After all the sacrifices made by the Syrian people for freedom and dignity, it is painful and humiliating for any patriotic Syrian to have reached the day when the dominant forces on the Syrian ground are either Baghdadi's extremists or Assad's mafia.
After the elections, described as a farce, the tyrant appointed himself president of Syria for seven more years, and fate showed more sarcasm when Baghdadi appointed himself a Caliph of Muslims, calling the extremists in the world to come to Syria after he expropriated the country from the Syrian people.
Six thousand years of civilization, and now fate jests at the first people to elect their leaders after independence (Syria is the first Arab country to achieve independence, and it is the first republic among the Arab countries). The people who produced sophisticated poets like Nizar Qabbani, geniuses like al-Maghout, heroes like Yousuf al-Azmeh and Jol Jamal, the people who produced statesmen to become examples for Mahathir Mohamad, the builder of Malaysia and its renaissance, statesmen like Khalid al-Azm, Fares al-Khoury and Marouf Dawalibi, are the same people became under the control of the tyranny of Assad's mafia and the darkness of the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda.
What happened was not a product of a Syrian will; all of those who took part in the launch of the uprising of the Syrian people in March 2011 know exactly that it was not for this disastrous outcome that the young people demonstrated in the face of the bullets of the tyrant with their bare chests, and not for this disaster that more than 5,000 of the purest and most honest Syrian youth were killed, without them firing a single bullet.
The Libyan model – which many Syrians dreamt would be a model for the toppling of their own tyrant – in addition to the promises of support and recognition, of the limited days and red lines of Obama and his administration, were all the factors with the biggest role in the deception of the Syrian people. People thought the international community and regional countries would not let a state of the geographical importance of Syria drift to the conditions that we see today, so that one of the oldest and the most open and cultured peoples in the region become confined between the anvil of the tyrant with his barrels, and the hammer of Baghdadi and Zawahiri and their swords and darkness.
Certainly there were other factors as well; the institutions of the opposition were created and sometimes corrupted (almost intentionally) to fall under the control of its supporters, losing the confidence of the Syrian people and leaving most of the Syrian youth, who suffered from the worst methods of torture, humiliation and murder, in the midst of their pain and torment, to succumb to the ideas of IS, Nusra and other jihadist organizations. The youth became despaired through the buying of loyalties, corruption and the dependence of opposition institutions on the supporters, though they were supposed to represent people's aspirations and the objectives of their revolution.
It is certain that Syria and its people are now exposed to the most serious challenges to threaten their existence as a people and their homeland as an entity. It is also certain that the tyrannical regime will not be able to return to grip the necks of the Syrian people as happened in the last forty years, and it is even more certain that the Syrian people will neither accept the succession of Baghdadi nor the tutelage of Zawahiri and their obscurantist ideas.
But the greatest danger is to lose Syria and its people in the midst of the brutal conflict.
I do not see any other possibility to mobilize the forces of the Syrians who want to save their home except of returning to the Syrian national project, the project of their fathers who won the Syrian independence, the project which immediately after independence lay the foundations for putting Syria and its people in the place it deserves among the civilized nations of the world.
That project began to develop the foundations of state citizenship. The state was felt by all Syrians as theirs, regardless of their national, religious or sectarian bases, the bases which did not prevent Sultan Pasha al-Atrash from being the leader of the Syrian revolution, and Faris Khoury from being the head of the government, the bases that made Badawi al-Jabal refuse to divide Syria along sectarian lines, and pushed him to reach out to the rest of the patriots to build a dream-state demolished by the Baath coup.
This is Syria, which gathers all Syrians and prevents both the combatant monsters, either the tyrant and the Caliph, from controlling it. Syria, which every Syrian feels is the place that gives him security, freedom and dignity and for which he rebelled and sacrificed for more than forty months.
For all this, we must put the theoretical foundations for this Syria and work to mobilize the energies of all the Syrians in order to apply them to the ground as the only way to keep our homeland and its unity.
Surely all of this would require painstaking efforts to commercialize these foundations regionally and internationally, on the basis that Syria will not be part of any regional or international alliances and that the foundations to deal with all regional and international powers are the common interests and the respect for the international borders of Syria and the rest of the region.
Translated and edited by the Syrian Observer