-by Eva Bartlett, Oct 10, 2015, Dissident Voice
Over the past five years, the increasingly ridiculous propaganda against President al-Assad and the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has ranged from the scripted (OTPOR fomented -“revolution“) “peaceful protesters under fire” rhetoric, to other deceitful lexicon like “civil war,” and “moderate rebels.”
As the intervention campaigns continue with new terrorist and “humanitarian” actors (literally) constantly emerging in the NATO-alliance’s theatre of death squads, it is worth reviewing some of the important points regarding the war on Syria.
Million Person Marches
On March 29, 2011 (less than two weeks into the fantasy “revolution”) over 6 million people across Syria took to the streets in support of President al-Assad. In June, a reported hundreds of thousands marched in Damascus in support of the president, with a 2.3 km long Syrian flag. In November, 2011 (9 months into the chaos), masses again held demonstrations supporting President al-Assad, notably in Homs (the so-called “capital of the ‘revolution’”), Dara’a (the so-called “birthplace of the ‘revolution’”), Deir ez-Zour, Raqqa, Latakia, and Damascus.
In May 2013, it was reported that even NATO recognized the Syrian president’s increased popularity. “The data, relayed to NATO over the last month, asserted that 70 percent of Syrians support” the Assad government. At present, the number is now at least 80 percent.
The most telling barometer of Assad’s support base was the Presidential elections in June 2014, which saw 74 percent (11.6 million) of 15.8 million registered Syrian voters vote, with President al-Assad winning 88 percent of the votes. The lengths Syrians outside of Syria went to in order to vote included flooding the Syrian embassy in Beirut for two full days (and walking several kilometres to get there) and flying from countries with closed Syrian embassies to Damascus airport simply to cast their votes. Within Syria, Syrians braved terrorist mortars and rockets designed to keep them from voting; 151 shells were fired on Damascus alone, killing 5 and maiming 33 Syrians.
For a more detailed look at his broad base of popular support, see Professor Tim Anderson’s “Why Syrians Support Bashar al Assad.”
Prior to the events of March 2011 Syrians did have legitimate desires for specific reforms, many of which were implemented from the beginning of the unrest. In fact, President al-Assad made reforms prior to and following March 17, 2011.
Stephen Gowans noted some of those early reforms, including:
- Canceling the Emergency Law;
- Amending the the constitution and putting it to a referendum [8.4 million Syrians voted; 7.5 million voted in favour of the constitution];
- Scheduling, then holding, multi-party parliamentary and presidential elections
The constitution, according to Gowans, “mandated that the government maintain a role in guiding the economy on behalf of Syrian interests, and that the Syrian government would not make Syrians work for the interests of Western banks, oil companies, and other corporations.”
It also included:
- “security against sickness, disability and old age; access to health care; free education at all levels”
- a provision “requiring that at minimum half the members of the People’s Assembly are to be drawn from the ranks of peasants and workers.”
Political commentator Jay Tharappel further articulated:
The new constitution introduced a multi-party political system in the sense that the eligibility of political parties to participate isn’t based on the discretionary permission of the Baath party or on reservations, rather on a constitutional criteria….the new constitution forbids political parties that are based on religion, sect or ethnicity, or which are inherently discriminatory towards one’s gender or race. (2012: Art.8)
No surprise that NATO’s exile-Syrian pawns refused the reforms and a constitution which ensures a sovereign Syria secure from the claws of multi-national corporations and Western banks.