القادة الكبار يتركون بصمتهم ويتخطّون أحزابهم الأسد ونصرالله… وعون؟

القادة الكبار يتركون بصمتهم ويتخطّون أحزابهم الأسد ونصرالله… وعون؟

ناصر قنديل

يناير 31, 2017

– من ضمن التغييرات التي أدخلتها ثورة الاتصالات والمعلوماتية والإعلام على صناعة السياسة، تقديم الزعماء للناس مباشرة وتوفير فرص تحوّلهم رموزاً يتخطى إشعاعهم مساحة ـ أثير حركاتهم وأحزابهم وأحياناً بلدانهم، ومن الطبيعي في البدايات أن يرتبك القادة المخلصون لأفكارهم وحركاتهم وأحزابهم أمام هذا التحوّل، ويُصرّون على أنهم يدينون بما هم عليه للأحزاب التي يقودونها ومنحتهم ثقتها، ويعتبرون أحياناً إعلان الولاء لهم وليس لأحزابهم نوعاً من فك الصلة المرفوض والمفخخ بين ثنائي الحزب والقائد، ونفاقاً مبرمجاً لإضعاف الحزب تمهيداً لإضعاف القائد، لكن مع تقادم الحالة وتطورها يكشتفون أنّ الأمر أبعد مدى من حدود مواقف أفراد منافقين يتودّدون ويتقرّبون من مركز قرار لحساب مصالح، بل هو واحد من معايير النجاح والفوز بخدمة القضية التي يؤمنون بها وحزبهم، والتي بدون امتلاك مساحة تأثير تتخطى الحزبية تعجز عن تحقيق النصر.

– في تجربة حزب الله في لبنان والعلاقة بين شعبية الحزب والهالة المعينة لأمينه العام شيء من تاريخ هذه الإشكالية، وفي تجربة الرئيس بشار الأسد وحزب البعث صفحة لا تقلّ أهمية في تاريخ مشابه، والتمييز بين البيعة لقائد من دون حزبه من جهة أو كيل المديح لقائد للذم بحزبه من جهة أخرى، يصير هو الحدّ الفاصل لصدقية الحالة وتوسّع الهالة. فحول السيد نصرالله مريدون لا يتسع لهم حزبه لأسباب عقائدية ومذهبية ودينية ووطنية وقومية، فمنهم من غير دينه وبلده وأمته وبعضهم يراه زعيماً مجدداً لحركة تحرّر عالمية، أو على الأقل لا نقاش في كونه وارث ماو تسي تونغ كزعيم لحركات المقاومة، وفي حال الرئيس الأسد لا نقاش في تقدّمه كزعيم للعروبة المجدّدة، وفي الحالتين لا يرتبط التسليم بالزعامة بتسليم مشابه لزعامة الحزب من دون أن يصدّ القائل أو المؤيد أو المبايع والمتأثر بصدق برمزية القائد وتاريخيته.

– في مراحل لاحقة من التأقلم مع الحالة واليقين بكونها قوة للحزب وليست سبباً لضعفه، بل تأمين حماية واسعة لخياراته في شرائح متزايدة من الرأي العام، يصير نقاش حال الحزب وارداً ونقده بحضور القائد، ويصير الإصغاء والاهتمام بالملاحظات علامة على كون القائد قائداً للحزب ولشعب لا يعرفه كله، لكنه يعرف أنه يتخطى شعبية الحزب، وهو كقائد لكليهما معني بالعدل بينهما، وبالسعي لتوفيق نظرة كلّ منهما للآخر، فلا يكيد الحزب لمحبي ومريدي القائد من خارج الحزب وهم في غالبهم قادة أحزاب سابقون ومناضلون ذوو تاريخ، ولا يصير همّ المريدين النيل من الحزب وتشويهه وإضعافه، والقائد حكم بين الشريحتين وقائد لكليهما، وفي مراحل لاحقة يصير الحزب رصيد للقائد لتحالفات يقيمها بقوة العلاقة بهذه الشرائح التي ترفد زعامته من خارج حزبه، يمنحها مواقع وأدواراً على حساب حزبه وبرضاه. وهذا ما يفعله الرئيس الأسد مع مستقلين سوريين وشخصيات فنية وثقافية وعلمية، وما يفعله السيد نصرالله في تحالفات تستدعي تنازلات نيابية ووزارية من رصيد الحزب.

– يخوض العماد ميشال عون، بعد فوزه برئاسة الجمهورية اللبنانية مساراً يضعه بسرعة في مصاف القادة التاريخيين الكبار، فقد أظهر في محطات متلاحقة قدرة عالية على الثبات والقوة والجرأة في قول وفعل ما يجب أن يُقال ويُفعل، ونجح بصناعة مهابة لمقام الرئاسة كان يفتقدها، وفي مواقفه في رحلته الخليجية وكلامه عن حزب الله، وفي حواراته الإعلامية الأوروبية وكلامه عن سورية والرئيس الأسد، ولكن بصورة خاصة في أدائه المانع لمعادلة الاختيار بين قانون الستين للانتخابات النيابية والتمديد لمجلس النواب اللبناني وصولاً لقوله لا تخيّروني فسأختار الفراغ ما جعل الرئيس العماد يكرّس ثقة وتعلق شرائح واسعة به كقائد بعيداً عن علاقة هذه الشرائح بحزبه. والرئيس دستورياً رئيس لكلّ اللبنانيين وليس لمحازبيه، وللكلّ فيه ومنه قدر متساوٍ، لكن حتى خارج لبنان بدأ الحديث مبكراً عن الرئيس العماد كظاهرة قادرة على ترك بصمة تاريخية، كرمز لبناء الدولة المدنية في الشرق. وهذه رمزية لم يشغلها أحد بعد ومتاح للعماد الرئيس أن يفعل.

– بقدر ما يبدو من حق التيار الوطني الحر أن يناقش قانون الانتخاب أسوة بسائر الأحزاب من موقع حساباته ومصالحه الانتخابية، من ضمن الحرص على مصداقية الاتصال بالمبادئ التي ينتسب إليها، يبدو من واجب الرئيس العماد الابتعاد عن هذه الحسابات والوقوف على مسافة واحدة من الناخبين الذين يحق لهم قانون يمثل أصواتهم من جهة والمشرّعين الساعين لقانون يعيد إنتاج زعاماتهم، وليس لعب دور الحكم بين الحاكمين المشرعين الممسكين بناصية صياغة القانون والذين لا ينكرون أنهم يدافعون عن مصالهم، ليقف الرئيس مدافعاً عن صوت الناخب ومصالحه. وهنا لا بدّ من المصارحة بالقول إنّ كلّ قانون صالح للتمثيل لا يهمل صوتاً لناخب، ويمنحه أوسع فرصة للتأثير، لا يمكن أن يقوم إلا على النسبية والدائرة الأوسع، وفي حال لبنان الدائرة الواحدة، وأول أخطاء أهل النسبية هو حملة التشويه التي أدخلوها على مشروعهم أو ارتضوا إدخالها بداعي البحث عن التسويات والحديث عن الواقعية، فقبلوا نسبية وطائفية وثم نسبية ودوائر صغيرة وصولاً لنسبية على مقعد واحد كمهزلة، وأخيراً نسبي وأكثري في مجلس واحد، ليصير المطلوب من رئيس الجمهورية ردّ النقاش إلى حيث يجب أن يكون، مطالبة مجلس النواب والحكومة بخطة مرحلية لتطبيق المادة 22 من الدستور التي مضى على وجودها ربع قرن ولم تجد مَن يقول متى وكيف تطبّق، وتحدّد وحدها المضمون الإصلاحي للدستور عملياً باعتبار السلطة التشريعية أمَّ السلطات في النظام البرلماني. وبعد ضياع تاريخي في البحث عن قانون انتخابي مناسب تقدّم لنا المادة الدستورية وصفة مناسبة، وإذا القانون المطلوب لا يمكن أن يكون إلا تسوية. وهذا صحيح، تسوية بين النسبي والأكثري، وهذا صحيح، وتسوية بين الطائفي واللاطائفي، وهذا صحيح أيضاً، وتسوية بين الدائرة الكبرى والدائرة الصغرى، وهذا صحيح أيضاً وأيضاً. لكنه تسوية بين الناخبين والمشرّعين قبل كلّ شيء، وتسوية من ضمن الدستور وهذا هو الأهمّ.

– التسوية المنشودة لا تكون دستورية وواقعية ومنصفة للناخبين ومدخلاً للإصلاح، وقابلة للقبول من المشرّعين أصحاب المصالح الانتخابية، إلا إذا انطلقت من أنّ المختلط الوحيد بين عناصر التسوية هو قسمتها بين مجلسين، كما قال الدستور، مجلس لا طائفي ونسبي وفي لبنان دائرة واحدة، ومجلس على أساس طائفي ودوائر صغرى. والتسوية التفاوضية التي تعكس موازين القوى ليست في تلبيس النسبية ثوباً أكثرياً أو العكس، بل في توزيع عدد أعضاء كلّ من المجلسين وصلاحياته، وخطة مرحلية للتدرّج في تعديل العدد والصلاحيات بينهما، فالدستور قال بمجلس لا طائفي له الصلاحيات الأساسية، ومجلس شيوخ يمثل العائلات الروحية بصلاحيات محدودة، ويوحي النص بأنّ المجلس اللاطائفي هو الأوسع عدداً وصلاحيات ومجلس الشيوخ الطائفي هو الأضيق عدداً وصلاحيات. وقد تقتضي التسوية البدء بعدد وصلاحيات معكوستين، فينال المجلس الطائفي العدد والصلاحيات الأوسع وينال المجلس اللاطائفي العدد والصلاحيات الأضيق، وتلحظ الخطة المرحلية تدرّجاً ربما يستمرّ ربع قرن آخر لبلوغ ما سعت إليه المادة 22 من الدستور، لكن خيراً من أن ندخل ربع قرن من الإحباط بقانون نترحّم معه على قانون الستين، يمضي كربع القرن الذي مضى.

– فخامة الرئيس القيادة التاريخية بصمة في الموقف التاريخي وفي الواقعية في صناعة التسويات معاً، وذلك متاح لك، ولك وحدك، فدع حزبك يحارب على جبهته كحزب له مصالح انتخابية، ويتطلع إليك اللبنانيون والتاريخ لتكون الحكم بين مجموع أصحاب المصالح الانتخابية من جهة، والناخبين الذين لا يمثلهم سواك من جهة أخرى.

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TERRORIST ‘ALLOOSH ANNOUNCES UNITY WITH SYRIAN GOVERNMENT TO FIGHT ISIS; WE TOLD YOU SO

Ziad Fadel 

Only Syrian Perspective has been telling its readers the truth about Zahraan ‘Alloosh and his efforts to use the Saudi card to engineer his extraction from the noisome mess in which he finds himself today.  In the picture seen above, during happier days when he had the key to Istanbul, he slurped, snarled, ranted and raved about his great “Army of Islam” and how he was going to liberate Syria by sending it back 10 centuries to the Dark Ages.

‘Alloosh has been negotiating with the Syrian authorities for months now.  The advances of the Syrian Army so close to his favorite spider hole have somehow convinced him to make an offer Dr. Assad could easily refuse.  ‘Alloosh has told the Syrian authorities he “wants to participate with the Syrian state in fighting ISIS.”  He also has told our cynical generals that he is “the best suited to fight ISIS”. Yawn.

But get this, he has announced his desire to join in the search for a “political solution” to the Syrian catastrophe he helped to create.  Isn’t that reassuring?  He may wind up in Moscow with the opposition to negotiate his own descent into oblivion.

An officer who defected from the Syrian Army to join ‘Alloosh, Abu ‘Udayy, responded to the statements of his leader.  Your editor, Ziad, will translate some of the responses:

“’Alloosh spoke his words during a speech attended by major leaders and notables in the various groupings of the Ghoutaa.”  He then went on: “He (i.e. ‘Alloosh) has emerged in our eyes as a new form of “Shabbeeh” on Syrian soil.”  He continuted:  “Lastly, Zahraan said it openly after his negotiations with the “regime” were going on in secret.”  “His true face has appeared after those who came before him like Jamaal Ma’roof and ‘Abdul-Jabbaar Al-‘Ukaydi”.  He concluded his diatribe against ‘Alloosh by asking in colloquial Syrian: “What do you call this leader?”

Well, we know exactly what to call him.  In any case, some of you who enjoy linking events together might consider the fact that Syria has the intention of reopening its embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, during the next 14 days.  Coincidence? Maybe.  Enjoy victory, my friends.

By the way, ‘Alloosh reads SyrPer. We kept telling him how close the SAA was getting. Nyuk.

Doumaa:  A Libyan monkey working for ‘Alloosh was killed by the SAA last night, a Mu’aadh Al-Mashshaati.  We believe ‘Allosh turned him in.  Good show, Zahraan.

 

ALLOOSH SHOWS GOOD FAITH BY TURNING DOUMA’S CITIZENS OVER TO THE SAA FOR RELIEF.  IT IS JUST HAPPENING NOW.

THE LIBERATION OF DOUMAA IS AT HAND. !!!!

 

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Da’ish (IS), FSA and al Nursa Compete for Dwindling Support

 Barzeh neighborhood, Damascus
by FRANKLIN LAMB

Syria, map of DamascusChanges are underway in Damascus’s suburban neighborhoods. In some of these neighborhoods there are few families’ left—only fighters. But in others, residents are trickling back in (or in some cases never even left) despite the danger. Here in these areas, those who have chosen the armed opposition route fall are grouped roughly in the following percentiles: 70% FSA, 25% Al Nursa, and, as of now, relatively few, Da’ish (IS).

During meetings with young men from the Barzeh neighborhood, an area maybe five blocks by eight blocks, this observer learned of approximately 700 FSA fighters in the neighborhood, 110 from al Nursa, compared with only 7 or 8 Da’ish fighters. The latter do not appear very active in community matters, but reportedly keep their eyes peeled watching what the other militia are up to. Even so, Dai’sh still recruits and sends applicants to other locations for military training, this while promising that within two months the Islamic State will attack central Damascus.

At the same time, desertions among the rebels are reportedly on the upswing in these areas, and some of the FSA and al-Nusra fighters are splitting off to join Da’ish. It seems that some of these young militia members—pretty much like youngsters everywhere—simply want to play for a ‘winning team’ or in the ‘big leagues,’ and Da’ish is still a strong magnet for ‘tryouts.’ Al-Nusra and Da’ish fighters both claim they are eager to fight Hezbollah—and Western forces—who they believe will show up sooner or later. And many of them exhibit an attitude similar to that of a European jihadist who recently remarked to this observer, “Let’s get it on. And the world will itself judge who are the best fighters, we who believe in Allah or the kuffers (disbelievers).”

Another disturbing attitude, all too frequently expressed in Damascene neighborhoods, is the desire of many of these young men, many of them from “good” families, to sacrifice themselves and become martyrs to their various causes. Residents report that some of the most promising students—majoring in subjects like medicine, law, engineering, computer science, business and other professions—are disaffected and see no future for themselves. And while many are deeply religious, a surprising number appear not to be.

Overwhelmingly the rebels come from areas where outsiders are few. This observer’s friend of more than three years, whose name I withhold for his security, has lived most of his life in Barzeh and knows many of the militia guys. He reports that currently there are only two foreign fighters in Barzeh, one from Algeria and the other from Saudi Arabia. And he expressed shock to me that a friend of his from childhood—who joined al-Nusra 18 months ago and had since become one of its local leaders—had suddenly disappeared. A few days later, my friend got a ‘what’s up’ message from Turkey and learned that his friend had shaved his beard, changed his style of clothing, and left Barzeh without telling anyone. Now he reports that he wears shorts and swims during the day on the Turkish coast and no longer has any desire to fight anyone.

Many among al Nusra and other rebel groups, it seems, are trying to leave Syria and go somewhere, anywhere, that might offer them a positive future of some sort—because they see the war in Syria as being a long one. And in this respect they are no different from the war-weary, exhausted, traumatized Syrian population in general. With very few jobs and nearly ten million displaced from their homes—and with some 3 million living as refugees in neighboring countries—what one finds here on the one hand is a growing desire to get out, to establish, sadly, a new life elsewhere, in a land other than the one they most love. Yet on the other, significant numbers of fairly hard-core al-Nusra fighters, as noted above, are quitting that militia in order to join the winning team—Da’ish. It is a combination of social factors pointing to what the Iranians have already made note of: that Obama’s strategy of trying to fight Da’ish and the Syrian government at the same time is probably doomed to failure.

Some Syrian analysts, whose views this observer credits, identify two trends that appear to be developing in Syrian neighborhoods controlled by violent militia. One is the growing resistance by the local population to being intimidated and abused by the occupying gunmen—while another is the role the Syrian government is playing in engaging in dialog, usually privately, with the rebels, and offering what some locals here refer to as “contracts.” These are proposals of ceasefires of varying scope in order to help give some hope and help to the increasingly besieged population.

Also, neighborhood attitudes toward militia in areas around Damascus are dramatically changing. This observer is advised by fighters from Barzeh that as recently as 12-18 months ago, maybe 80% of the citizens supported the FSA, while some backed al Nusra or other groups. Today militia support is estimated at less than 40%—and dwindling. Even those who still back the armed gangs are weaker in their support and no longer respect the militia or defer to them as before. Increasingly neighborhood residents are confronting the rebels on neighborhood streets via ‘citizen committees.’ They are showing up at rebel checkpoints or headquarters to complain or demand respect and an end to arbitrary street “justice.” Reasons for this include abhorrence of brutality, exhaustion, disillusionment, as well as demonstrable efforts by the Syrian government to increase and maintain services while trying to make important and long overdue changes. Even many rebels are said to credit the government for its willingness to be flexible and to make “contracts” with them to improve the lives of the besieged population.

For example, when families return to their homes after having fled, nearly all find that their flats have been broken into and personal property stolen, and they sometimes discover some of their stolen items being sold in neighborhood ‘jihadist souks.’ According to one resident of Barzeh, computers and plasma TV’s are among the most commonly stolen property. By contrast, “neighborhood watch” citizen groups seek the return of stolen goods and demand that the militias stop the thievery.

Also people are increasingly calling for a return to Syrian secularism, and they may actually be making some progress on this point. Unlike Da’ish, al Nursa does not insist that people attend a mosque for prayers—while the FSA is relatively secular. Nursa does require that women wear hijabs in neighborhoods under its control, and the first two times a woman is caught without one she is issued a warning. The third time she risks a public whipping. This observer is advised that many younger women, despite the risks, will remove their head scarves the moment they cross out of rebel-held areas, sometimes in plain view of those manning the checkpoints, leaving the neighborhood at this point, traveling to downtown Damascus for work or other purposes. It’s not dissimilar actually to what one finds among many Iranian women, particularly students at Tehran University, who openly admit, often with grins, to giving the local “morality police” a hard time when demands—for instance to adjust their headscarves so as to reduce the amount of hair visible—are made by roving “purists.”

As for the Free Syrian Army, now dubbed by some in the Obama Administration as the “National Coalition—kind of like the National Guard”—it is viewed by many here as corrupt, manned to a large extent by lowlifes and thieves. The “Free Syrian Army,” as one pithy adage has it, is neither free, nor Syrian, nor an army. And at least in Barzeh, at any rate, it is also viewed as being for sale to the highest bidder. Moreover, the residents here, though increasingly vocal about jihadist militias, seem to hold actually more respect for al-Nusra, despite its Islamist extremism, than for the Western-backed FSA.

Late word just received by this observer from his friend, the aforementioned son of Barzeh: yesterday he, too, snuck across the Syrian-Turkey border in search of a new life-somewhere until peace returns to his beloved Syria.

Franklin Lamb is a visiting Professor of International Law at the Faculty of Law, Damascus University and volunteers with the Sabra-Shatila Scholarship Program (sssp-lb.com). 

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Houthi: Yemenis’ Sacrifices Contributed to Victory, Despotism Won’t Rule Again

Local Editor

Sayyed Abdul-Malik Al-HouthiSayyed Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi, the leader of Yemen’s Houthi group, asserted that the political dominance and the socio-economic corruption are the main enemy of all the Yemenis who are concerned with protecting the achievement of their revolution.

Addressing the Yemenis after concluding an agreement with government to end the political crisis in the country, Sayyed Houthi hailed the revolution and considered that the efforts and sacrifices of all the citizens contributed to the victory.

Sayyed Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi hails the army’s participation in the revolution events, including the rallies and the sit-ins, adding that the army proved to be patriotic as it rejected to assault the demonstrators and to prevent them from reaching their noble aims.

Sayyed Houthi also greeted the role of the public committees who contributed to removing all the obstacles that hinder the progress of the Yemenis, stating that these committees can assist the regular army in the coming stage to protect the country.

He also called on the Yemenis to keep alert till implementing all the items of the agreement with the president, considering that the next steps must be forming a national unity government and conducting socio-economic reforms.

“Backing the army and preserving the national unity help fortify the security situation in the country,” Houthi leader said, stressing his movement’s will to contact all political factions and to support the southerners in their quest of justice.

Sayyed Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi warned of a conspiracy being plotted against the army across the country.

Highlighting the importance of reaching the ” State of Justice” in order to earn the Yemenis’ rights, Sayyed Houthi underlined that the Yemenis will not let despotism to rule the country again, hinting to Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar who was one of key figures of the former regime.

Source: Al-Manar Website

23-09-2014 – 19:39 Last updated 23-09-2014 – 9:52

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HUNDREDS SURRENDERING TO SYRIAN ARMY TO FIGHT AMERICAN INVADERS; HOMS, HAMA AND IDLIB EXPLODING

Ziad Fadel

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DAMASCUS:  If that idiot, Obama, thinks his plan to attack Syria is going to work, it will be over the bodies of thousands of penitent Syrians who have rejointed the human race.  Yesterday and today, hundreds have continued to re-defect back to the Syrian fold and flip an angry finger at that cowardly whoremonger, Barack Obama.  Today, 121 former terrorists negotiated successfully for Amnesty with security personnel in Mu’adhdhamiyyat Al-Qalamoon, Ma’loolaa and Jub’adeen.  176 surrendered and received Amnesty in Jayrood and Al-Ruhayba.  If this continues,  there will be no more Syrians fighting with the American terrorists and war criminals.  There will only be Libyans, Tunisians and other assorted ape trash.

 

 

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The western media is, once again, hyping non-events with claims that the so-called Southern Front has taken over the Qunaytra Province.  Far from the truth.  In fact, it’s pure drivel.  It is the gang of terrorists operated by the Zionist Nazi regime who are filling Zionist hospitals with dead and wounded.  No such successes are reported and the SAA continues to shellac the rats in every corner of the Golan.  This, while Iran has begun calling up reserve forces and while Russia is quietly delivering its most advanced weapons to Latakia and Tartous.

Al-Dukhkhaaniyya:  The SAA put to death the following rodents:

Hilaal Al-Sha’aar

Sameer Shawka

Adham Al-Khateeb

Safwaan Al-Baashaa

Saleem Yunus

Another 2 could not be identified.

 

Jawbar:  At the Tayyiba Mosque, a large cache of weapons was seized and these killed:

Mustafaa ‘Aadel

Ahmad Al-Bakkaar

Zaahi Al-Sagheer

Muhammad ‘Ujoob

 

‘Aaliya Farms:  ‘Alloosh is starting to wet his pants:

Ahmad Seessaan

Muhammad Majeed

 

Doumaa: At the Al-Ziraa’ah Roundabout:

Muhammad Thaabit

Sa’ood Munassar

Muhammad Taahaa

Najdaat Fadhl

Ayman Kahloos

 

Waadi ‘Ayn Turma:  12 rats killed and 19 taken prisoner in a raid by SAA and NDF.  Stunning defeat for Nusra and Jabhat Al-Islam:

Talaal Khursheed

Taamer Tutunji

‘Abdul-Salaam Al-Kadeesh

Ghayth Mansoor

The remaining carcasses were foreigners.

 

Hutaytat Al-Jarash area northeast of Al-Maleeha

9 rodents jumped in a free fall straight to Hell.  All were foreigners.

 

Al-Nishaabiyya Farms:  No details about many rats killed here.  The technology is overwhelming the rats.   

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AS FOREIGN INSURGENTS CONTINUE TO TERRORIZE SYRIA, THE RECONCILIATION TREND GROWS

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by Eva Bartlett / August 22nd, 2014, Dissident Voice

In June, 2014, I met with Dr. Ali Haidar, Syria’s Minister of National Reconciliation, in his Damascus office. An eye surgeon and leader of the SSNP (Syrian Social Nationalist Party, an opposition party within Syria), Dr. Haidar assumed position as Minister of Reconciliation in June 2012.

Eva Bartlett: What is ‘Mussalaha’ (‘Reconciliation’)?  How did it begin?

Dr. Ali Haidar: In February, 2012, the Syrian government changed the constitution, and in May Syria held Parliamentary elections. We, as an opposition party, joined the elections, because we believe that the solution is Syria is a political one, reconciliation between all Syrians…when there is talk between all Syrians.

After much discussion in Parliament, we drafted the paperwork requesting to start a Reconciliation Ministry. President Bashar al-Assad supported the idea, and the Ministry was established in June, 2012 when the President decreed the formation of a new cabinet.

Reconciliation isn’t that we are making a deal with armed insurgents. The idea is to restore the state of security in Syria. In our work towards reconciliation, we look at two main sectors: One, the insurgents, and the other, Syrian civilians living in areas controlled by the insurgents.

Regarding the insurgents, we differentiate between the Syrian insurgents and the foreign militias. The latter refuse any dialogue with the government and are simply terrorists in Syria. And unfortunately, they are large in numbers and are the leaders of the dominant insurgent groups. The only people we communicate with are armed Syrians, not with the foreign militias.

We encourage armed Syrians to cut any ties with the foreign militias. Then, we negotiate with them on how to reconcile. We’ve been very successful, in many areas, having them disarm and go back to their normal lives. We’ve had thousands of successes.

The second focus is on Syrian society. Syrians are suffering in all respects: their security and safety, the economy, social services, education, the large number of martyrs and injured, the kidnapped, the missing, the internally-displaced… We are trying to find a solution to each one of these cases. That is the deepest meaning of ‘reconciliation’: to return people to their normal lives.

EB: What is the role of grassroots activists in the Reconciliation effort?

AH: Although there are citizens involved, it is not a ‘grassroots’ movement; it came from the government to the people. One week after establishing the Ministry of Reconciliation, I went to Homs to begin working on the reconciliation which we are seeing today.

In Homs, it has been a long process, because each area has its own mentality, own society, so we have to deal with each area individually. the Old City is different than that of Waer district, for example.

We are evaluate each area, whether there are armed fighters or not, foreign or local, whether we can negotiate with them or not, whether they are supported from outside or not, the number of civilians in the area and the degree of their suffering. All of these factors determine our success in reconciliation. This is what we are working on nationally.

EB: What guarantee is there for the return to civil life of those armed men who lay down their weapons?

AH: When Reconciliation first started, people wanted a guarantee that they would not be persecuted by the government. At first, in Homs, five people laid down their arms, and soon after they were released. Today, thousands have joined reconciliation, this is the guarantee to others. Those who have laid down their arms have not been arrested. We confront the allegations of Western media with the truth on the ground.

As an example of the reconciliation process, in Homs we established the Andalus school for rehabilitation. The armed fighters went from their area to this school, received everything they needed, including access to phones to contact their families. They spent a few days there, had meetings for rehabilitation, and returned to their families and are living with their families.

EB: Where have reconciliation efforts been successful?

AH: In many areas. The first reconciliation, and which has not been widely acknowledged, was in Banias, one of the first areas where armed people and problems occurred. For a while it was a very dangerous place, and today is one of the most beautiful and calm cities in Syria. In the countryside of Latakia there were battles, but now it is largely calm, people are living normal lives.

In the suburbs of Deir ez-Zor, the town of Quriya was the base of al-Qaeda-allied insurgents, has been restored to security.

In Homs and its countryside we have had excellent successes. North of Hama, south of Idlib, there have been more areas reconciled. And aside from Homs, Damascus and its suburbs—like Zabadani, Berza, Moadamiya—are our largest successes.

Now were are working in the suburbs of Aleppo and Idlib, in Qunitra. Even in Daara we’ve had successes. The Reconciliation project isn’t just in one area, it is nationwide.

EB: Are areas along Syria’s borders more difficult areas in which to achieve reconciliation?

AH: In areas close to the borders of Turkey, Jordan, Palestine it is more difficult, because of outside intervention, and because at the moment the government cannot control all of those borders. When the government was able to take control of the border with Lebanon, they were able to bring calm to the towns near the border, with a few exceptions.

Turkey and Jordan have opened their borders and allowed al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups to base themselves in their countries and cross into and out of Syria. They give them all sorts of support. These areas are battlefields, not civilian areas, so it is more difficult to bring calm, reconciliation, in those areas where foreign terrorist groups reside.

More than eighty percent of Syrian people live in or have fled to safe, government-controlled areas. Ten percent have fled Syria, and ten percent are in areas controlled by the armed groups.

In all areas where there are foreign-backed militias, like Jobar, Yarmouk, Harrasta, Waer, Idlib suburbs…the armed groups have prevented reconciliation, even killing those who attempt to lay down their arms.

EB: Has there been any external, political, support from the United Nations or any others outside Syria?

AH: We don’t get any political support, except from countries who are friends of Syria. To the contrary, America, Britain, France, Turkey…they have attacked the idea of reconciliation. Hillary Clinton publicly called for the armed groups to never give up their arms. Erdogan told them not to join reconciliation. Some of the armed groups’ sheikhs and Saudi sheikhs and have issued fatwas (religious edicts) that it is ‘haram’ (forbidden) to give up their arms.

Even though I’m the head of a Syrian opposition party, and joined the government from the position of an opposition party, because I’m involved in reconciliation, the EU put my name on its travel ban list, and would have frozen my bank accounts, but I don’t have any foreign accounts and have no plans of leaving either Syria or the government.

In the beginning, I tried to speak with those few ambassadors who had not yet left Syria, to no avail. I told them that I am ready to go to their countries and meet with any Syrian citizens there, as well as media, and discuss reconciliation.

EB: Final words?

AH: Reconciliation is like a marathon: there are those who’ve reached the end, those who are a few metres away, and those who are slow.

In the past two years, more than 10,000 Syrians have reconciled and returned to their homes and normal civilian lives.

*****

Following our discussion, I learned of Dr. Haidar’s own loss, like that of Syria’s Grand Mufti, Dr. Ahmad Badreddin, whose son Sarya was assassinated in October 2011. During the funeral, while sobbing, the Mufti called for forgiveness and reconciliation and forgave those who murdered his son.

Syria's Grand Mufti, Dr. Ahmad Badreddin, meeting with our international peace delegation in April 2014.

 

Dr. Haidar’s son was gunned down while in a car driving northwest of Homs: “My son, Ismail, was in third year of medical school. On May 2, 2012, he was assassinated, as was the driver of the car. It was an attempt to assassinate me. This was before I joined the Ministry, I was just an eye doctor and head of the SSNP. We have so many martyrs, there is no one more precious than another, they are all Syrian.”

 

see also:

Syrian families back in capital after deal implementation

Aug 22, 2014 [VIDEO at original link]

Hundreds of Syrian families have returned home in southern Damascus following a deal between the Syrian government and some militants, Press TV reports.

Calm is returning to the strategic areas south of the Syrian capital after a reconciliation deal was implemented between the government and some militant groups.

Five-hundred families, who had left the towns of al-Qadam and al-Essali over two years ago following battles there, were allowed by the Syrian government to enter the area and inspect their houses. Humanitarian assistance was also provided by the Syrian army.

“We left the town three years ago. We heard about a reconciliation and we hope it works. We will enter to check on our homes,” said one female Syrian.

The families gathered on the outskirts of the area and were transported in busses by the Syrian government close to the exchange point.

It turned out that some of those entering were families of armed men inside al-Qadam who the government allowed in as a sign of willingness to make the reconciliation work. The armed men were just across the street waiting for the arrival of their families.

The fact that civilians have started flocking into al-Qadam signals a positive sign. Nevertheless, only time would prove how successful the deal is.

Member of reconciliation team Abu Hamzeh Ghneim said, “We want to stop bloodshed between Syrians. We want reconciliation to be achieved. We are trying to build trust among all parties. The government and armed men in Qadam should be together facing Takfiri militants.”

The reconciliation, if implemented fully, would bring back peace to the quarters of al-Qadam, Essali, Bor Saeed, and al-Jorah. Syrian armed men, previously fighting the Syrian army, would join it to fight Takfiri militant groups such as the ISIL. The deal would also secure one of the most important industrial zones in the capital.

Presidential election a positive step

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May 29, 2014, Ken Stone, the Spec

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry dismissed as “farce” the upcoming Syrian presidential election of June 3, but it may prove to be a step toward a political solution to the Syrian crisis.

This election is an exercise in real democracy.

On Feb. 26, 2012, in response to demands for constitutional change from the Syrian people, the Syrian constitution was reformed and ratified by a general referendum to allow for multiparty elections. In fact, this will be the first free election in Syrian history in which more than one candidate has stood for election for president. If Western governments are really interested in bringing freedom and democracy to Syria, why would they oppose it?

The new Syrian constitution requires a presidential election by July. If there weren’t an election, President Bashar Assad would no longer have a mandate to rule, which, of course, is the principal reason Kerry doesn’t want the election to take place.

The U.S. has been the main architect of the covert, illegal war against Syria organized through the so-called “Friends of Syria Group,” including Western countries such as Canada, as well as Arab monarchies, such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, who have organized mainly non-Syrian mercenaries — many openly allied to al Qaeda — to attempt to overthrow the Syrian government.

It’s important to note that the mercenaries, controlling 30 per cent of Syrian territory, not only oppose, like Kerry, the June 3 election, but also refuse to hold elections in territory they control. The reasons are twofold: first, they would be voted out by the Syrians who live under their brutal foreign occupation. Secondly, their paymaster is the Saudi government, which is an absolute monarchy and tolerates no opposition.

Kerry also dismissed the upcoming election because tens of thousands of Syrians have been displaced by the fighting. It’s too bad Kerry isn’t familiar with U.S. history. Abraham Lincoln authorized a presidential election in 1864 in the midst of the bloody U.S. Civil War when the South was mostly under Confederate control.

The U.S., moreover, has a dismal track record in not respecting democratic elections and elected leaders. It has staged coups against dozens of elected governments around the world since 1945 and deposed scores of elected leaders, including most recently, Aristide of Haiti, Chavez of Venezuela, and Yanukovych of Ukraine. Its own elections are rife with voter suppression of minority populations, huge inequalities in campaign spending, fraudulent practices and extremely low turnouts. Kerry lives in a veritable glass house and shouldn’t throw stones.
Kerry is also personally responsible, whether he admits it or not, for the Syrian election being called at this time. At the Geneva 2 Conference last January, he sabotaged any chance of an internationally sanctioned, transitional government being formed in Syria by insisting Assad couldn’t be part of it. This insistence flew in the face of the Geneva 1 Communique (June 30, 2012), which stipulated there would be no preconditions to talks. Because the Geneva 2 Conference collapsed without reaching consensus, the Syrian government went ahead with the scheduled presidential election.

For that election, the Syrian government secured promises of election observers from the BRICs countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) to verify its fairness. However, Kerry went in the other direction. He and U.S. President Barack Obama personally welcomed leaders of a segment of the armed opposition to set up a bureau in Washington and promised them even more aid in their quest for regime change in Syria. It’s no wonder that Lakhdar Brahimi, the special UN mediator, threw up his hands and resigned a few days ago.

In areas controlled by the Syrian government, ordinary people are excited by the prospect of the election. Rallies and debates are taking place daily. Syrian expatriates are excited about voting in the three-way presidential contest as well. However, in North America, Syrian citizens will be denied a vote because the Harper and Obama administrations have shut down Syrian embassies.

It’s too bad the Harper and Obama governments are again standing in the way of democratic change in Syria.

The June 3 election might signify an important step toward national reconciliation between significant sectors of Syrian society and lead to a political, rather than military, solution to the conflict there.

Pro-elections rally in Aleppo. photo:

 

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

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