Believing since years ago that the current Syrian regime is unable to reform itself, is proved every time president Bashar AlAssad gives a speech or talks in an interview. Reasons behind believing so is that the regime is established on few basis which are contradictory to the basis of a democratic and modern state. These basis can be summarized in few points. The first one is that the regime is established based on the one party regime, ruling every single aspect of the country. The second is that the regime since its establishment in the early 70’s of the last century by AlAssad the father, has assassinated and imprisoned all its opponents; and this has not changed until this day, succeeding in instilling the fear in the heart of the Syrian people preventing them from opposing any policy taken by the regime. The third is that the regime and AlAssad family was able to control every aspect of the Syrian economy, and Rami Makhlouf who is Bashar’s cousin is a clear example of that.

Mentioning all the above leads us to understand why the Syrian regime is acting in this aggressive way against its own people who are asking for freedom, dignity and democracy. Reform means destroying the basis which the regime was established on.

In his interview before yesterday with the Syrian TV, president Bashar AlAssad was repeating the same excuses and incorrect facts; if not lies, which we have been hearing since the beginning of the Syrian revolution last March. Below are some corrections for what was mentioned by president AlAssad in his last interview:

  • He mentioned that Syria today is facing a conspiracy by USA and others. Whether this fact is correct or not, this does not deny the fact that the Syrian regime is a despotic and dictatorial regime, famous in its injustice and human rights violations.
  • He mentioned that all who are doing the “troubles” today in Syria are armed terrorists aiming to destroy the country. Hasn’t he seen the huge number of unarmed people going to streets almost everyday since last March chanting “The people wants to overthrow the regime”? And if what he mentioned was true, is this faced by invading cities and towns, committing crimes and massacres, and attacking mosques?
  • He was “proudly” talking about the national dialogue, mentioning that the dialogue should be done with the Syrian people representatives. Did he forget that the so-called representatives are only members of AlBa’ath party, because the Syrian law prevents any other party from practicing politics? And what about the well-known academics, politicians and opponents who are in prisons and exile? Shouldn’t dialogue include them as well?
  • Gladly, he mentioned how generous the Syrian regime is, planning to give the Syrian nationality to the Kurds in Syria, and this was first planned in August 2002 as part of reform program that time, but until this time it was not implemented because of incidents in AlKamishli area in 2004. It would be catastrophic if his current reform program will take another 10 years to be implemented!
  • He mentioned that he was brought to presidency by “the Syrian people”, and that Obama has no right to ask him to step down.  Did he forget that he was not elected but there was a referendum and he was the only candidate with 99% success. Does he really believe that people watching his interview are fools to believe that “the people of Syria” brought him to presidency in a free and democratic elections?
  • Last but not least, he mentioned how Syria doesn’t care about the recent sanctions by USA, EU and other countries, and that they can shift east to substitute drop in trade volumes between Syria and other countries. This is absolutely not correct, unless he wants to adopt his foreign minister’s opinion that “Syria removed EU from the map”. Some numbers are important here. Syria’s trade volume in 2010 with EU reached $10.37 Billion, with USA $932.4 Million and with Turkey $2.27 Billion, making EU, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, China and Turkey having the highest trade volumes with Syria respectively. Adding Arab Gulf states trade volumes to the numbers above, would make the total number around $20 Billion. Does he really think he can substitute these trade volumes with couple of contracts with China, Iran and Russia?

All of what was mentioned above make us believe that the Syrian regime is not serious about reform, because reform would mean the end of AlAssad family rule.

AlAssad regime has two options. The first option which is the ideal one, is that President Bashar AlAssad orders his army; which is led by his brother Maher, to stop the violence and massacres committed against his own people, release his political opponents from prisons and invite them to real and serious dialogue to plan for a transition period which will end by his resignation and building the basis of a democratic state. This option will save Syria and the entire region the consequences of the current situation. The second option which is the worst one, is that he will continue escalating against his own people and ignoring all calls for real reform, which will lead to a big mess in the region and more bloodshed, but will certainly overthrow his regime but with higher price.  

Finally, it is expected that the brave people of Syria will continue their revolution until they gain their freedom, and build their democratic state which will certainly be for their benefit and for the benefit of the entire region.

Wasseem AlKury. August 23rd, 2011