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June 5 and Qusayr

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الإثنين، ١٠ حزيران ٢٠١٣ (١٠:١٧ - بتوقيت غرينتش)
الإثنين، ١٠ حزيران ٢٠١٣ (١٠:١٩ - بتوقيت غرينتش) Hazem Saghieh

The press, along with many social media commentators, could not resist pointing to the symbolism of June 5, the same day the Syrian town of Qusayr fell into the hands of the Syrian army backed by Hezbollah. Some of those went further, and wondered whether June 5, 2013, that is, the occupation of Qusayr, was the answer to June 5, 1967, the day Israel occupied the Golan Heights in Syria when the late Syrian President Hafez al-Assad was the defense minister.

In truth, linking the two events together is tempting both in the negative and positive senses. Negative – because that easy criticism of the Syrian regime, that it is doing what it is doing in Qusayr and elsewhere because it did not liberate the Golan and will not do so, is not true. This is because if we go along with that hypothesis and say that the regime has hypothetically liberated the Golan, or made actual preparations to liberate it, then it would be possible to expect much more oppression from that regime than what we already saw.

To be sure, the regime that is based on oppression when it is defeated, will see its oppressive brutality grow exponentially if it triumphs or prepares to triumph. The bullying of the Syrians that took place after the so-called victory of the October 1973 war, which turned Hafez al-Assad into the object of worship, is but further proof of this.

The issue then, is not about the liberation of the Golan or not, but in the nature of the regime which uses that liberation as a precious pretext. Here, we get to the positive aspect of the concomitance between the two events in question.

It has become clear to the whole world, except those who buy into the delusions of the pro-resistance camp, that the liberation of the Golan, and by extension Palestine, is more like a system of beliefs, behaviors, and symbols that justify a certain way of ruling Qusayr or ‘liberating’ it, when ruling it becomes impossible. For without idolizing the ‘big liberation,’ the ‘smaller liberation’ remains with weak legitimacy and little justification.

If we accept this equation and follow the logical results that arise from it, we may conclude that the only fruit of the "Arab liberation movement" is oppressing the Arab peoples through a mirrored example of "liberation" in reality. When the promised liberation is not possible and undesirable, which indeed is so, what becomes required is to turn it into a lofty privilege, verbally and emotionally, for its proponents.

In this sense, it is not an exaggeration to say that “non-liberation” became the symbolic capital which in other countries is achieved by actual liberation. On the basis of this “non-liberation,” monuments of false meanings are built, and webs of apparatuses are created to confiscate the freedoms and rights of citizens. This is unparalleled deception that renders rewards for dismal failures into a noble national mission.

Herein lies one of the differences between an oppressive regime like Stalin’s, which leaned on a brilliant victory in the Second World War, and an oppressive regime like Assad’s, which leans on resounding defeat that it seeks to portray as a historic victory. In the first case, the tragedy is pure and not mired by deception. The second case, meanwhile, is a combination of tragedy, comedy and deception.

In addition to all the disasters that result from such an approach, there is a considerable amount of insults to people’s intelligence, something that requires a response out of self-respect. And the only convincing response cannot be less than full severance from the system of liberation lies.

If the actual stance of the regime is that it wants nothing other than to rule Qusayr, then the position in response must be this: And we want nothing other than to liberate Qusayr from your control, whether you fight Israel or not.

Other than that, the rest is all lies meant to deceive us: Did Hezbollah not tell us a thousand times that its weapons were not for internal use? We have now discovered that they are not only for internal use in Lebanon, but also for internal use in Syria!

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