A Word from OFF THE WALL
I have been having some exchanges with Syrian Hamster, we both have felt depressed over the past couple of days as we have been sharing our own facebook experiences and some reading material. He said that he already started to write some thing along these lines. So here it is:
Syrian Hamster Says
Every once in a while I write in a depressed mood. On such occasions, my ideas are less lucid, more random, and far less connected to reality and to each others than the disaster zone they normally are. Here is my hurricane for today, a volcano is in the making and the deluge is in your future.
I will start by quoting from some younger germs on facebook, who are far smarter than I am as they address a friend of theirs who is a die hard men7ebaakji:
!!!غريب جداً أن تشعر بإهانة هويتك القومية فقط إثر قرار وصفه نظامك التحفة بأنو “حبر على ورق”، ورجف قفاك وشرت مخطتك من هول الحماس الوطني وطلعت تكسر سفارات وترقص بالساحات وتتنصل من العروبة وتطلعي بنظريات شوفينية هبلة، وما حسسك بالإهانة الوطنية كسوري وتفتخر، مناظر سوريين مقيدين عم يتدعوسوا من 8 أشهر لهلأ، وأطفال مقلوعة الأظافر ومدن سورية تحاصر وتقصف وتقطع عنها أساسيات الحياة. ليك .. من بعد إذن قوميتك: حلّ عن قوميتي
It is rather odd that you feel an insult to your nationalism only after a decision that was described by your precious regime as being “mere ink on paper”, and your ass shook, you dripped from the nose being so hyper-enthusiastic, and you went out demolishing embassies, dancing in public squares, and absolving yourself of your Arabism while pontificating idiotic chauvinistic theories, and you never felt nationalistic insult as a proud Syrian when you witnessed tied Syrians being stepped on for eight months, children with pulled nails, and Syrian cities besieged, bombarded, and prevented from the basic necessities of life. Hey listen, with permission from you nationalism, buzz-off my nationalism.
Now the Rant
After the eventual success of the revolution, many of us will face a tough challenge of looking friends and family members, those we dearly loved, and may have admired, looking them in the face and asking them to tell us what made them support tyranny, justify murder, and equivocate, and still think that they are the patriots. Very few of us will be capable of understanding the psychology, for it is not as simple as the Stockholm syndrome. I have heard of families broken as one spouse stubbornly insists on supporting the rights of the Syrian people while the other actively participate in suppressing those rights.
There is no denial that Arab league proposed sanctions have turned many from being neutral, if not sympathetic to the revolution into hate mongering chauvinism, blasting the “uncivilized Bedouins” of Arabia, and threatening them of withholding civility from them as they are withholding food from us (Syrians). The person who wrote such nonsense is a very respectable mild mannered person who forgets that if it wasn’t for a Bedouin chieftain called Sharif Hussein, and his external helper form England “Laurence of Arabia” he would be talking Turkish, hailing the Turkish flag and calling Erdogan his prime minister. Granted the external help was mischievous then, and it is likely to be mischievous now, but it is nonetheless an interesting point of our history.
A relative of mine is coming unhinged. She posts regime propaganda with spiteful comments attached. She plasters her facebook wall and the walls of others with spiteful replies and still arguing that she is against shedding the blood of Syrians (kind of like one major SC bully), forgetting that the whole revolution is one huge convulsion on behalf of the sanctity of Syrian blood, as any other blood, and the integrity of those in whose veins this human blood flows before the veins are blasted open with regime goons’ projectiles sending this sanctified blood gushing out.
I will not address secularism, or sectarianism here, but I would like to address this Syrian superiority complex Vis-à-vis neighboring Arabs and the fraudulent image of Syria being a most influential country because of the genius foreign policy of the dead Assad and his foolish son. Off course this fake image serves the demi-god cult and justifies the brutality of the regime for the sake of greatness of the nation. Burhan Ghalyoun addressed this issue in a very long essay titled “Syrian Foreign Policy or the End of The Imperialist Era –in Arabic”. His main thesis was that over the Years, and subject to a critical review of Hafez Assad unethical hostage holding foreign policy, it will only demonstrable that these policies were a failure. And that continuation of such policies will only lead to disastrous results at all levels. Burhan, writing in 2007, was both brilliant and prophetic in his analysis of the relationship between that policy and the cancerous parasitic economy that was becoming the state of affairs in Syria, and in his no nonsense exposure of the anemic nature of the Assads’ victories.
In the end, Syrians, and for forty years were being bombarded with false self congratulatory image of sacrificing for the Arabs, and of being a great regional power at par with Egypt and KSA, while in fact they were paying the price of the limited imagination and thuggish interference of their leaders and policy makers in the affairs of their neighbors as they sought to protect their rule and not the country. Granted, there may have been some limited tangible benefits to that, but the damage far outweighs the pseudo-empire of influence the regime was able to build on a rotten foundation of oppressing people on the inside and holding the region hostage on the outside, along with their southern hostage taker neighbor (Yup, Israel).
Syrians will have to come to terms with the real size of Syria, and instead of building alliances based on extending their influence through the bullying capacity of their friends, they will have to learn to build cooperative relationships with their neighbors and friends. This is not a call to dump Iran, but a call to normalize relationship with that country, nor it is a call for turning inward, but a call for building ones own human capacity before building a useless set of tentacles that in the end are controlled by powers outside the control of the regime (e.g., Hezbullah). Syrians must recognize that a priority should be given to building the person, along with the infrastructure, both societal and physical.
So I would say to some Syrians: Syria is no superpower, it has no reason to be. Just learn to live with it. you will love it more, and on the way, you will love yourself far more than you pretend to do. I think this is what separates a revolutionary from the Menhebbak, the first wants a country, and the latter lives in a deranged dream of a pseudo-empire. I say, loose it, and learn to live with that.
It is unfortunate that many nations only learn humility after painful defeat or vicious civil war. Syrians know well the taste of humiliation and they have followed their leadership into an abyss of self deceptive sense of victories, mainly as a rationalization for the miserable states of human rights, development, and the sense of helplessness they had facing the Assads’ menace and coping with the Assads’ repeated defeats be them military, economic, or developmental. One of the primary reasons I am hopeful about this revolution is that it’s capitol is Homs for there is no other city in Syria whose inhabitants are more capable of self deprecating humor, a sign of intelligence, and a pre-requisite for recovery from false impression of greatness. Don’t believe Aboud’s arrogance, for in his arrogance he is sarcastically not taking himself too seriously. The Homsis are taking their revolution dead serious, they are making it fun despite of the painful retribution of the monsters. Syrians should learn not to take themselves too seriously; it will help in the long and painful recovery. I am from Aleppo, and we are sinfully too prideful to be successful in making a revolution for democracy, equality, and human rights. Am I being an anti-halabi chauvinist here?, or am I being uncharacteristically self deprecating halabi? I’ll let you decide….