[Marxism] A Syrian responds to Max Blumenthal

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Oct 4 13:04:23 MDT 2016


(Posted to FB by Marcell Shehwaro)

Where are the Syrians in Max’s Speech?

I read Max’s article which aims to open our eyes to the dangerous hidden 
reality behind The Syria Campaign. I read it over and over and all I 
felt was a combination of patronisation and humiliation in detail after 
detail… Beginning with the focus on who took the photo of Omran and who 
published it and neglecting the fact that what happened to Omran did 
actually happen and the boy really was bombed. But of course this detail 
is marginal… just as marginal as all other Syrian men and women in that 
piece of writing. All of us are marginal details.

More important now is how to help the killer escape by spreading doubts 
around all the human rights violations they committed.

My organization is one of the 73 organizations that signed on to 
suspending cooperation with the UN. The decision was taken and planned 
as per the following steps. Months and days of dysfunctional 
coordination with the UN as a result of the political ties of the UN’s 
offices in Damascus. Let alone the grave failure, that the UN admits to, 
of dealing with the sieges. The Syrian anger towards this topic was 
portrayed through many responses, actions, banners and campaigns such as 
United Nothing. All those are purely Syrians but it seems not important 
enough for Mr. Blumenthal to mention.

We internally shared the statement, which was drafted by Syrian 
humanitarian organizations, for endorsement. We even objected to the 
mild language of the statement which some described as nice and 
friendly. After the internal agreement of the drafting organizations, 
which apparently it’s not convincing to the writer that the Syrian 
organizations have a decision-making mechanism, we shared the statement 
publicly for wider endorsement.

Of course Mr. Max is able to judge and knows better than all of us that 
we as Syrians have been influenced to shape our opinions! We have been 
"spurred" to sign!

We are mislead, absent, easily manipulated.

This is how Syrian organisations are portrayed in the article.

On the no-fly zone and regime change. Here comes a more irritating 
speech. Early 2012, I wrote a “silly’ blog under the title “10 reasons 
why I am against no-fly zone”.

I wrote all possible and expected reasons in relation to sovereignty, 
imperialism and so on.

I was “naive” back then to think there were global civilian protection 
mechanisms that will prevent us from tending to such solution ie; no-fly 
zone. I used to think that airstrikes will never be part of the regime 
response against people. I had the luxury to do so as by then we were 
not bombarded at from the sky yet.

Until today I regret that feeling of luxury.

Yes Max, The Syria Campaign say we need a no-fly zone and it is because 
it echoes what Syrians call for day and night.

Yes we want the shelling to stop. We want the aerial bombardment to 
stop. Which is until this moment just a small detail in your article.
Yes the Russian and Assad airstrikes target Syrians, their hospitals and 
schools.

But this article is not about that small detail that takes the lives of 
hundreds every day.

This one is about how dare an “advocacy” project for Syrians to convey 
Syrian messages to the world!!

Yes Max we do want a no-fly zone because two of our education staff were 
injured last week. Maybe because the manager of our education office in 
Aleppo has to face a decision whether to close schools and deprive 
children of their right to education or open schools and risk their 
safety and lives.

Because once we had to discuss a real decision, and not imagined, on 
what is the "normal" ij number of airstrikes where we would continue to 
operate civil and humanitarian activities and when do we cross the "Ok" 
number.

Because hospitals are underground. Because schools are now underground.
They brought us bunker buster bombs you know. I looked this word up in 
your article. It doesn't sound that important.

Bunker buster bomb that destroys schools and hospitals and even shelters.

But what I found in your article that foreigners want a No Fly Zone. How 
dare they!!!

Dear Max, if you had listened to Syrians. If you just had assumed that 
we exist and do have opinions, maybe you would have figured out how we 
reached this point.

How do we live every day based on Whatsapp ringtone bringing the news of 
the location of each attack and who are the casualties.

Syrians there live on military air forces planes rhythm, wondering are 
we going to be bombed during the day only? Shall we work at night? 
Instead. No shall we do early mornings.

The Russians and the regime which you are discomforted with our will to 
topple are now working full time job. Day and night. We die. The simple 
logic is that we want to live. They attack us using air force. We want 
airstrikes to stop. Don't you think this is logical?
It is not because we are emotional people. All people across the world, 
I believe, don’t want to be attacked by air force. This is something 
common, no?

While discussing toppling the Regime it seems that you are missing some 
points dear Max. Let me make things clear for you. In 2011 we revolted 
against one of the toughest dictatorships. We called for freedom and for 
democracy. We as syrians, for sure if you managed to believe me, want 
democracy, we want the end of arrests, incommunicado arbitrary detention 
and shooting at peaceful demonstrations. We want the end of chemical 
attacks and Bunker buster bombs. We dream of change. Changing this 
regime, the same regime you referred to revolting against as a coup over 
a democratically elected government and not as a people’s will to 
restore its rights. Wait maybe you know better than us about our affairs.

Yes sir, The Syria Campaign as an advocacy group in support of us 
Syrians does say a lot of what we say over and over which no one listens 
to. Maybe this is considered political to you but I can see you are 
trying to take things to a level that is very dangerous for us Syrians. 
Not only as Syrians but you are undermining the activist movements 
across the world by painting democracy as a political issue. Hence 
justice, equality, freedom, and impunity become political issues that 
civil society activist should not get invloved in. This makes dictators 
happy while we work like doves of peace.

Yes Mr. Max, we syrians suffer daily from patronization over our 
advocacy as when we say Bashar Al Assad is killing us, our “supporters” 
rephrase to “ Syrians are being killed, Syrians were attacked, Syrians 
are starved”. The perpetrators are passive in that discourse.
Another example that comes to mind. We say:

“We want the shelling to stop so we can move on with our struggle for 
democracy”. Becomes “Syrians want the war to end so they can go back to
peace.”

Our asks are trimmed or toned so we don't disrupt anyone with such an 
ugly form of patronization. This what has forced us to see the need to 
define advocacy. Is it teaching Syrians what they should want while they 
face death everyday? Or conveying Syrian messages and voices to the world?

I will not even bother to comment on the White Helmets accusation. They 
have enough of the hallelujah of Syrian women every time they reach an 
airstrike site rushing to save people. In addition to cheers from 
children that they have saved and those are even more honoring than 
Nobel peace prizes even if I really hope they get it. We are just happy 
and proud as the White Helmets are from us.

Ah wait who are we? We are invisible in your article at the end. So no 
worries.




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