By Mohammed Bsiso
Amongst the multiple uprisings throughout the Arab world, Syria might prove to be the most complex and potentially the most dangerous. Syria’s position in the Middle East is unique as it borders multiple countries experiencing dynamic and sometimes dire political situations that could translate into widespread chaos in the region. Historically, Syria has been a stabilizing factor in the Middle East and remains so till this day. So needless to say, instability in this crucial Arab country may have profound consequences that could have devastating effects on its neighbors.
The current popular revolution in Syria has proven to be resilient and unwilling to compromise with the generation old ruling system in the country. Most recently, prominent opposition figures refused the government’s offers of dialogue indicating the confidence and momentum enjoyed by the protesters thus far. This could also partly be due to painful lessons learned in uprisings in the past; most notably that of the early eighties where Hafez al Assad (Bashar’s father) massacred tens of thousands of men, women, and children. Amazingly, the focal city where the past uprising took place, Hama, is fearlessly taking the lead in this one. Not too long ago, Bashar al Assad’s military units and security forces hastily pulled out of the city following Friday’s unprecedented protest that witnessed more than a quarter million citizens on the street in a city with a population of around 800,000. Last Friday saw double that number as estimated by protest organizers.
The situation in Hama is developing amidst the general backdrop of uprising throughout the country in seeming every region except the capital city Damascus. Syria’s pivotal second city and business hub Aleppo has been slowly building up pressure as discontent has become widespread. As the nation’s economy comes to a screeching halt, pressure in Aleppo will only increase and effectively bring about the final phase of this revolution; the overthrow of the regime.
Of course, the situation in Syria is fluid and may take many more unexpected turns before reaching a climax and an effective ending; however, revolutionaries and opposition leaders in the country know well that an unfinished uprising will only spell certain disaster unto its population potentially leading to massacres.
Leaders in the West and East must realize that a transition to a new and fair form of governance that ensures the freedom and safety of all Syrians is in the interest of everyone. At the same time they must be warned that the survival of the current repressive regime would not benefit anyone whatsoever and will cause Syria to become a pariah state led by brutal criminals. The Western media must unequivocally support the Syrian people’s harrowing struggle for freedom and prosperity by highlighting their plight and exposing the inhumane campaign being launched against them. Pressure must also be focused on the Turkish media in order to push the Turkish government to act against Bashar and his security forces.
The events in Syria are truly historical in scope and could translate in the liberation of millions of people. The dignified and honorable free peoples of the world must do all they can in order to support the brave citizens risking their lives by flooding the streets to peacefully protest and demand for their rights. Let us stand on the right side of history.
– Mohammed Bsiso has a Masters Degree in History from The University of Texas at Dallas. He originally from the Gaza Strip. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com. Visit his blog: www.islamicnewsandhistory.blogspot.com.