June 13, 2018
Assad stays in power because he has popular support
We have constantly heard from the West “Assad must go! Assad must go!”, and yet he remains. The Western narrative about Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad literally contradicts itself if you think about it:
There is a brutal dictator who is killing his own people, and the whole world is against him save for a few countries, and his people totally hate him because he is killing them, yet his army is the largest in the nation and they are winning the war…somehow. And despite the world and his people being allegedly against him, he remains in power…despite the odds.
That is the western narrative. The simple reality is, no one could survive, let alone remain in power against such odds, without the support of the people. And Assad has that support, the support of Syria and her people.
In a video (go to the source to watch the video)., President Assad explains in his own words, why that is, how he remains in power, and talks briefly about Russia’s role. It is very interesting hearing him break down the western narrative levied against him and the Syrian people in his own calm, collected, and articulate words.
Assad explains in the video, how if the western narrative about him were true, if he was really despised by his entire people, he simply could not remain in power. While there can exist evil dictators in the world, there must always be some form of popular support for almost anyone to remain in power against any form of resistance for a prolonged period of time.
The West loves to create Black and White juvenile fantasy narratives, there are “The Good Guys” (NATO, Israel, and friends), and the Bad Guys (anyone who doesn’t worship “Western Democracy and Values”). All the good guys are always good, even if in reality they’re brutal dictators, and all the bad guys are always evil, even if they have the support of their people.
These narratives are absolutely necessary for invaders to justify their military interventionism. They can’t come right out and say: “We’re invading this country because they won’t obey us.”, so instead, they must invent a reason to invade which doesn’t make them look like imperialist conquerors.
Thus, they label someone an evil dictator, and all of the sudden, they may now begin a “carpet bombing for world peace” campaign. But the most important aspect of labeling someone an evil dictator is to say they do not have the support if their own people.
This isn’t the Middle Ages, it’s no longer socially acceptable to run around conquering countries because you don’t like the leaders…or rather…conqourers aren’t so honest about their true intentions anymore, as they were in ages past, and they must now justify their actions.
It’s a lot easier to justify regime change if you claim everyone hates the regime…but think…honestly think…is it really possible for a regime to exist which is truly hated (to the level the West implies Assad is hated) by even 80% of the country?
The reality is…no…to remain in power for so long, some form of popular support is a must. The support can come from various factors, fear of the unknown, a “lesser of two evils”, ignorance or apathy for politics, nationalism, genuine love, but all governments need public support.
Even if their excuse is that Assad stays in power via the army – the army is still made up of normal human beings with hearts, and souls, and family members that they love. The army is not made of emotionless robots, but the army itself is made up of the people, and the Syrian Army is a diverse group of Syrian Citizens ranging from Sunni Muslims, to Christians, and even the occasional Syrian Jew.
When a person joins the army, they don’t magically cease to be a member of the people. While rule through fear is possible…fear of what? Death? People are already dying in Syria…there is a war waging. You can’t threaten the entire country and population with death, such methods only work against a people with an implied threat…once the actual fighting starts, there is no more implied threat.
The other narrative the West uses, is that Russia is the only thing keeping Assad in power. While that has helped save Syria, that is not the only reason Assad is in power. In the video, he pointed out how the Shah of Iran had the total support of the US, but he still fell when the people turned against him. Would the US imply that the support of Russia is stronger than the support of the US? The Shah fell because he lost the support of the people.
When the US invaded Vietnam, they fought for years in a complex war, they were engaged in a scale far greater than Russia was in Syria, and yet they still failed. Why? Because they did not have the support of the Vietnamese people.
The truth is, there are very few nations in the world, if any, where there is not some form of popular support, at least enough to prevent a violent revolution. And this is not meant to imply that there are no brutal leaders in the world, nor that popular support guarantees a leader or policy is good, merely that these issues are more complicated than it seems.
The topic of whether or not “the people” can be wrong, is altogether another one, which can shake the foundations of faith in democracy. Hitler’s Nazi Germany is an example of a situation in which…while yes, there was oppressed opposition, however, there still was a frighteningly large amount of public support, and the masses chose an evil future for themselves.
Considering how that happened is a sobering event, which requires inward contemplation about human nature. Nazi Germany wasn’t created by Satan magically, the Devil is not known for his creativity; it was humans which permitted that to happen, and “civilized Europe” is letting it happen again in Ukraine.
It shows us that indeed, humans can make evil decisions which are not the act of evil dictators alone, which we dehumanize, but regular people can simply give their passive support to destructive regimes like Nazi Germany. All it takes for evil to succeed is for regular people to say “Моя хата з краю” (it’s none of my business).
This too is possible, which is why I described this Black and White view of the world as a juvenile fantasy narrative. Indeed, there is true Good, and true Evil, I do not believe in moral relativism, but humans tend to fall anywhere in between on that scale, and its shocking how much evil can come from the most simple of sources. We should not be so quick to pass judgments on people, moreover, powers like NATO should not run around the world accusing others of war crimes when they commit and tolerate them at will.
Sometimes Good people can do bad things, which doesn’t make them as a whole evil, and sometimes evil people can do good things, which does not totally justify them.
Dostoyevsky, in fact, said, that the majority of evil people are in fact far more naive than we realize.
It would be naive to assume the West can simply step into a conflict in an ancient country with a little regime change, and all will be well.
Russian people experienced this first hand, when a foreign ideology was imported into the Motherland, and the divinely anointed Russian Czar was murdered by evil men, bringing the curse of regicide, and a sea of blood upon long-suffering Russia.
The word Bolshevik even comes from the word “majority”, and while it can not be said that the majority of Russians support the Bolsheviks, they still seized power and ruled Russia none the less. It was also during the Soviet era, when the people rose together and saved the world from Nazism, and slowly, the Russian Faith bloomed again, so it’s hard to look at these events in human history with the simplistic frame the West applies to everything.
It is this simplistic style of framing the West uses which is designed to gain that all to precious public support from otherwise ignorant and apathetic citizens.
While Americans may not understand too well the cultures of the world in their complexity, the reality is, these situations are truly ancient issues which must be solved by the people living in the country in question, with the possible help of close neighbors – like Russia.
Why does Assad remain in power? Simple, because its the choice of the people, and honestly, unless you are a Syrian citizen, that is all you need to know. The internal politics of Syria remain an issue for the Syrian people, not for western foreigners to judge what will be a good future path for them.
Ultimately, only the Syrian people can truly create a lasting future for Syria, because whatever the future in Syria will be, and whatever or whoever will go, come, or stay, they must live with that future.
Do to the source to see pictures of Syria and Assad