The Real Heresy that is Freedom!

If Khaddam can bring enough pressure on the Assad regime to break it, this will not constitute a move towards democracy in itself. But such a development will have broken the status quo, the stalemate that has been plaguing us for years. A popular uprising against Khaddam and his new government might easier to organize in such conditions, considering that his claim to legitimacy will be even less than that of Bashar. 


For, in the final analysis, ours remains a struggle for freedom, not for the change in the name of the tyrant or in the nature of the tyranny. As such, this is going to be a long struggle, because we will be fighting to learn for ourselves what the meaning of freedom really is, and all along the way, we will have to pay the prices of this learning. We might be born with the inherent and inalienable right to be free, but freedom is seldom granted and it does not come cheap.

So, to summarize, if a move by Khaddam will serve to weaken this regime, or break it, this will be a good thing, but this will only represent a small opening of a window of opportunity through which we need to slip, if not barge in.

Meanwhile, the internal opposition in Syria needs to prepare itself for all eventualities. It should not be overly concerned with might or might not happen with Khaddam. The street needs to be politicized in all cases. It needs to begin to agitate for freedom, regardless of what particular tyrant is in charge.

The call for a national work stoppage on February 1st as a sign of protest against the endemic government corruption is meant as a tactic that can get people and opposition groups on the same side fighting for a cause that concerns one and all. Since, this stand does not constitute a direct and overt challenge to regime’s legitimacy and does not require any direct act of confrontation with it, it has the potential of well-publicized to appeal to a certain critical segment of the population. People need to develop a habit for civic action, and there is no better time for it than now.

Still, by issuing such a call, I am more likely going to demonstrate to one and all my complete irrelevance within the Syrian civil society scene, as my call is not likely to be heeded. Or is it the irrelevance of the various civil society organizations and opposition movements themselves that will be shown here?

Be that as it may, I stand by my call, of course, and I will continue to lobby for it while keeping my fingers crossed. Not for me, mind you, I can easily survive with a bruised ego, I have been doing that all my life, but for the Syrian people, yes the Syrian people, no matter how “tacky” this might sound these days. They simply need to wake up, before it’s too late.

11 thoughts on “The Real Heresy that is Freedom!

  1. The Assad family has runned Syria like a mafia. We all know that mafias need stability because stability is good for business. Instability which can lead to unwanted attention such as cops doing around the clock patrols or knocking on doors and and asking too many questions is bad for business. Khaddam is part of the Papa Assad’s old mafia that had good if not then at least lukewarm relations with DC, Paris, and Riyadh and held heavy sway or Lebanon. The “experienced” gangsters have just about had it with Baby Assad’s inexperience and see him as bad for business by extending Lahoud’s term, killing Hariri and other promient Lebanese, aiding terrorist in Iraq, and allying with Ahmadinejad of Iran. Baby Assad’s actions have brought unwanted attention to a mafia type regime that has always operated with keeping stability in mind and therefore Baby Assad is being pushed out by his father’s gang who once again crave stability because it is good for business.

  2. As Ammar has stated numerous times ,on this blog, one does not expect realistically a society to move overnight from serfdom to democracy and total freedom. What is important is the direction of change. I submit that conditions cannot become much worse than what they currently are if a change in leadership occurs. Periodically we do encounter a disaffected politician who is sincere in accomplishing some meaningful reform. Short of a more effectivr alternative then logic suggests that we hitch our wagons to that new leader and watch his every move like a hawk.A reformed Ba’ath is far away from being the answer but it might as well be the only vehicle to start the journey.

  3. To some degree you are right Ghassan. Even though Khaddam was a entrenched Baathist, even he know see that with the way things are shaping up in the ME, Syria has to reform somewhat if not all the way. The fact that he of all people want reform must indicate how much of a faliure Assad the son has been. I feel that Khaddam in his heart sees that Syria hasn’t just fallen to the bottom of the barrel but its fallen right through it and needs to be picked back up to a respectable status in the world.

  4. This is exactly what I think. A lot of people have been denouncing the so-called conversion of Khaddam to democracy. This is a short-sighted vision. The point is that Khaddam can be used as a tool to break the current regime and initiate real changes. Immobilism and statu quo is the real problem.

  5. Ammar: I recall having read earlier today ( dont ask where!!!!) that Khaddam has joined YOU in calling on the Syrian opposition to go to the streets. If that is correct then we might be lucky to have been “witnesses to creation”!!!

  6. Khaddam’s recent statements were made to various channels, including BBC, AP and Al-Sharq al-Awsat. I feel some of his advisors have been reading my blog. I don’t think the street is going to listen to either of us. But it is good to see the pressures mounting. Let’s the dogs fight it out amongst themselves and reveal their real nature, and hopefully the people will get disgusted with the whole lit, and decide that despite all their fears about change, that change is now a must. Victor makes some excellent points as well. This is a Saudi-French show now more than it is an American one. But while, it unfolds, the smart ones will the ones who are working to quietly to create a presence for themselves on the grounds.

  7. Actually I was hoping for the more enlightened disciples of al-Kawakibi et al. But granted there are so very few of tem around these days.

  8. One has to wonder, do you really beleive that Tehran will allow its only ally in the region to just fall with somewhat of a fight to preserve the Assad regime?

  9. Tehran will do its best to shore up this regime, and once it falls it will do its best to support whatever disgruntled elements out there.

  10. Pardon the intrusion, but I don’t think Tehran is going to be assisting anyone. In a short time it will be they, that are seeking assistance, from whom ever will give it.I would think Syria would at that point forget about any alliance or tready with Iran.It would be the most wise thing to do.Papa RayWest TexasUSA

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