Syria’s Franco and the New Tora Bora

By Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Mon 4 September / Sep 2017. 12:00 AM - آخر تعديل في Mon 4 September / Sep 2017. 10:21 PM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

“What is the difference between a rebel with a gun or a soldier with a gun if they are pointing it at you?”

This is what Abu Ahmad, a Syrian from Aleppo, said to Erika Solomon, of the Financial Times, in a report titled “Syria: a tale of three cities”.

Solomon’s report pretty much sums up a significant part of the Syrian situation today.

In her report, she tries to voice the people’s overwhelming sense of fear and confusion, in Damascus, Homs, and Aleppo, by articulating their shared suffering.

She also attempts to explore their ability to overcome the catastrophe which has become of Syria. Will they forget it? Forgive it?

Will the people of Syria ever overcome the suffering, destruction, bloodshed, and memory of the war?

The report, implicitly, raises these questions.

It places everybody in face of the fact, warning us, that the endurance of injustice against the people, perpetrated by both the regime and affiliated sectarian militias, will only perpetuate vindication, in a brewing, explosive pool of hate.

No one said the battle is over, nor that Assad has triumphed.

Indeed, it is far more complicated than this; but the balance of power is undoubtedly leaning in favour of the regime.

That said, the question is: What remains of the Syrian revolution, its values, culture, and precursors? What will endure, now, of the police state?

Looking at the reality there, one would indeed wonder: What is the difference between soldiers of the Syrian army, fights of Hezbollah, and the sectarian Iranian revolutionary guard on one side, and the extremist rebel factions on the other?

Both parties, the sectarians and the extremists, want to change people’s lives and impose certain political, sectarian, and extremist agendas against the citizens.

A recently circulated survey sampled nearly 700 people from Aleppo, on the settlements proposed and their position on Nusra.

By a landslide, most of the surveyed population opposed Nusra, and more or less supported their deportation to Idlib.

The People in Aleppo strongly opposed the Nusra Front’s attempts to impose their ideologies on the public.

Of course, this will turn Idlib in the Tora Bora of Syria.

Like Tora Bora in Afghanistan, the rebels are to be rounded up in Idlib, sieged, and then annihilated. And like Tora Bora in Afghanistan, the residents of the city will pay the price!

In truth, it isn’t very different, if you compared Idlib to Raqqa, Mosul, or Deir el Zour.

Eventually they were all made into isolated, Jihadist hot pockets, wherein the people’s lives and rights were confiscated.

This situation does not serve the purpose of the pacifist Syrian revolution, in the beginning.

When the people rose against the regime, this wasn’t what they aspired for!

Not in any way did the Syrians aspire for their cities to be turned into another Negev or Qum. The point was not to engineer a sectarian, demographic redistribution.

This wasn’t Homs’s dream, nor any other Syrian city’s.

Hence, to say that the Syrian situation is over, would be as preposterous as it is far from the truth.

Regional and international agendas underway conspire to redesign Syria’s future.

A friend of mine, Salam Kawakibi, said in a recent article that the events in Syria are somewhat similar to the Spanish revolution, when the world abandoned the rebels and supported General Franco.

Franco is the military leader who restored the Spanish regime with dictatorship before rehabilitating the system there.

In Syria however, the supposed Franco in this comparison isn’t real.

The regime in Syria, presided over by Syria’s Franco, Bashar Assad, is not an independent, autonomous, national power construct.

Far from it; instead, the Syrian regime has become sectarian and has fallen under the undisputed influence of Iran.

As there are similarities, between Franco and Assad, there are major differences.

Nonetheless, the common denominator in both the Spanish and Syrian cases is that world has let the rebels down and turned its back, shamelessly, to their own frail values!

This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.