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America’s Defeat in Syria

The U.S. has abandoned its allies in Syria after it was defeated there, according to Bassam Abou Abdallah in al-Watan.
America's Defeat in Syria
America’s Defeat in Syria

Some of America’s supporters don’t seem to want to believe that the American empire can be defeated; instead, they often seek justification. These supporters sometimes claim that the United States is repositioning itself and spreading; in other instances, they say that Washington is no longer interested in the Middle East.

Still, more supporters posit that the United States never wanted to overthrow the political system in Syria, and — if it had wanted to do so — it would have succeeded. Instead, the United States only wanted to “change behavior”, rather than to overthrow the regime.

Those who have sailed in the United States’s boat over the past 10 years feel as though they are being thrown, one by one, to their fate — along with their customs, traditions, and policies.


More bitterly, these political “experts” — who have resisted proper leadership — are surprised every time by American behavior, American contempt, and American betrayal.

How can you build an alliance with a large international state the size of the United States, yet not read about American History and the history of its foreign policy, its governmental practices, and interests? If you did read, how could you fail to understand that the United States does not offer lasting friendship, does not offer room for discussion except in exchange for services provided, and demands obedience for implementing Washington’s orders? Absent is any place for morality, any reward for providing a valuable service.

Instead, the United States views such relationships as an investment that ends when it is no longer profitable and useful. And the strange thing is that, if these people ask for advice, we would tell them to read books, memorandums to U.S. leaders, and read over the experiences of U.S. leaders. They should also learn about the experiences of many state leaders from countries who have mortgaged their countries to the United States, supporting American interests over the interests and future of their own people.

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Do you want examples? Come and learn with me from historical stories and experiences: General Zia ul Haq and Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan, Shah Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, and former Panamanian President Manuel Noriega. Eduard Shevardnadze, who was the Soviet Union’s foreign minister, betrayed his great country. Shevardnadze rose to the presidency of his own small country, Georgia, only to be overthrown when he had outlasted his usefulness. Other names include former Indonesian President Mohamed Suharto, Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, who participated in the coup and killed Salvador Allende; Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista; Mobutu Sese Seko in the [Democratic Republic of the] Congo; and Jean Aristide in Haiti, Askar Akayev in Kyrgyzstan. And, in case you want more, here are some more recent examples: Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia, Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, and Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. Gaddafi thought that, by surrendering to the West, he would save his own life — instead, they killed him in the street. And former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, who waged war on Iran with American support, ended up on the gallows after his U.S. allies betrayed him.


Many other lessons can be explored, but what we must focus on is to realize that no one in the world will care about us or our interests — unless we all work together. The discourse of exclusion, hatred, and sedition must stop for the sake of the nation’s future, which has historically been a homeland of love, tolerance, culture, art, diversity, and homogeneity.

The United States’ quest to overthrow Syria has been defeated not by those who supported them, in pursuit of an illusory victory, but by the remarkable steadfastness and sacrifices of the majority of Syrians. The Syrian people, through their collective patience, have scuppered this diabolical project. Meanwhile, the United States’ orphans can heed their lessons learned and stop their lies and hypocrisy. The game is over.

Remarks by the Observer: Bassam Abou Abdallah is the Director of the Center for Strategic Studies and a professor at the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Damascus.

This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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