A Facebook campaign was launched by Syrian youth recently calling for the nomination of Sheik Moaz Khatib for the President of the Republic in place of Bashar Assad.
Regardless of the reality of the idea, or whether it is even possible under a constitution drafted especially to fit the tyrant whereby nomination is determined by a vote by thirty members of the puppets in parliament, and despite the fact that the the administrators of the campaign and Moaz Khatib himself clafified that he will no compete with the dictator under regime sponsorship, calling the campiagn hypothetical, several thousand people showed their support and several opponenents attacked him and the campaign officials.
Personally, I have not felt one way or the other towards the campaign; it was an opportunity to read results and calmly measure the true will of the Syrian people. These are the Syrian people who authorized nobody to represent them, even those who describe themselves day and night as the only true representatives and have been negotiating and speaking on their behalf for three years.
Why did over 80,000 Syrians interact with the campaign? And why was that kind of enthusiasm not mustered for other campaigns? Let’s try to read the facts away from our own desires, and away from other regional and international agendas. Let us throw out some questions and try to answer them:
1. Why did Khatib achieve such massive popularity despite admitting that he is not a politician and does not want to excel in political games?
2. What is the meaning of this positive response to the call for the presidency, despite of it being premature and lacking clarity? (I believe Moaz Khatib when he says he did not start the camapign and was surprised by it).
3. What is behind this cruel offensive against the camapign and Khatib from most of the first-line opposition figures and their spokespeople, including religious extreme forces who were more vocal than moderate and secular forces?
4. Was this a pebble thrown in political dead water as a result of the failure of Geneva II and the disappointment of those who believed in it, useful for motivating research into other initiatives to stop the massive destruction and eliminate this corrupt criminal regime?
I will try to find some answers to these tricky questions using my reading of the context of the Syrian revolution, which is too clouded now to make clear judgments.
I believe that one of the most important reasons for Khatib's popularity is his clear statement from the beginning; that he is not a politician. The Syrian people are fed up with politicians’ games and their yearning for phony distinction at any price; it became obvious how easy they can be bought. Khatib's statements on the other hand, have shown spontaneity, honesty and truthful passion which is needed the most by the wounded Syrian people.
The massive response to this camapign is the result of the absence of charismatic and inspired characters in the Syrian political field, regardless of their racial, religious or political affiliations. Those who responded must have found in the man a spontaneous figure that can reach out to their bloodied hearts, a man that prefers to spare their blood regardless of personal or political gain. They also clearly believe that he would have stayed on as the head of the Syrian National Coalition if he wanted to, no matter what the price.
However, what is inexplicable is the vicious attack launched by some opposition figures, which exceeded the criticisms, to the level of betrayal and coordination, of Assad and the mullahs of the Iranian regime. This is an obvious indicator of the immaturity of the Syrian political stratum that leads to reactionary suggestions that this call somehow takes away their rights. To be fair, there was a lot of real reasonable and sometimes constructive criticism, but much less than the negative criticism that was voiced. I wish others could present themselves in a similar way to see the variety of the public opinions on public figures.
I also see that whoever made this campaign has managed to motivated the Syrian political mass to search for alternatives, especially after the failure of Geneva II and the infirmity of the international community towards the regime's crimes. It is useful to perform studies and initiatives among Syrians to overcome this international paralysis and to gather Syrians together on two main principles:
1. No Syrian has an interest in keeping a regime implicated in this degree of bloodiness and cruelty against the people, directly and indirectly.
2. No Syrian has an interest in the continuous killing, destruction and tearing apart of the country by endlessly fighting emirates, divided between radicals on both sides, or being under the control of ISIS, removing Syria out of history and civilization.
Will the Syrian people be able to figure out all of these problems? In spite of all what happened I still believe that the creative Syrian mind will refuse to stand by helpless.