Originally published in the Greek weekly newspaper “Paraskinio”, issue 623, p. 39 on Mar. 23, 2018
It has already been seven years since the outbreak of the Syrian Revolution, the revolution that remains the biggest tragedy of the century so far, during which Syria has been transformed from the country where the first civilizations were born into the country of religious and ethnic conflicts and from the country of tolerance in the country of death and the most dangerous point of the earth. As described by American writer Thomas Friedman, Syria is the country that suffers the most religious conflicts, the country whose infrastructure has been destroyed by 80%, whose population of 23 million became the largest refugee exporter of the century, the country where people are killed on the basis of identity, sect and the region that was born or inhabited, the country in which the child dies before the adult, where people sleep alive and wake up dead. The only cause of this tragedy is a person named Bashar al-Assad or the one described by a Russian newspaper as the “dog’s tail”.
Assad took over the presidency of the Syrian Arab Republic by succeeding his father, although the system of government is democracy. But the gang that his father left behind modified the constitution and the laws to make his son Bashar president. Bashar tried to give the West a different picture of Syria than it was in his father’s time and pushed it to open up to the internet. It also abolished the military apparel that applied to the pupils but did not change anything in the political, social, economic and intelligence contexts. The laws prohibiting the founding of political parties other than Baath continued to apply. Oppresive security services have continued to shut the mouth of those who reacted to government decisions. Economic corruption has sprung up. Many Western reports confirm that the property of the businessman Rami Makhlouf, cousin of Assad, with his own and his government’s cover, has reached $ 50 billion. Many research centers confirm that Assad’s personal property is over $ 150 billion. In Syria, although it is not a particularly oil-rich country, it is estimated that the oil and gas fields in the east are producing fifty thousand barrels per day. Neither a dollar of oil and gas sales has been credited to the state budget, but it all goes to private accounts of the Assad family. After years of oppression, corruption and murder in prisons, the people of Syria found in Arab Spring the opportunity to bring change and claim its rights and freedom. Millions of citizens walked out into the streets peacefully shouting: “Freedom and the people want to overturn the regime.”
Seven years have passed since the beginning of this revolution, which has killed more than half a million Syrian civilians and injured or left disabled more than one and a half million. Also, over nine million were forced to leave their homes and seven million of them have become refugees scattered around the world. Whole cities have been destroyed, crops have been burned and chemical weapons have been used over a hundred times. Western reports estimate the cost of rebuilding the country to over $ 500 billion. 95% of the aforementioned were caused by Assad and his allies, Iran and Russia. An independent country like Syria is today only an arena of international conflicts. To remain in the presidency, Assad sold himself and his country first to Iran and then to Russia. Then Washington was lured by the smell of oil and gas, while Turkey’s fear of the Kurds pushed it to intervene in the Syrian arena.
Conferences in Geneva, Astana and Sochi, United Nations Security Council meetings and successive decisions, but the blood of Syria continues to flow. Russia wants to prove it is still a superpower, but the Syrian people pay the bill. Wanting to confirm the effectiveness of the defense industry, it found the appropriate field for tests on the bodies of the Syrians. Iran, blinded by its need to expand and revive the glory of the Persian Empire, found Syria the right path at the expense of the blood of the people. Syria is no longer the same as before, and will never again be like it was. Revenge will burn the souls of the people. Those who believe that Assad, controlling 60% of the Syrian territory, has won, are naive. It’s just the beginning. History has proven that the people will dominate as long as it takes.