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Posts tagged ‘Syria’

Supporting a Dictator’s Regime

As the entire world opposes Bashar al Asad’s brutal killing of the rebels in the middle-eastern country of Syria, it is interesting to see how Russia is going a step ahead in supporting the ill deeds of this dictator who has brought the country to the brink of breaking down.

The massacre of innocent people which has taken a toll on thousands of people across Syria is not unknown to the world. Recently, United Nations had reported that the violence in Syria has left at least 4,500 civilians dead. Official figures add around 2,000 soldiers more to the dead. The dictator regime of Bashar al Assad has left the entire country bleeding with wounds given by this dictator. The innocent people are being crushed and peace and fundamental rights denied to the public. While on a public front, Assad has promised several times to restore peace in the region, violence has only escalated in the region. After years of suffering, it is now that rebels are raising heads in the country. It is now that the innocent people of Syria are demanding for a better future for them and generations to come.
While the entire global community is supporting the rebels, it is not only surprising but also disheartening to see how Russia is breaching all norms of humanity and standing with a person who has violated all norms of humanity. Bashar al Assad is the culprit of all innocent civilians who have lost their lives in the violence that has continued for quite some time now.
At this time, when the entire world should oppose the policies of Assad administration and should vote for introducing complete democracy in Syria, Russia is going out of the way and supporting something that should have been long abolished from the civic society.
Recently, Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov met the Syrian president Assad in Damascus. Through this meeting, Russia has tried to send across a message to the entire global community that no matter what, it will continue to extend its support to this dictator regime. Although Russia is trying to cover the move by coming out with lame excuses, its intentions are no longer hidden. Lavrov, after his meeting with Assad, commented that Assad has promised to open dialogue with the opposition but we all know that all this is mere a cover to the real thing that is going on.
In a major move, Russia and China had blocked a UN Security Council resolution that called for increased pressure on Assad. Both the countries said that they were worried that foreign powers would use the resolution as a basis for military intervention similar to Libya. Earlier, Lavrov had also commented once that regime change is not their occupation and that the resolution had put all the blame on Assad government alone.
The analysts also view this move as a major step by the Russian government to support Syria which has been its major ally in the past. The real story behind the curtain is that with Iraq and Libya falling into the hands of the US and other global forces after the end of dictatorship regime in each of these countries, Russia is worried that it may lose its last resort in the middle-east. Presently, Syria is the only dependable ally that the country has in the region. The experts also insist that Russia is serious in defending the interests of its ally in the region, which can also aptly be termed as its last frontier.
The world needs to look a bit deeper into Russian interest in this country. It should be known to us that Syria is among the largest buyers of Russian weapons and the contracts signed with the country are generally worth $3.5 billion. Russia does not want to lose this market which may continue to remain a major customer provided the struggle continues in the country. The total business and military interests of Russia in Syria are reaching $20 billion in total. Who would want to lose such a lucrative business opportunity! Syria has also been home to a small Russian naval base which was built during Soviet times and functions till date as Russia’s only port beyond the borders of the former Soviet Union.
Another reason why Russia is backing Syrian government is that the country wants to maintain good relations with all powers which have conflicts with the US. Recently, a presidential candidate in Russia also insisted that the country should protect and support all countries which resist the United States.
It’s high time that the Russian government should wake up and understand that today it is a different world altogether. It has to be understood and accepted that in the present day, dictatorship is something which should be opposed and abolished by all means. Even the Russian public would not want to be under the rule of a dictator!
Russia should support genuine causes which protect and conserve humanity and democracy and should stop opposing everything which comes from the US blindfold. It is time that the country needs to rethink on its policy in the region and also to understand that no matter what, if the violence continues in the country, not even its support would be able to save Syria for long.

The fruit seller who threw down the dictators

Mohammed Bouazizi or Basboosaas his friends called him was a poor fruit seller who had been working since he was 10 year old. he was only 3 years old when his father passed away and the little he earned was used to keep his mother, uncle and 6 siblings alive. He was used to being harassed by the local police for quite sometime but he would continue working with his handcart where he stashed vegetables and fruits. But this would come to an end December 17, 2010.

The female policeofficer, Faida Hamdi confiscated his handcart the day after he had borrowed money to buy more vegetables. Besides taking away his only income, the police officers had cussed him out in public, beaten him and called his late father bad names.

The shame, frsutration, desperation and humiliation had become too much for the 26 year old boy. He doused himself in petrol and set fire. And with him a whole region burnt down.

His suicide sparked the frustration the Tunisian people had felt for a long time and using Facebook and Al Jazeera, they spread the story about the young fruit seller. The Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine fled the country January 14th after ruling for 23 years.  Nobody had anticipated that his suicide would break down the dictators in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, and bring unrest to Syira, Jemen and Bahrain.

Mohammed, a simple young boy, work very hard to send his sisters to school and university earning only $5 a day. He was often forced to bribe the authorities more than he could earn to set up his handcart because they wouldn’t give him a permit.

Now, a picture of Bouazizi’s face has been set up to the mosaic tiled monument outside the municipal office where he earned his slap from a female worker when he went to complain about not being able to work as his income had been confiscated.

His friends and family remember him as a young man of simple taste, who had no time to follow football or music, and in time wanted to get married. His ambition was to buy the pickup truck for which he was saving, so he could drive to the market to buy his fruit, instead of having to walk.

His mother remembers how happy he was that morning and that he had never been suicidal, only frustrated over the town officials who would treat him unfair. “He would just sleep a few hours and go early to the market to push his handcart. When he had free time, he would stay with his family at home”, she said.

Outside Sidi Bouzid, where Mohammed used to live and work, about 12 miles along the main highway, there is a dirt road signposted for Sidi Salah. The cemetery is a little way beyond the village among some few trees and a line of ochre hills. Bouazizi’s grave is a grey concrete block with two pretty yellow bowls set in it, filled with water.

 

An Open Letter to Syrian President Bashar al Assad

Date: November 15th 2011

President Dr. Bashar al Assad                                                                                      

President Office

People’s Council of Syria

Damascus, Syria

His Excellency Dr. Bashar al Assad,

AFTQ wants to bring to your attention that since the start of the Syrian Revolution from 15th March 2011, the world is witnessing the worst crisis of human rights violations in Syria. Though the constitution provides many benefits and protections to the Syrian citizens but in reality the Syrians lived under the unwanted regulations of your regime. After the years of your father Hafez al Assad’s authoritarian regime which from the beginning had suppressed the rights and liberty of a normal citizen has the most affected from your rule of suppression.

Syria is now standing at the crossroads of revolution where the government’s legitimacy and Syrians freedom is at stake. When you Mr. President took oath on 17th July 2000 to rein this beautiful and cultural country which have always introduced this world with something great and of a prosperous nature the innocent people of Syria, your own people who have believed in you, trusted you, when you assumed office of this great nation Mr. President these were the people whom you are killing like insects have believed in you and respected you more than ex President Late Hafez al Assad who was also your father had ruled at barrel of gun but His Excellency it was you who came as the ray of hope to this nation who had suffered hard under your father’s rule and now wanted a true democratic political system under which they can practice their rights granting them a complete guarantee of fundamental tools to them.

A law which never differentiate between the same citizen of the same country no matter whether he / she belongs to any communal group or culture or religion, a framework where everyone is equal, where a true Syrian secularism would be portrayed and practiced as the true living reality in which you have always believed into and has regularly said in your interviews given to the international media.

It’s been almost 12 years of your rule but the promise which you have made with undersigned commitments remained unfulfilled at large. Mr. President when you talked about peace it means you have to be at the compromising acceptance with some or more of your strategized demands / requirements. A peace in true meaning is that when two parties agree and respect on the compromising manner in order to serve the purpose of peace which will only be possible if your government thinks in a more liberal and transparent way keeping in view of interests of the common man. Peace cannot exist if you dictate your terms Mr. President but if you agree to common terms to get both ends meet at the juncture of harmony.

His Excellency you sound great when you speak but you felt worse when you work for peace. Shooting your own people, killing the innocents, not even sparing the families of those who stand united against you is not in the person’s faith who believes in bringing peace to his country and to the region as a whole. When you talk about secularism it is good sign of optimism but Mr. President till your speeches have delivered only the words not the actions. When a Syrian President talks about his nation being secular it means Syria being a secular nation but in practice and in reality the air taste’s something un-usual and different.

Secularism doesn’t mean that one single party and a community will rule the country and others will be denied the basic access to the functioning. When we say that we are secular then that means members of all communities shares the equal rights and power to rule and govern the country however this has never been the case in Syria under yours and your fathers regime as when the new constitution in 1973 was adopted for Syria.

Article #1 under Basic Principals of Syrian Constitution states that:

(1)   The Syrian Arab Republic is a democratic, popular, socialist, and sovereign state.  No part of its territory can be ceded. Syria is a member of the Union of the Arab Republics.

(2)   The Syrian Arab region is a part of the Arab homeland.

(3)   The people in the Syrian Arab region are a part of the Arab nation. They work and struggle to achieve the Arab nation’s comprehensive unity.

Article #7 the constitutional oath is as follows:

“I swear by God the Almighty to sincerely preserve the republican, democratic, and popular system, respect the constitution and the laws, and watch over the interests of the people and the security of the homeland, and work and struggle for the realization of the Arab nation’s aims of unity, freedom, and socialism.”

Article # 8 betrays the concept of democracy

The leading party in the society and the state is the Socialist Arab Baath Party.  It leads a patriotic and progressive front seeking to unify the resources of the people’s masses and place them at the service of the Arab nation’s goals.

Article # 10 which guarantees the right to practice democracy

People’s councils are establishments elected in a democratic way at which the citizens exercise their rights in administering the state and leading the society.

But till now nothing as mentioned in the respected constitution has ever been felt even by an ordinary citizen of Syria, none of the rights given in the constitution has ever practiced except the power vested under article #8 which betrays all the liberties and access given to the citizens of Syria.

Since the adoption of this amended constitution and the start of your respected family’s regime the great nation of civilizations never lived its glory in the modern era where people enjoys freedom, liberty, fundamental rights and power of being empowered remained always a distant dream to all living under the shadow of your vicinity.

Mr. President when you talk about democracy you say because the word is mentioned in your adopted constitution it gives a different meaning to it while disputing the same with the real one. Mr. President when you talk about this power system of governance it means that you have to provide every citizen an equal opportunity to take part in the administration of the country where person from every community can share the power on equal grounds with your respective authority.

AFTQ believes that the vibrant and working democracy is that where every citizen takes part in the election process, where public opinion is always consider in terms of passing any regulation, any law, where even single amendment in the law or even in the constitution seek common man’s opinion. Where people chooses their own leader not the assigned council or which the body which has never enjoyed the legitimacy of its own people, a true democracy is that where all the government bodies and its functioning are accountable to the general public and where even an ordinary citizen enjoys full access to all the public accounts and internal communication.

One cannot say that Syria is a democratic country where the word is just like dust in the eyes of the world irked people always throughout the independent Syrian history. There has never been any moment in the entire Assad’s regime tenure when the nation of Syria ever seen  the overwhelming support and contribution in the process of nation building in which Syrians happily taken part and been encouraged to do so and as a single party regime and its governance cannot bring the democracy alive in its country while functioning as the opposite, a liberal and open democracy is where when in the country multi party political system exists competing to rule the country and representing different communities hence satisfying also the criteria of being secular whereas another article of the constitution article # 12 disputes the single party regime and your ruling authority:

Article # 12 which guarantees the Syrians protection of their fundamental rights:

The state is at the people’s service.  Its establishments seek to protect the fundamental rights of the citizens and develop their lives. It also seeks to support the political organizations in order to bring about self-development.

After getting to this article #12 it has been clear by now that since the time your family has came to power Syrians were living their lives in the false statehood which have always cheated them either by making new amendments in the constitution or by just giving betrayal worded speeches. The people you think raise their hands in support of your rule will betray one day just like your friend late Col Gaddafi was betrayed by his own people who first at the start of the rebellion shook their hands in the streets of Tripoli and then they fought against him as the tide turned in the favor of rebels.

Mr. President, we at the AFTQ would like to make you aware that you still have got time to improve yourself and clean your leadership’s image in the eyes of your entire Syrian population. It is the time when you can decide about you and your family’s fate either by stepping down from your posts or by paving the way to true democracy which is the current need and the desire of your own nation at large.

His Excellency you talk about your legitimacy but AFTQ wants to make you clear that you and your government has lost their legitimacy in the minds, hearts and eyes of the general public and when the government or a leader losses his legitimacy then he must take the positive nation building measures which the nation requires and demanding the most at present, as in your case people and the nation of Syria wants the working democracy and freedom to practice their fundamental rights where they can elect and decide their future of the country and make accountable their leaders.

AFTQ urge you to take the immediate positive building measures otherwise the day is not far when you even would not have a moment to apologize to your people and to your nation at large. The same which was done in Libya and the kind of treatment there the leaders received at the hands of their own people should be an eye opener for you and for your cabinet which too has proven with the recent developments made by the respected Arab league by expelling your great nation from the regional grouping which you Mr. President has always supported throughout now stand against you and your regime.

Instead of warning the entire league Mr. President you should have taken it as lesson and approaching tide which could uproot your entire governance and political entity with its flow like storm.

Now standing at the juncture of heightening revolution of the Arab Revolution Spring’s series here are few questions which put you on account to the crimes and atrocities done by you and your forces on the innocent people of Syria:

1.)    Do you think it is right to suppress the people who are demanding their rights to live freely in their country?

2.)    How can you justify the genocide committed by you and your regime in which your killing drive has claimed 3500 innocent lives and still counting?

3.)    Will you justify your measures of handling the Syrian Revolution?

4.)    Is this true that your government and your policies discriminate among the distinct citizens of your country?

5.)    How would you prove that your forces and your ministers did not commit any human rights violations?

6.)    Is this justified in any manner to deny the rights and freedom of the people?

7.)    Do you think being a democratic country the Alawi community loses its presence in the new democratic Syria?

8.)    Did you expect the same fate as of Late Col Gaddafi?

9.)    Is your government fair enough to run the country transparently?

The nation His Excellency builds on trust, on harmony not on murders, not on hatred. A true leader rules his country not by stick but by love, by coordination. You can silent the cries of your people not by bullets but by meeting their demands, by standing tall to their aspirations.  Fulfill your unfulfilled promises and transform yourself as democratic leader not the dictator.

AFTQ hope and wishes that after reading this and witnessing the circumstances of this Syrian Revolution you will not stop yourself from laying the path to democracy and will stop killing your people who once honored and believed in you as their leader.

Regards

Hatef Mokhtar

Founder and Chairman

Armed For The Quill

Oslo, Norway

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