The Cost of Office!

By: Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Wed 11 May / May 2016. 08:58 PM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

The short movie produced, by the White House, showing President Barack Obama looking for a job after the conclusion of his Presidency of the United States of America, is furthest there is from the cynicism that is, should there be any; usually exclusive to authoritarian, non-democratic States!

For the President of the greatest country in the world to be looking for a job, after leaving Office democratically; that sends out a very powerful political media message, in spite of the jest intended. It is, by the end of the day, the strongest highlight of American soft-power, or the democratic device that has gotten this man with Kenyan origins to the top of the world, and the son of a truck driver, of Pakistani origins, to the Mayor’s office in London, not any city; but London, in all its cosmopolitanism and its convergence of race, heritage, and the political, as well as symbolic dimensions entailed!

Can a comparison be made between the fate of the man, who is to return to his natural life with his family, in peace and tranquillity, and that of the “bright” Arab model? In other words, between the cost of “office” here and there?!

Here, a report issued by the Syrian Centre for Political Research (SCPR), titled “Confronting Fragmentation”, includes the scale of Syrian losses since 2011 and 2015, on the humanitarian, economic, and social levels.

On the economic level, the losses incurred to the Syrian economy touch on USD255 billion, with the rates of unemployment increasing from 15 per cent in 2011 to 52 per cent in 2015.

In terms of society, the population of Syria declined from 21.80 million in 2011 to 20.44 million in 2015, while the number should have reached around 25.59 million given demographic growth indices; that is a 21 per cent drop in population from the estimated alternative figures of a non-conflicted Syria scenario.

Almost half of the Syrian population, 45 per cent; has relocated their residence looking for security, safety, and better living circumstances. Syria now has 6.36 million people internally displaced, and 3.11 million people in refuge abroad.

As for poverty?! Rates near 85.2 per cent, in 2015, of the Syrian people, with the extremely impoverished comprising around 70 per cent, and the children out of schools nearing half at close to 45 per cent.

On the direct humanitarian impact of the Syrian crisis; the figures speak of catastrophic disaster. The dead amount to nearly half a million people, 70 thousand of whom had passed due to shortage of basic services. According to the report, casualties —injured and deceased; exceed 11 per cent of Syria’s demographic, so how about if we add to that the numbers of displaced and immigrant Syrians?! In terms of life expectancy, that too has declined from 70.5 years on average in 2010 to about 55.4 years in 2015.

All this terrible, countless loss, amounts to nothing before the symbolic, physiological, and cultural loss. Syria is engaged in an internal “attrition war”, as put by US delegation to the International Coallition, Brett Makourk; the regime has lost almost 90 thousand fighters to fend for the throne of Bashar Assad and associates.

Eventually, did the “throne” endure? Or is Syria now under the rule of Russia and Iran?! It is not much different for other Arab states, to varying degrees and extents of course. In Iraq, for example, a UN report states two thirds of the Iraqi people need humanitarian aid!

All that is the price paid to refuse democracy. This is not the price of democracy, as counter-revolutionists claim; so, is the office really worth all this blood and shredding and this symbolic, moral, and material destruction?! Could Arab rulers not return to their normal lives after their term in office concludes, the way the cynical Obama clip show it possible?!