FOLLOWING six years of civil war in Syria, the defeat has become clearer to all especially to the regime in Syria and the revolution.
As long as Syrians are the ones paying the miserable price and the Syrian land and borders are being violated by regional and international forces that are ogling to place a foot in Syria, continuing with the refusal for any negotiations and political solutions will revive another Palestinian disaster, which was caused by Palestinians when they fell for revolutionary slogans and placed their hopes on Arab stances.
For instance, the Egypt of Abdul-Nasser took the “Palestine liberation” to its launch pad for achieving objectives that actually had nothing to do with Palestine and its people.
One century ago, Arabs were not in a position to stop Britain from issuing the Balfour Declaration, which had promised the Jews a home in Palestine in a bid to solve the European problem at the expense of Palestinians.
However in 1948, which is 31 years after that infamous declaration, Arabs had the opportunity to prevent Israel from expanding and occupying the entire land of Palestine, if only they accepted the United Nations’ resolution to divide the country. At that time, Arabs did not have enough military capability to stop the establishment of Jewish state.
On the contrary, the Arab countries told the Palestinians to head to the tents because their return to their country will be in a matter of weeks or months. However, we saw hopes and promises evaporate day after day to the extent that anything that was refused 69 years ago eventually became a quest for the Palestinians and Arabs but Israel of today is now rejecting it.
In fact, Israel has reached a point where it even rejects international condemnation of its settlements that continue to shrink the possibility of a two-state solution that the Arabs are eager for.
Since 2011, there was a possibility for the Syrians to save themselves from the current losses if they had accepted the option of dialogue and negotiation and if they did not fall for the zeal aimed at deposing the regime within a month or two.
They would have prevented terrorists from 83 countries from entering their country. They would have blocked Iran’s expansionism scheme. Ceasefire in any town wouldn’t have needed Russia-US dialogue especially since these countries are not charitable or philanthropic organizations but are instead aiming at achieving their interests at the expense of the blood of Syrians.
Despite all this, it wasn’t too late for Syrians to save themselves from transforming temporary refugee camps into permanent cities like the Palestinian camps in some Arab countries.
They still had the time to stop the hellish civil war which could last for 17 years like that of Lebanon where every faction held on to their illusionary demands but ended up settling for a failed state that is shared by warlords with decisions in the hands of the terrorist group Hezbollah.
In fact, Syrians still have the time to stop their country from becoming another “Somalia”, a globally forgotten country.
Syrians can detach themselves from false international and Arab hopes of deposing the regime of Bashar Al-Asad, which has not materialized because it wasn’t a realistic dream in the first place.
Frankly, Syrians are supposed to strive for the unity of their nation, which, as it appears, is being cut chunk after chunk by regional and international forces, either by Iran with the hope of cementing its occupation directly or indirectly through its militias, or Russia with the hope of establishing military base, also by the United States of America, which has reserved its portion, and by Turkey with the hop of controlling its entire borderline to prevent the formation of a Kurdish entity similar to that of Iraq.
Perhaps, Syrians need to learn from their northern neighbor. They need to learn from the declaration of Kamal Ataturk when he formed Turkey on the rubbles of the Ottoman Empire, transformed it into a secular state and made peaceful democratic struggle as the only option for Turkey.
Despite several coups and attempts by opposition members such as the former prime minister of Turkey Adnan Menderes — the first to bring about a political scheme to revive the Islamic identity of Turkey, the political parties in Turkey did not opt for a civil war. They instead continued their struggle in a peaceful manner until the Islamist party came to power through democratic elections.
Even after the current Turkish President, Rajab Tayyip Erdogan changed the Constitution and the oppression campaigns following the recent failed coup attempt, Turkey did not resort to violence using weapons. It instead continued to preserve and maintain internal stability to the extent that even its economy was ranked in the top twenties internationally.
The Syrian factions and groups are failing to see that, while the major countries are striving to transform their land into a furnace for terrorists from every part of the world, they themselves were the ones who allowed them to enter their land in the first place such that Syrian civilians are the ones being displaced and their cities, towns and villages are being destroyed.
From Aleppo, Homs, Dadmur, areas around Damascus, Dheraa and other towns and villages, aren’t the Syrians the only ones who are paying the price for these proxy wars in which local factions and sectarian militias are participating?
After this unprecedented catastrophic experience in the modern human history, it is now up to the Syrians to be convinced that all nails in the world can never scratch their skin. In fact, these nails will only worsen their injuries with destruction, failure and displacement.
Therefore, in order for Syrians to avoid being affected by this chronic disease, they have to take a seat and have internal dialogues based on realistic principles. Otherwise, it is the Syrians who will end up repeating, with their full will, the Palestinian disaster.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times