeda operatives from outside Syria, certain fundamentalist elements and hardcore criminals who have been imported who had once left the country through the poorest borders with neighbouring country — mainly Turkey. 

My stay in Syria and numerous interactions withcross sections of the society, religious leaders, government officials, clearlyshowedthatafter the initialdifficulties, the government of president Assad is now firmly in control in most parts of the country.The Syrian regime has responded to the situation, which clearly is the outcome of a grand plan and spearheaded by the global corporate media, on several fronts simultaneously.

The government has initiated series of steps aimed at democratising the political system.Emergency laws have been withdrawn facilitating political freedom, freedom to press and media and most importantly, a new election law which allows every political party and group and individual to contest elections. 

In Damascus and other cities we visited, we were greeted with hundreds of posters of potential candidates and elaboration of their political platforms.

Syria’s economy, which is largely state driven, had ensured major gains and provisioning of basic services in the social sector. The Syrian leadership admitted that they had committed certain mistakes in opening up some of these sectors, which gave rise to apprehensions. It is playing on the fear of loosing out on the existing quality of life and basic amenities that provided the initial impetus for intervention.Clearly, there is introspection and signs of reversal.We heard students from a university in Latakia that higher education required an annual expenditure of just $12. 

With announcements by the University President that this would continue — one did not find it surprising to realise why Syria is being dubbed as the land of the devil!

Syria is engaged with the UN and its processes. Syria is cooperating and also flagging the contours of the grand plan of destabilisation. Syria is fighting for its democracy.By the looks of it — Syrian people wants to become the masters of their own destiny and not leave it to the leaders of the western world.

One could not escape the feeling that Syrian people will defend their sovereignty and the liberal society where Muslim and Christians have lived in harmony for generations. Syrian people have to triumph for it is the last bastion of secular Arab nationalism in the region.

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