Posted April 4, 2014
by Jerry Alatalo
Before getting into any discussion on the interview of Syrian former Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil by Oksana Boyko and “Worlds Apart”, a few thoughts. The death toll from the Syrian humanitarian catastrophe is over 140,000. When one human being murders another human being, the murderer will face a life sentence in prison. There are powerful people who are responsible for the deaths in Syria. Powerful people who make the decisions and take the actions which result in innocent people getting killed may not pull the triggers that direct the bullets toward their victims, but they are guilty of murder.
The time has long since passed when powerful people become prosecuted for war crimes – mass murder.
After listening to this interview Qadri Jamil could be described as a leader of the sane Syrian opposition. His words are straight-forward and without pretense, while he comes across as a Syrian who wants to create better conditions for his fellow Syrians. He frankly admits that being in politics places one in line for criticism, all part of the package. He tells Ms. Boyko that solutions to domestic problems in Syria cannot be found without putting an end to foreign interference. That seems worth repeating.
Solutions for Syria cannot be found without an end to foreign interference.
This foreign interference has now taken the form of terrorism and religious fanaticism. It is the “new fascism” that is happening not only in Syria but the entire Middle East region. Mr. Jamil points out that if fascism had not succeeded in 1936 Spain, World War II would never have happened. The terrorists streaming into Syria from 80 external nations are that “new fascism”; it’s not only the atrocities they commit such as beheadings, cutting the hearts out of victims and eating them before video cameras etc., but more important is the fact they are representing the interests of global capital.
Mr. Jamil asks Ms. Boyko if she ever thought about where the enormous sums of money supporting mercenaries are coming from. He shares his analogy of western forces in the 1930’s who backed Nazism, the same is happening now with this new fascism. He asks how the west can wage war on men in Afghanistan and then support those same men in Syria. He says, “isn’t that a bit ironic?” After 3 years of war has shown nobody can win with hard military power, the aim should be a political settlement.
He believes Bashar al Assad’s resignation can in no way be a precondition for peace talks, because it would block any possible dialogue. “Let’s sit at the negotiating table where we can discuss compromise and reach a consensus”. Conditions must be created to allow the Syrians to speak their minds and exercise their right for self-determination. He feels any talk of Assad’s resigning is not important, but that fighting needs to stop until the election(s) and the conditions are created for elections to be held. Then the Syrians will decide.
Ms. Boyko asks what has to take place in the world so that Assad won’t have to feel like he’s Syria’s last hope.
Mr. Jamil responded, “Before we talk of such issues, we need to put a stop to foreign intervention in Syria’s affairs, the indirect interference with people, money, and weapons.” After that Syrians will be able to come together and solve the problems themselves – the Syrian issue is much larger than Bashar al-Assad. It is a complex problem with economic, social, and political dimensions. “Blaming one person for the Syrian situation is oversimplifying.”
Ms. Boyko: What is your vision of Syria’s future if Assad were to go?
“We’ve studied the experiences of other countries and we’ve learned certain lessons. Libya, Egypt, Tunisia and others. This is why we’re going to go down our own path – a different path. We’ll find a new way out of the crisis and a new way afterward; we’ll create this model… What makes it different is true democracy and social justice meaning redistribution of wealth, which is the cornerstone of any nation. Those countries couldn’t solve those problems, so their people couldn’t feel any difference between their past and the new present.”
The reason the Geneva II meetings failed, according to Mr. Jamil, was “It didn’t work out because I didn’t have the support of the entire range of opposition forces. If the entire opposition supported our agenda, I think we would have been able to move forward. We will (eventually) have a compromise, balanced-power government because there is no other way out of the situation. Geneva II failed because of the things we warned about earlier. Our party has worked 40 years to fight against the idea of having a ruling party at the helm of power. But now, some western force wants to put yet another party in charge of us. The Syrian opposition is pluralistic, we need to create a fully representative delegation that would represent the entire range of the opposition, not just a small part.”
Ms. Boyko: Who should do that?
“The United Nations, with the help of Russian and American sponsors.”
The Syrian people want to compromise and end the war, but will external powers allow it?
“This is exactly what the Geneva II conference was trying to achieve, to put an end to all external intervention, to put an end to violence in the country, and to kick-start the political process. In other words, help[ us stop the foreign intervention and we promise to start the political process based on an agreed set of principles, which will change Syria and make it a modern and democratic state.”
“Some were completely opposed to the conference to begin with and those same parties are trying to derail it. There are a lot of forces that don’t want the Syrian crisis to be resolved. But there are also powerful forces seeking a peaceful settlement. The situation is comparable to what happened in Spain in 1936; the outcome of the struggle will determine the future of the region and, to some extent, even the future of the world.”
How do you see the role of the Saudis in general?
“I see it as negative. Saudi Arabia now realizes that there is no military solution to the crisis, and that it can have a backlash later…”
Geopolitics is a dirty business…
“Ideologies are always a coverup for financial interests, this is where you should be looking for an underlying explanation of Saudi Arabia’s role in the region. Speaking of ideology, things have become so complicated that even the Saudi leadership should be concerned about possible developments in the region – I’ve already mentioned that this could backfire.”
“The fact that an overwhelming majority of Syrians want to see peaceful resolution of the crisis. Those who are trying to stir up tensions have no idea what the Syrian spirit and character are like. They (stirring up tensions) are now isolated, and if it wasn’t for the foreign support, they would be worthless.”
(Thank you to WorldsApaRT at YouTube)