In part 4 of “Why Assad ‘Wasn’t, Won’t be’ Defeated?” we study thoroughly the Syrian leadership’s policy to confront huge western and Arab pressures on Damascus since the beginning of the crisis until the moment, in addition to the firmness of Syrian diplomacy.
Either Conditions or…
Syria’s political “confrontation” is not less important than the ongoing battles between the army and the militants.
Early when the events have started, Arab, regional, and international pressures were provoked, as well as envoy visits to Damascus, which received a series of demands topped by breaking relationships with the axis of resistance, especially after Egyptian Hosni Mubarak’s regime was defeated, causing imbalance in the so-called “Arab moderation camp.” Thus, the camp’s sponsors considered the Syrian crisis a chance to slap the other camp through a policy of persuasion and intimidation, rejected by Damascus, to worsen the ongoing events. This involved Syria with a fierce battle in which all media, politics, sectarian sedition, and armament were utilized to bring the “jihadists” into Syria.
In his first speeches after the crisis broke out, Syrian President Bashar Assad didn’t deny that political mistakes took place, as well as delay in reforms that were supposed to come into force after 2000, recalling the events swirling in the region, American invasion to Iraq, Lebanon events after Premier Rafiq Hariri’s assassination, in addition to the 200 war.
Syrian leadership’s encounter to the recent developments and circumstances was followed by a series of interior dialogues on the level of political and civil forces in all governorates. They resulted in issuing a new Constitution, Parliament and local elections, several reformative laws, as well as issuing many legislative decrees that granted amnesty.
The reforms didn’t please some Arab and western countries, to discover later a coordinated campaign to surround Damascus until it announces its “defeat.” This explains the escalation against the country represented by the European and American sanctions, followed by an Arab escalation represented by excluding Damascus’s membership in the Arab League before granting its seat to the Opposition Coalition in the latest Doha Summit. All of this was accompanied with intensive operations to fund and arm the militants on the Syrian land, not to mention opening borders, especially northward.
The main objective of spending huge amounts of money was to cause splits in the military, political, and diplomatic bodies. In fact, many cases were recorded, yet they didn’t cause significant effects in the political system. Syrian leadership could run the governmental apparatuses normally, and attempts to exclude Syria nationwide were well-confronted.
Syrian Deputy Minister of Information Khalaf Al-Muftah asserted to Al-Manar Website “cohesion in Syrian elements, political, authoritative, cultural, social, educational, and military, was the reason due to which the Syrian identity was able to survive, in addition to the persistence to live and the collective consciousness.” He also noted that Syria is exposed to a conspiracy. “Aware of its dangers, Syrian people united together despite the occurring splits,” Al-Muftah Added.
The Secret of Resistance… and the Result
To highlight some of the most important reasons why Syria resisted politically, especially among the diplomatic body, Syrian Ambassador to Turkey Nidal Qabalan told Al-Manar Website that “the secret of resistance for two years –although greater Arab countries collapsed within few weeks- is what specializes the social, political, intellectual, cultural, and ideological structure of the Syrian society.” “What late President Hafez Assad had planted fruited during Syria’s current crisis. He built an ideological army that surpassed religions, sects, and even political parties, to tower above minor considerations reaching the major ones such as the nation, Golan Heights, and resistance in Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, and every Arab country whose parts of its lands are occupied,” Mr. Qabalan added.
Ambassador Qabalan asserted that “Damascus now is paying the taxes of dignity. We, as a government and people, are accustomed to pay. Thus, Syria won’t deviate and will end up more persistent to support the resistance until achieving the greatest goal to liberate Palestine and the occupied territories in Syria and South Lebanon.”
Syrian diplomatic sources uncover that there are enormous temptations offered to many diplomats in some countries in order to announce their “split”. In this context, the same sources note that they were offered huge amounts of money from certain sides and countries, in addition to pledges to occupy high ranks in case the regime was defeated.
“Syria has abroad between 65 embassies and missions, about 60 honorary consulates. It is not represented in 122 countries, yet they are related to some missions abroad.”
“The diplomatic body is very coherent, splits are negligible in comparison with 1500 member in it.”
Pressure, Extortion and Sense of Nationality
Ali Qassem, Syrian “Al-Thawra” newspaper’s Editor-in-Chief, explained to Al-Manar Website that the issue is related to a national dimension that must be taken into consideration, especially that the sense of nationality among people in Syria is non-negotiable and cannot be extorted, and this doesn’t mean that there are exceptions. “The sense of nationality is a result of an old-aged civilization that goes back to some 7000 years. And every Syrian person clings to this land and the national objectives,” he added. Qassem noted that “the cohesion of the Syrian diplomatic corpse was normal, in particular when (splits among diplomats) were employed as a mean of intimidation, war, pressure and extortion in the beginning of the crisis.”
According to Qassem, pressures on the diplomatic body were distributed as follows:
First: intimidation, lying, and exaggeration
Second: extortion, threatening, and swaggering
Third: fabrication (alleging increase in desertions)
He asserts that Syrian diplomats were able to face those pressures because Syrian diplomacy’s firmness means firmness is all Syria. Therefore, the two years old campaign is still fruitless.
“It is well-known that the Syrian diplomatic team is well-trained and qualified and is facing all battles on both Arab and international levels in different ways and since a long time. This points out the importance of the role Syria is playing there,” Qassem added.