What most people don’t understand about events in Syria is that everything that has taken place over the last seven years was done in the name of sovereignty. Yes, sovereignty. This is not a popular idea in the West. The West is addicted to freedom, elections, and the rule of law; meaningless things that often weaken the inner fabric of a country and diminish its stature and global standing. We are Arabs. Syrians. We understand the value of national honour.
You must be careful of those who try to misrepresent this story. To lure you into their flawed perception of things, they will share meaningless numbers. They will tell you over 500,000 were killed, millions were wounded, more than 5 million are now refugees, 6.5 million are displaced from their homes, and 13.5 million require humanitarian assistance. They will also bring up the economy. They will tell you the losses are in the hundreds of billions, the cities are destroyed, the infrastructure is shattered. They will bring up society. They will tell you there are so many wounds in Syria that will take centuries to heal, that Syria’s sects and ethnicities have never distrusted each other this much, hated each other this much, that we may not in our life time see children from the coast play with children from rural Damascus again, that there is so much thirst for vengeance that we may soon see walls dividing up Syrian towns and cities. In their desperation, they might even bring up psychology, and talk to you about a new generation of traumatized children, radicalized children, children who watched the aircrafts of their own government bomb their towns, kill their relatives, maim their friends. But we all know these are all mind games they play. In the end, what are these except sacrifices, sacrifices made in the name of sovereignty and honour? Every country after all has had to make sacrifices. And these are the sacrifices Syria has had to make.
What were we supposed to do? Let some young men and women take over the country? Allow them to desecrate everything the Syrian Arab Republic stood for? To be sovereign is to have your land, sky and sea safeguarded, your borders approached as a sacred domain. Be careful of their arguments, their flawed logic. They will tell you that there are more foreign military bases in Syria now than there has ever been. They will tell you it is even worse now than it was during the French mandate. They will talk about the Russians in the west, the Turks in the north, the Americans in the northeast, and the Iranians in the south. They might even bring up the Israelis in the sky. Again, these are meaningless facts. The only relevant fact here is that all of this is temporary. So what, if in one week, American, Turkish and Israeli warplanes bombed different places in Syria? Nothing but a coincident, and again, all temporary, all transient facts.
The same applies on land not presently under government control. The north, the east, the south, rural Damascus. All this is temporary. They should be bombed until they are obliterated. What are they full of except traitors and terrorists? They will show you footage of civilians killed. Be careful of these, most, if not all, were filmed in makeshift cities. Have you watched Wag the Dog? In fact, we don’t even want the refugees to return, they are all cowards after all. Who other than cowards would leave their country? What were they escaping anyway? The rubble and destruction? The barrel bombs? Watching their family members killed? Does this justify abandoning your home? Does this justify seeking asylum in a hostile country? Regardless, in the end, we will have a Syria that is far purer. A Syria full of people who cherish their flag and admire their leadership. People who understand that everything their government has done was in the name of sovereignty.
*/Dr. Omar Imady was born in Damascus. He is presently a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Syrian Studies at the University of St Andrews.
The views & information contained in these posts & articles are strictly those of their authors who are solely responsible for their accuracy, and should not be regarded as representing the Centre for Syrian Studies or the University of St Andrews.