Monday, December 22, 2014

A People's History of Syria--Conclusion: July 2013 to June 2014 Period

During 2013 and 2014, the foreign government-backed Syrian rebel groups’ attempt to violently overthrow Bashar Assad’s historically undemocratic Baath regime continued. In a Sept. 2, 2013 message “to all Communist Parties and Unions around the world,” the secular left Syrian Communist Party (Unified) group indicated, from its point of view, what had happened in Syria between late 2011 and the fall of 2013, in the following way:

“You know that our country- Syria- has been being exposed for more than twenty months, to a war lunched against it by scores of imperialist states, besides other countries that move round them as satellites.

“Their aim is to destroy the Syrian state that stands as an obstacle on the road of those trying to impose the plan of a `greater Middle East’, after breaking down the states in the region and replacing them with small entities fighting one another, to impose absolute domination on the oil and gas resources; to eliminate the Palestinian problem in a way extremely opposite to the interests of the Palestinian people.

“These countries manipulated the mistakes and shortcomings of the regime on the one hand, and the popular movements opposing these shortcomings. The movements were peaceful at first, later they turned into armed ones, which received support on a wide scale from the alliance that emerged consisting of U.S.A, Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Turkey occupied the border exits with Syria, to help weapons being smuggled, the entrance of thousands of mercenaries calling themselves as Jihadists who built camps for training supporters and allies…These actions are flagrant violation of the international law which prohibits any country to use its territories to attack its neighbors. We know that Turkey, alone, can never do these things without American, European and Gulf States support….

“Syria never believes that the solution of the problem is a military one, rather, it has ever since the birth of the problem called for a peaceful and political solution through a comprehensive national dialogue…. Importantly enough, the Syrian government has declared a new peaceful initiative.

“The initiatives, farther, emphasize the need for democratic reforms, a new constitution, besides a new general and national pact which is to be prepared by all forces including the opposition….Unfortunately, the initiative has been refused instantly by the armed… groups and those who support it and demand that violence…continue…

“So far the Syrian people have paid a very heavy price, tens of thousands of innocent civilian have been killed. Today Syria is exposed to a human catastrophe.
About three millions Syrian citizens have fled their houses and become internally displaced refugees in neighboring countries living in unbelievably miserable conditions needing food and medicine….”

Estimates of the number of Syrians who have been killed since the initial non-violent street protests began in March 2011 are varied.

As of July 2013, United Nations officials estimated that over 100,000 people in Syria had been killed during the post-March 2011 uprising and armed conflict in Syria, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation [CBC]’s website; while a Wikipedia entry indicates that estimates of the number of people killed during the uprising and armed conflict in Syria between March 2011 and May 2014 vary from 108,000 to 162,000.

Of the people in Syria killed between March 2011 and early 2014 during the uprising and armed conflict, an estimated 30,000 to 37,685 of the slain were members of the Assad Baath regime’s Syrian military and police forces, and an estimated 23,000 more were members of Syrian militias that are loyal to the Baath regime, according to the same Wikipedia entry; while an estimated 42,000 to 62,000 of the dead—including an estimated 13,500 slain foreign Islamic fundamentalist fighters—were members of the armed Syrian insurgent groups attempting to overthrow Assad’s Baath regime.

United Nations officials also estimated that--by the beginning of 2014--of the estimated 22.4 million people who lived in Syria in early 2010, around 2.4 million Syrians had fled from Syria due to the post-March 2011 uprising and armed conflict; and that 75 percent of the refugees from Syria were women and children, according to the CBC’s website. In addition, the same website also noted that United Nations officials estimate that since March 2011, over 4 million people still living within Syria’s own territory have also been displaced, due to the impact of the uprising and armed conflict.

But the history of people who live in Syria seems to indicate that neither Turkish, UK, French, or Israeli military occupation or bombing of Syrian territory--nor the continuation of covert or overt foreign government funding and arming of secular or religiously sectarian armed rebel groups--has ever brought much democratization, freedom, economic justice or domestic peace for the majority of the people who have lived in Syria during the last 150 years.

(end of conclusion. Epilogue to follow.)

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