WHAT difference will it make if some of the western countries claim that the Syrian presidential election was fixed and unfair? Is it not the Syrians who should decide? Or have these countries and some political forces in them set themselves as the custodians of the Syrians to choose who will govern them?
President Bashar Assad won 95 percent of the 78.6 percent votes that were casted in the elections in which 18 million Syrians participated, thereby winning his fourth term. The Gulf officials had anticipated since 2011 that his regime would fall within two months after the start of the uprising; instead, those who promised its fall are the ones who fell, while Assad’s regime remained standing.
Nonetheless, there is no escape from recognizing him as the head of the regime despite the United States’ protest against the elections, which was nothing more than a stance. Russia and China recognized him, in addition to several major countries, which are considered as the backbone of the international community in terms of military and economic weight and international presence.
When the uprising erupted in Syria, President Assad was vilified and faced all types of allegations. He was accused of looting about $50 billion of public money, and committing murder and oppression. He was accused of being inclined towards converting Syrians into the Shiite sect and opening his country to the Persians.
However, all these allegations did not change the truth, as he remained at the helm of power, armed with the support of the army, security and economic forces as well as a large proportion of the Syrians.
Today, neither has Syria become a Shiite country nor have the Persians ruled. On the contrary, the Iranians continue to receive very painful slaps from the Israelis every day.
As for the naive claim that an Arab ruler must be a Sunni, as is the majority, the response to that is in Lebanon where the president is a Christian who works together with both Shiites and Sunnis. Has this changed anything in the Arab world?
Let us be fair when we say that the conflict that erupted in Syria was not based on religious reasons. The world today is not ruled by churches and mosques, doctrines and denominations, but rather by technology and economic interests.
Thus, Syria — whose people renewed the leadership of the president — has its own peculiarity, which some Arabs and Gulf Arabs did not like. They therefore waged a campaign against it, and brought tens of thousands of mercenaries.
Militias have become a trend, reaching about 120 factions. All of these factions demanded rule, but none of them had either a real program or an alternative proposal. This is similar to what is prevalent in the Arab world where plans do not exist in governing institutions. Rather, slogans, claims and justifications seem to be sufficient, along with stirring hostilities with brothers if one of them tries to work on self-economic power and internal stability.
Indeed, the Arabs resort to sabotaging such a state in order to justify their failure in turning into a force similar to it.
After ten years of conflict, and despite the decline in the exchange rate of the lira and the economic crisis, its budget has not recorded any deficit or external debt. It is still self-sufficient in food, and is today rebuilding its destroyed factories, despite the displacement, migration, and the continuation of the conflict.
In the face of all this, the Arabs have no choice but to open the doors for Syria, and abandon the fictitious and imaginary schemes. For how long will those who wanted Syria to fall continue with their unrealistic stance? Why do they not leave the creation to the Creator, or at least keep their evil away from it?
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times