Opinion: 10 Facts After Aleppo

Faced with the fall of eastern Aleppo to the regime, Russian and Iranian-backed forces, we must recognize and acknowledge 10 basic facts if we wish to understand the Syrian revolution's next phase, explains Bassam Yousef

All of us are distressed how Aleppo has ended up, and before that how Syria as a whole has ended up — because before Aleppo there was Homs, Al-Qusair, Daraya, and so on and so forth. However, faced with Aleppo — which was conquered by a great and monstrous nation (Russia) supported by militias which are among the most bloodthirsty in history, driven by sectarian fanaticism and whose basic structure is composed by mercenaries — we must recognize and acknowledge the basic facts.

First of which is that it is not possible for military force to conquer an international coalition in which a great and monstrous nation comprises an essential element, except with an international coalition which includes a great nation or nations able, militarily, to defeat their rivals — or at least neutralize them. It is therefore absurd to say an opposition victory was possible in light of the absence of a coalition supporting it.

The second of these facts is that fighting under the banner of the bearded mercenaries will not bring the revolution victory. These militants who were set up — all of them, without exception — in the corridors of intelligence agencies will not bring victory to the people, and they will have no celestial or terrestrial authority except in accordance with those corridors who stitched, designed and implemented them.

Third, the unarmed (political) Syrian opposition has failed massively in bearing its responsibilities — all of them, without exception — and has not been able even to market the truth of the Syrian revolution, that it is a revolution of the people against a gang of looters and tyrants, while the gang of criminals which rules over these people has successfully marketed the lie that the war they fight is a war “against terror” and that a people such as the Syrian people wear the clothes of terrorism — even their children.

Fourth, it may be among the most foolish of follies for us to believe that nations will bring victory to some people or another — nations do not bring victory for any reason other than their own interests, and if they stand alongside a people, the leaders of these people must be a barrier to these nations trading with them or their issues.

Fifth, sectarianism, ethnocentrism and tribalism, and all the divisions which have been dangerous pitfalls of our revolution, and which this revolution has been unable to overcome, especially in light of the strengthening of the regime and its many internal and external parties, and in light of our delusion that these are facts which we cannot live without. We will not have victory if we are victims of sectarianism, ethnocentrism, tribalism, and so on and so forth. We will not see victory unless we are all of us Syrians.

Sixth, we can never cheapen the value of our revolution, as it is, without a doubt, one of the greatest revolutions in history. There has never been a people who have been subjected to what the Syrian people have. Its own army has fought against it. Armies from every corner of the earth have come to fight against it. They have used all types of weapons against it, including chemical weapons, and have thrown against them what military experts say is enough to destroy Syria’s entire area six times over. They have arrested about half a million people, with tens of thousands of them dying under torture which humankind has never known more terrible or fearful. People have been trapped without a scrap of bread, a drink of water, as their children suffer from disease, and so on and so forth. And with all of that, they have not surrendered.

Seventh, Syrians are heroes as individuals and innovators, but they have not mastered working in groups.

The eighth fact is that the ruling regime in Syria has been stripped utterly naked, and I do not think that anyone in Syria — including regime loyalists — will be able to be deceived by what it markets about itself after this revolution.

The ninth fact is that the coalition, the national council, and the coordination committee, and so on and so on — all of these political formations are sterile, and will never be fully productive at some time in the future, like this regime. Getting them out of the way of the Syrian people is no less important than getting rid of the bearded men and the regime’s gangs. All of them have mortgaged themselves to others — this one mortgages his political position, this one mortgages his rifle, and this one mortgages the country.

The tenth fact, it is delusional to think the Syrian people will be defeated now, and that they may repeat the previous mistakes. They may relapse in a battle here or there, but to be defeated is inconceivable. Syrians can shorten the path if they coordinate their desires and unite in collective action under one banner — Syria first, and before everything else.

This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.


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