Malek Abo Kheer
Editor, I am a Human Story website
The first time the Syrian people got screwed began with the nationwide Friday demonstrations that were staged in support of the slogan “The National Council Represents Me.” People went into the streets holding banners, full of hope in a council that would truly represent the Syrian people, who were being shot at and slaughtered. Some of them saw the National Council as the virtual salvation of Syria. However, they ended up getting screwed because this political body contained a mafia that dominated any civil-based action. This mafia began to engage in political corruption whenever convenient; moreover, there was the objectionable behavior of individuals affiliated with the National Council, which was subjected to political and financial corruption.
The second time the Syrian people got screwed was during the nationwide Friday demonstration that was staged in support of the slogan “The National Coalition Represents Me,” and this remains valid today. The Coalition was no less corrupt than its predecessor and was infiltrated by mafias of money and politics; all they were interested in was seeing Syria become a copy of the Turkish model. They wanted to establish a Syrian political authority based on the National Coalition, while doing away with every other political group, with which they might not agree. And we can’t forget the theft and political bullying that members of the National Coalition engaged in with each other, or the loyalty of the members of these mafias to the intelligence agencies of various countries, or their efforts to carry out the agendas of these intelligence agencies. This is a long story, but any child can tell you about the political corruption that emerged.
A third way the Syrian people got screwed was by its own civil society, which was considered a true force in building a new country. I can sum up civil society as follows: A society that is in conflict and whose members are concerned only with securing financing for their personal projects. It isn’t important to achieve results on the ground (with the exception of those groups that work in silence, and are devoted to Syria). It’s a civil society whose members accuse each other of treason, make other accusations, and air their dirty laundry for all to see. This is not to speak of the many workshops, costing millions of dollars, with the money going to the pockets of hotel owners in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan. The same individuals receive training and are then re-trained, a second, and third time. On each occasion, the money is spent on hotel reservations along with the many breakfasts, lunches and dinners, as if the workshops are about tourism and travel and nothing else.
Now let us search for answers to the following questions: What is the political program put forward by the opposition as an alternative to the Bashar Assad regime? And, what proposals and plans have been put forward to salvage what is left of Syria in the event the Assad regime collapses? An opposition figure will respond by saying that “The National Coalition has a (provisional) government; it will be responsible for these matters.” In response, I would say: Please, this is a just a pathetic joke.
We are talking about a country and about institutions that should be ready to act in the event the Assad regime falls. The political opposition, which is concerned only with satisfying this or that country, lacks this readiness.
We are talking about a people that has come to require institutional, social and humanitarian efforts, which do not exist.
Fine. We started a revolution against a regime that is deaf to the voice of its own people, and that engages in killing them. There is an opposition that tosses every wounded person at the door of the Coalition’s provisional government; there are Syrians who are sleeping in public parks, while no opposition official goes to check on these people. In other words, the Syrian people are dealt with arrogantly by both sides. So, what has changed?
Now I’ll say a few words about how the media of the opposition has screwed us. We have media employees who are affiliated with the opposition; they speak openly about how they support the Nusra Front or ISIS. They think they’re the most important element in bringing down Assad, and say they have Coalition members and opposition figures with them. They write this openly on their own Facebook pages. They’re the face of both the political opposition and opposition media. They’re throwing their support to groups that the entire world is fighting, and at the same time they ask, “Why has the world abandoned us?”
When it comes to armed opposition factions, we find that foreign correspondents are kidnapped after having risked their lives to support the cause of Syria. Money is demanded for their release, and this money is used to buy ammunition even though these armed factions have betrayed those who have come to support their cause. But you find hundreds of people who support this kind of behavior – activists who call themselves members of the media, although they proclaim this on social media networks.
In contrast, the regime pays foreign reporters and offers them safe places to stay. It provides them with bodyguards and every type of support. The regime is prepared to sacrifice the lives of an entire military unit to keep these people alive. Why is this? In short, it’s because the regime is perfectly aware of how best to promote its cause.
These are just a few of the hundreds of reasons why the misery of the Syrian people continues today. I’m only talking about very few of these reasons; others require longer articles. Yes, Assad is the principal reason for the suffering of the Syrian people. But the opposition, and the warlords, have also come to act as a source of misery for the Syrian people.
I’m talking about failure, and the new shabbiha who weigh heavily on the neck of the Syrian people. I’m talking about Syria’s opposition.