The iron rule of the Assad dynasty over Syria’s people is 42 year-old. It began in 1970 when the Defence Minister Hafez al-Asad carried out a bloody coup against his own party. They decided to lay him off on the 30th of October. Which was a decision that Hafez Al-assad refused to do and then later he appointed himself as president after killing and arresting the leaders of Baath party (the party that still rules Syria up to this day), like Salah Jdeed and the Syrian president at that time Nureddin al-Atassi. Both Jdeed and Al-Atassi spent the rest of their lives in prison without any sort of trial, until they died in the early 1990s, the rest of the leaders and government members who were arrested were released in the latest of the 1990s due to health problems, one of whom was Dr. Yousef Za’ayen who was released in 1998 to go to the hospital then he was deported to end up in Hungary.
Over two generations, the brutal government headquarters in Damascus has been the main Mid-east ally of an increasingly belligerent Iran. Bashar Assad, the son, has acted as the chief facilitator for the Sunni extremist killers in Iraq over the past ten years.
In Lebanon, both Assads, senior and junior, have wrought havoc since 1975, killing Palestinians, and Lebanese from all sects in Lebanon mainly by instigating a sectarian war between them, and of course whoever dared to try to bring stability to the country was torn asunder. They assassinated the most prominent Lebanese leaders who were considered a threat to their throne and policy, including Kamal Junblat in 1977 (who is a leader of the Drouz and a thinker), Bashir Gemayel in 1982 (who was considered as the leader of the Maronites community), and last but not least Rafik Hariri in 2005.More to the point, missions by the self-proclaimed “Loyal to Assad’s Syria”, also known as Hizbullah are now under indictment before the Special Tribunal of Lebanon for Hariri’s murder. An act that has claimed hundreds of lives among journalists and politicians, along with thousands of other innocent people who have been either assassinated or simply “disappeared,” or randomly killed. Then in the 1990s when Lebanon started to recover and stabilize, the Assad regime had a big role in taking away all kinds of weapons from all the Lebanese except of Hizbullah and Amal movement who claim to be representing the Shite sect in Lebanon.
Most tragically, the Assads’ hands never hesitated to commit mass murders against the Syrians. When in 1982, Hama’s historic centre was levelled to the ground , followed by a relentless siege of the city, intense bombardment, and mass killings of tens of thousands of civilian (according to some reports over 45 thousands were killed and 15 thousands disappeared, and thousands of families fled Syria and they have not been able to go back to their homes until now.)
Of course, it will not slip our mind to mention the Kurdish case of 2004, when the regime tried to instigate a racist war between Arabs and Kurds, by using some thugs, “allegedly from Deir Azzur”, which is known to be the area where Arab tribes live.. and this was a way to hit 3 birds with one stone: 1- kill any Kurdish aspiration of having their rights as other Syrian citizens, 2- destroy the political movement of the Kurdish nationalist opposition, 3- and finally, get the Arabs in general, and the Arab tribes in that area in particular so suspicious of the Kurds, so that they would not build healthy relationships with their fellow Syrian Kurds to limit any power the Arab tribes have. And this ended with over 50 civilians killed, and with hundreds of people arrested, some of whom are in prisons till now.
Up till this very minute, the bloody pattern of a ruthless inhuman government sweeps across the country, with Homs being the last but not the least victim. Both the future of the Middle East and the success of the formidable non-violent mass movement in Tunisia, Egypt, and Yemen depend on what will happen next in Damascus.
If such dictatorship survives and its main pillars were not brought to justice; on the way to a democratic transition, then we are in for an unjustified re-run of the Palestinian crisis that could affect the middle-eastern demographic map for the next 10 years.
In short, the possibility of the Assad’s regime remaining in power will doom both domestic and international peace in the region, Because the non-violent movement would find it difficult to recover from this blow. The Assad’s regime itself would have its own noxious effect on peace. Yet the effect on the history of mankind would be much heavier, and it would be harder to argue with any brave young man or woman trying to adopt non-violence as their method, that this would be the right path or form of resistance to get rid of tyranny.
Our joint effort aims at bringing recognition to the unparalleled bravery and sustain the non-violent resistance movement of the Syrian revolution alive, in order to provide concrete political means to help end the forty-two year-long reign of death and terror. Drawing on the appropriate tools of international law and the strength of the Syrian revolution, the ends and means of the strategy proposed must remain worthy of the sacrifice of Syria’s thousands of non-violent demonstrators. Though, that which later came to be known as the” Arab Spring of 2011″ was originally born in the Damascus Spring of 2001, which flourished briefly in Damascus until Bashar Assad ruthlessly suppressed it by sending his thugs to disrupt discussion meetings in homes.
The beginning of 2011 was an inspiring time for the Syrians and all the Arabs, on the 17th of February, Syria has witnessed the first demonstration in years, later on, the 15th of March marked another demonstration. Both were in the old city of Damascus. Meanwhile the southern city of Deraa who had been boiling over the torture of a dozen of its children rose up on Friday the 18th and four young men were shot and killed during a peaceful protest that only called for dignity and freedom. Their blood was the announcement of the beginning of the Syrian revolution in a day that was named as the “Dignity Friday”. In conclusion, Homs, Hama, Idleb are constantly visited by the Assad’s tanks to quell peaceful protests. Deraa will be instantly reclaimed by its people. Aleppo and Damascus are no different. Dier Azzur, Latakkia and every where else on the Syrian soil will be the same.