It is very wrong for anyone to assume that those who are currently defending Syria are necessarily supporters of Bashar Al Assad and that they want him to be president for life and to later pass on the presidency to his son. Quite the contrary, some of those defenders could be very staunch critics of the regime but, not from the perspective of Syria’s own Ahmed Jalabi (ie Burhan Ghalyoun), but rather from the perspective of care and respect of the Syrian people and a conviction that the people deserve to have a government that gives its people their rightful place in humanity. Some of those defenders may well be some of those who have in the past had a taste of the harshness of the regime. The writer of this article is a man who ran away from Syria in 1984 three years after escaping to Syria from Iraq, and did not manage to return to Syria for 22 years and is still unable to go back to Iraq.
I cannot forget the “hospitality” of Section 279 and what I endured in 1982. It was a reminder of the previous hospitality of Security Police in Baghdad. But that was the tip of the iceberg and I often wondered that the timing of a volcanic eruption is only a question of time as the Syrian citizen, just like his Iraqi compatriot suffers daily from the atrocities of the “Defense Brigades”, the Intelligence (Mukhabarat) that are so intimidating for the visiting tourist, let alone the residing citizen.
When I returned to Syria in 2006 it was not because I missed the hospitality of section 279 but because I miss some family members that I haven’t seen for over a quarter of a century and could not reunite with them except for in Syria. How often after my return did I contemplate writing to President Bashar Al Assad warning him that Syria in 2006 is the same one into which Eli Cohen infiltrated over four decades ago and that Israel could smuggle into Syria anything including hydrogen bombs on a daily basis without having to pay more than $10 by the courier as a bribe to the customs police. Isn’t this sadly the case? Otherwise, how did this huge arsenal of weapons reach the terrorists today in a manner than allows them to wreak fear and havoc in so many areas and even challenging the army itself?
The Syrian revolution came a bit too late. This is fine. But it came unlike other popular uprisings. It is coming from Mosques and not from universities or factories. There is nothing wrong with this either, what really matters are that the masses need to rise in order to earn with their own hands what is rightfully theirs. Yes, we must emphasize the concept of earning with one’s own hands what is rightfully ours. In this respect I pledged my heart, my soul and my pen and all that I possessed to support anyone who struggled against Saddam Hussein in the past.
I did this because for years on end my friends and I dreamt of an Iraq without Saddam, only to spend many years later lamenting in pain because in hindsight we did not know back then that every word we said and every letter we wrote against Saddam and every drop of blood we shed to get rid of him was only enriching the argument of the enemies of Iraq, beginning with Israel and America and not forgetting the Sheikhs and the Kings of the Gulf, not forgetting Ahmed Chalabi, Iyad Allawi, Nouri Al Maliki, Tarek Al Hashemi and their cohorts. Saddam has gone but what dawn has risen on us? Or should we say what night has fallen upon us? Saddam was bad? But Iraq used to be beautiful and great, secure and advanced and a country with a powerful State and stature and an army; but we did not see this. We did not know back then that despite everything, we had a country and that rulers can come and go but the country is here to stay. And of course we did not know that opposition groups were betraying their people and their country; even our communist leaders repeated the slogan “free country and happy people” until it came out of our ears whilst they were salivating under the CIA payroll. They betrayed the country and sold out their people and blessed the occupation, and eventually worked under the auspices of Bremer. We wanted Saddam to go, but they wanted Iraq to go, and it did. We wanted a popular revolution to topple Saddam or at least a military coup to get rid of him, but they were preparing for a destructive occupation, sectarianism and dreadful deaths. Is history not repeating itself in Syria today? I say this whilst I insist that Bashar Al Assad is not a bad person even though he did not have the right to inherit his position and/or to pass it on to his children.
Our national assets were taken away from the hands of the Saddam regime, but in whose hands are they now? Definitely not in ours. It will take only a fool to repeat the Iraqi experience elsewhere, and a fool is the Syrian citizen who spends a single moment of his life and an ounce of his energy in fighting Bashar Al Assad for as long as he doesn’t know that if he removes Al Assad, God forbid, nothing will be achieved other than turning Syria into a furnace, devouring its people and an open slather for crime and … do I need to say what Iraq has been transformed to? Perhaps we were excused because we were taken by surprise because events were changing overnight, turning Iraq into the target of the assault rather than Saddam. But the Syrian citizen of today has no excuse at all because he can clearly see that the finances and the weapons that are supporting his “revolution” are coming from the rotten Gulf rulers, and hence this revolution can only be for their own benefit and how can what benefits them be of any good for Syria?
It is only a total moron and a fool who puts the assets of Syria in the hands of the rulers of the Gulf, the same hands that carry the blood of the children of Iraq and of Libya. We say there is corruption in Syria and a million unemployed. This is a tragedy indeed but whoever cannot find work today may find work tomorrow after those beasts return to their altars. A million unemployed is far better than a million dead and a million widows and four million orphans and six million homeless and scattered all over the world, and a million cancer victims and a million deformed new born, deformed by the illegal weapons used by the Americans and paid for by the Saudi rulers. Yes, my Syrian brother, this is what the servant of the Americans and Israelis want for you, and this is what the master of regression and backwardness in Qatar is promising you.
And since when my dear Syrian Citizens were the mentally retarded King of Saudi Arabia and the Prince of Qatar so caring about your freedom or the freedom of others? Those people have no conscience and no integrity. We turned Iraq for eight long years into an eastern gate, protecting the nation from Iran and we paid for this with the blood of hundreds of thousands of our young men and we spent every Dinar in our Treasury to protect those apes from Iran. And what would have been our reward had we won? They stole our oil and they flooded the international market with cheap oil to destroy the Iraqi economy, then they allowed half a million American and Israeli soldiers to land on the sacred land of Prophets and they financed two wars against Iraq to return it to the Stone Age. And they danced on the corpses of our fallen ones, the Dance of the Swords just like predecessors did on the day of Ohod; the day they danced and ate the livers of the fallen ones. And why? Because their hearts and minds still rot with ignorance “jahaliyyeh”. And why would you think that what they want for Syria is different to what they wanted for Iraq? They, my dear Syrian citizens want nothing for you except war and destruction.
Despite its corruption and corrupt ones, Syria is beautiful, gracious, great, civilized, proud, independent, united, free and it enjoys the dignity of the lion (Assad). And if you want to know the beauty of Syria you have to read the writings of Oussama Fawzi because he covers more about Syria than other contemporary writers and portrays how wonderful Syria is. You say corruption? You are right. But, who is going to salvage you from this corruption? The old man of Hijaz who is so rotten to the core that it has penetrated into his bone marrow? These people do not have in store for you any freedom or dignity or privileges. All they have in store for you is nothing but traps, blood, sectarianism, destruction, poverty and humiliation. They believe that they can humiliate people with their dirty money and they have indeed bought the traitors of Syria. Those primitive Bedouins have the love of killing and bloodshed running in their veins and they are envious of any Arab country that has true civilization and culture, that has art and literature and intellectuals and this is why they do all they can to destroy Syria and deliver it into the hands of ruthless tyrants.
I defend Syria because I do not want to see the assets of the Syrian people going out of its hands and into the hands of rotten scoundrels who have a grudge against Syria and/or some gangs under the pay of Sarkozy.
I defend Syria because I love Syria and its people and I do not want to see another Iraq getting amputated and having its people getting killed right, left and in the center of the streets, mosques or churches.
I defend Syria because I do not want to see American or French tanks in the streets of Damascus with Israeli journalists covering the news freely, reporting scenes of falling statues of Assad with the intention of having them replaced with statues of apes. This did happen in Iraq.
I defend Syria because I do not want to hear that Jewish extremists have come to swim in Barada River, claiming that they have been promised to do so as they are doing now at the River Tigris.
I defend Syria because I see in it the Granada of today, the last Arabic bastion of dignity. If it falls, God forbid, that will be the end of Arabs.
Syrian brothers, do not allow Netanyahu to enter Damascus disguised with Saudi head dress and a Qatari sandal.
This is a translation of an article by the Iraqi scholar Dr. Omar Thaher.
Author: Iraqi Scholar Dr. Omar Thaher
Translated by: Ghassan and Intibah Wakeup
Also published by: Lizzie Phelan