From Lebanon’s Tal Al-Zaatar to Lattakia’s Al-Ramel Al-Janoubi, the Palestinians have more often been victims of Assad regime’s treachery than beneficiaries of its alleged resistance ideology. And many of them know it.
Perhaps David Lesch is right, perhaps there is “conceptual gap” that separates the U.S. and Syria, one that is responsible for so much miscommunication, albeit perhaps not necessarily on the issues he is referring to. Still, in focusing on this matter almost exclusively in his analysis of Syria’s politics, David, who once prided himself on being a personal friend of Bashar Al-Assad and maintaining regular contact with him via email, reflects another “conceptual gap” that so many scholars and experts on Syria exhibit vis-à-vis Syrian realities: Bashar Al-Assad is a dictator and son of a dictator who was selected to be in charge specifically in order to maintain an existing system of oppression and corruption, not to reform it. The fact that the he accepted that role to begin with, then missed every opportunity to reform ever since, should have been proof enough that he is part of the problem and not the solution. But scholars like David Lesch kept on finding excuses for him using such fallacious arguments as the one about a “conceptual gap,” or that Syria’s internal problems are Syria’s own, as though the world is not part of the legitimacy mechanism that the Assads rely on to maintain their grip on power. The international community has a responsibility towards countries such as Syria that it cannot shirk so easily. By refusing to acknowledge that, the international community has been and still is part of the problem for the people of Syria, and this revolution is meant to change that as well. Even at the serious risk of complicating our task and screwing some things up, we need the international community to be involved, because it already is, on the side of the Assads. It’s time it crossed over to our side.
“Ideologies” and “national interests” have long become rhetorical tools that our dictators used to justify their oppression and detract attention from their abuses and their misrule, academics and experts should stop given so much weight to these issues when talking about authoritarian regimes. For the Assads, everything gets eventually examined not through the filters of ideology and national interest, but through those of their own narrow interests as a criminal gang, and their own desire to keep control over that to which they have no right, regardless of what their minds tell them.
No, it’s not easy dealing with countries that have been taken over by armed gangs that can set their armies against their own people, and set different parts of the population against each other, but trying to ignore this situation is no less problematic, and has historically only facilitated the further retrenching of these gangs. For a long time, international leaders ignored this situation by claiming that the people seem to be content, but now that several revolutions are under way, that excuse can no longer be used. It definitely cannot be sued in Syria. So, leaders of the free world, meet your responsibility: the Syrian people need your help getting rid of the Assads, and transitioning to democracy, and they are already doing their part. Now do yours.