One should recognize that those assigned to speak on behalf of the Syrian regime have a great ability to bury and transform facts and falsify events, as well as a high level of cynicism turning the butcher into the victim and the victim into a butcher. Nonetheless, the full exposure of the Syrian situation before the entire world made ability – which was efficiently used throughout decades – the object of condemnation, even among the allies and advocates of the regime.
Indeed, at a time when Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem was displaying this ability before the United Nations General Assembly and lengthily explaining the conspiracy and acts of terrorism among others, his Iranian counterpart Ali Salehi was warning the Syrian ally against directing WMDs at the Syrians, which meant that the regime was the one attacking its own people.
The regime is accusing the armed gangs and Takfiris of destroying schools, hospitals, buildings, cities and villages and of killing civilians throughout the country. At the same time, the entire world can see the Syrian air force dropping destructive bombs on residential areas, and can observe the destructive impact of the heavy artillery that is spitting its flames without any differentiation on the neighborhoods in the cities and towns – and even the capital.
Those assigned to speak on behalf of the Syrian regime are announcing that the domestic reforms have come a long way, at the end of which the country will become an oasis of democracy, plurality and the practice of political freedoms, adding that internal dialogue was also moving fast for that purpose. Nonetheless, this regime was unable to even coexist with those whom it assigned to carry out opposition and engage in dialogue with it, thus closing in on some of them and throwing them in prison.
Still, the regime’s cynicism reached its peak when it spoke about the Syrian refugees – whether they are inside the country or in the neighboring states –, thus transforming those fleeing its violence into a card in the hands of the states where they fled. It thus claimed that they were either being subjected to military training under pressure, or being exploited to beg on their behalf from the international human rights committees. Hence, whoever listens to these spokesmen would think that the countries of refuge have conspired against Syria only to get the Syrians to resort to them so they can carry out beggary in their name.
The regime is well aware of the fact that the testimony of those whom it displaced and pushed to seek refuge abroad – due to the use of its war machine to destroy their homes and their livelihoods –, exposed its practices and violations of the simplest rights of its citizens. This testimony is the one used as evidence in the file of its crimes against humanity. This is why the latter refugees, who were displaced and whose rights were violated, became tools in the conspiracy in the regime’s opinion. Indeed, their testimony is the harshest on it, and their suffering is the one condemning its practices against its people.
This official treatment of the Syrian people exceeds the political resistance of change, and reflects an arrogant – even demeaning – perception of the citizens, who are consequently either agents, armed terrorists, tools in the conspiracy, or cheerers of the regime. This was clearly reflected in the insistence on the methodic destruction of these people’s memory, especially in Aleppo, after the city became the arena of a conflict between the regime and the opposition, and after the regular army’s operations against the opposition fighters exceeded the level of military operations to reach the targeting of the city’s historical depth. But throughout the last four decades, the regime has failed to undermine that depth, which has nowadays turned into the supplier of the opposition with the ability to persist.
As for the civilians fleeing Aleppo, and those who fled Homs, Edlib and Damascus before that, they will be followed by people from other regions and will all provide the necessary testimony on the extent of the regime’s disconnection from its citizens and their treatment, along with their heritage, as being part of the conspiracy.
(This article was first published in al-Hayat on Oct. 3, 2012)