Syria Tomorrow: Why Now?
When conflicts lead to disasters and human beings started being killed violently, it was clear that both sides are wrong and both sides should stop. We have to be civil, show understanding and allow time for the healing process, otherwise we are delivering our home land to many who have wanted control of it for many years.
Syria Tomorrow is a reflection for an accurate and independent voice, to express the logic and common sense of what is happening rather than the normal violence and scary tactics.
Syria Tomorrow was created by voices have no connections to any government, opposition groups, religious or political organizations. Our goal is giving the truth and comment on facts, and allow a civil discussion between all of us, far from animosity and retaliations. If you are one of the people who care join us and contribute to our goal of civilized and intelligent discussions.
Syria Tomorrow Editor
The Syrian Uprising! Does It Make Sense
The Syrian uprising began as soon as Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak was forced to resign. Bashar al-Assad, president of Syria, came to power with the transition from father to son marking Syria as the first Arab republican hereditary regime.
The rise of the Syrian - Alawites:
Syria's demographics are complex. It is believed that:
- Three-fourths of the country's roughly 22 million people are Sunnis, including most of the Kurdish minority in the northeast. Most experts put the number of Alawites in Syria at around 1.5 million, or close to 7 percent of the population.
- Shia and Ismailis, non-Sunni Muslims average around 7 percent.
- Christians of several variations, including Orthodox and Maronite, make up around 10 percent of the population.
- The mostly mountain-dwelling Druze make up around 3 percent.
Assad and majority of his Ba'ath party members are from the Alawite tribe. They completely controlled power centers in the country, including army, police, and state-supported militias in the border areas. Alawites have received preferential treatment in government services, economic opportunities, and armed forces recruitments, marginalizing the traditional Sunni clans. When Ba'ath Party took power in the country, Alawite officers have multiplied in number, gaining control over the army. This army control has helped perpetuate the Assad family rule over the Sunni-majority population.
Role of support base: when loyalty counts
The Syrian government met the protests throughout Syria, fighting fire with fire. Indeed, over the past few weeks, the government has proven its strength by recruiting hundreds of thousands of counter-protesters to show support for Bashar and his government. However, unlike in Egypt, the government continues to enjoy the unconditional support of the army and security forces. In Syria, the army has a vested interest in al-Assad's continued rule: the protesters want the heads of the top brass, so if Bashar al-Assad falls, they fall, too.
The security service, thought to number at least 65,000 full-timers, has been responsible for most of the violence. Set up by Hafez al-Assad soon after his coup in 1970, its fifteen-odd branches fall under four main intelligence headings: general, political, military, and air force. Only remotely linked to any civilian institution, they are above the law and sign off on virtually all big decisions. Their heads report directly to the president.
Unrest fueling uprising
The big questions remain to be any answered about why and how the uprising started?
As in other Arab countries, the labor force has been growing, a consequence of the expanding numbers of people in the 15-24 age group. Economic culture has led to high unemployment between the young generation and has pushed 2-3 million people into extreme poverty; This equation forced many to leave home towns, small villages and go to big cities, looking for an alternative. This center-periphery relationship has fueled the revolution for more change through political reforms.
Additionally, Syrian economy is affected by a lack of investment, technology, and management expertise, and restricted by a choking bureaucracy and widespread corruption. These factors, together with tense relations with neighboring countries, have also discouraged investors. Recently there has been an increase in investments from other nations in the Arab world, however these investments have mainly been in real estate.
Government corruption became a major factor in the people frustration, where life became so complicated, driven by rules and regulation, where only the majority of the population affected, sparing the officials and army leaders, who enjoy the special treatment everywhere they go. The Assad family controls not only on the army and government but also on all aspect of economic developments in Syria, making some family member billionaires while the average Syrian is struggling to find his daily meals.
Corruption in Syria reached the legal system, where law implementation is subjective to financial incentive. Judges and law enforcers became part of the “no law system” in addition to the emergency law since 1963, leading to human right violation in all aspect of the the Syrian individual.
Assad government as inherited from his father, prohibited any form of freedom of expression, and the Emergency law was used against any opposition of even expressing a point of view against the government, giving security forces a sweeping powers of arrest and detention. Politically, Baath party was the only ruling party by the law, where all other approved minor parties are part of a useless committee that has to approve all government agenda to survive their own agenda.
Does it make sense?
The answer is clearly simple if we understand how the Syrian population lived for a long time under unusual circumstances. With what was happening around in other Arab countries, the Syrians felt the pressure that democratic changes require uprising and facing subsequent prices. The average Syrian who decided to get out in demonstration have a honorable goal of freedom of speech, find a job, protection by the law, and equal rights based on performance not name or ethnicity or power. All of these issues and outcome of changes are reasonable to understand and realize the common sense generated from.
The only part that make no sense and also raise a lot of questions about this uprising are few points?
Why the Syrian uprising did not start until after the Egyptian, tunisian, and the Libyans?
Who are the planners for the move? are the real people inside who really suffering from the regime, or they are some one trying to take advantage of the uprising to ride the wave and become another regime under different name, especially that Syria and all Arab world never experience Democracy and wonder how can we adopt it if we do not understand it.
Social media in Syria was prohibited and probably did not play the same role as in Egypt. If that is the case how the organization process started, we hear about many outside provided items, from International Satellite phones to Internet, where some was able to keep the flood of images going into the International Media.
Who are the religious organizations playing role and influence in these uprising and why suddenly the interest in Syria?
Who are those people claiming leadership of the uprising suddenly on TV every where, non of them was in Syria for 20 and 30 years, how can they claim they are the oppositions and the leaders? Should we allow them to take advantage of this, while most of them were part of the same government in the past.
What is the role of the outside forces, governments and organization in fueling this uprising? and why?
What was the role of media in promoting some elements of these uprising? while they are owned and run by most dictatorship in the world.
If we are able to answer most of these questions, accurately we will be able to understand why this uprising started in Syria. It make a lot of sense to start, but the bigger question is: does it make sense to continue and to end by destroying the whole country if we have the chance for peaceful changes and reform?
I wish we think cautionsly before we answer this question