‘I DO NOT think that the West has relinquished its colonial mentality,’ Syrian president Assad said in a recent interview, while the US and their Arab and western allies rained bombs down on Iraq and Syria.
Assad compares the latest imperialist war where Arab nations are united against Syria with the 1973 Arab-Israeli war in which the Arab nations were united against Zionism and imperialism, exposing the current treachery of in particular Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
Assad said: ‘A lot of things have changed during the last 40 years, of course with the change of generations and conditions.
‘However, if we are to hold a quick, brief comparison between this and that stage, between the generations of that time and what the generations of this time are experiencing, we can say that 40 years ago, the Arab countries were unified – in all sectors and aspects, on the media, cultural, doctrinal, moral, political, and military levels – against one enemy; namely, the Zionist enemy.
‘Today, the Arab countries are united, but against Syria. We, therefore, are talking about two completely contradictory things.
‘At that time, the Syrian and Egyptian armies were fighting one battle against one enemy, that is, the Israeli enemy.
‘By coincidence, in these past few weeks the two armies are also fighting a battle against one enemy, but this time it is not the Israeli enemy.
‘The enemy fighting the Syrian and Egyptian armies is an Arab, Muslim enemy.’
When asked: ‘What is the actual role of the West in this political solution?’
Assad replied: ‘If the West wants to reach a solution, it can help in creating it. But this should start with ending support for the terrorist groups in Syria, whether those originating in Syria or those that regularly come from outside Syria.
‘Supplying them with weapons and providing them with moral, political, media, and financial support must come to an end. Of course, it is not necessarily this West that is carrying out these acts, but rather its tools in the region, chiefly Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
‘Only when a political solution is based on this idea can we say that a quick solution to the crisis in Syria exists.’
When asked about the role that Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey play in the war against Syria, Assad said: ‘As is known, these countries are subordinate to the US agenda.
‘If you want to know where they are heading, you should look at the US policy.
‘They are going in the same direction – this is self-evident – especially Saudi Arabia and Turkey, now that Qatar has given up its role in favour of Saudi Arabia.
‘Therefore, if we want to know this issue based on US policies, we should ask ourselves: Is America today honest about the Russian-US accord? Or is it playing the time game? Or does it have a hidden agenda?
‘Judging by experience, the US side is not trustworthy.
‘The closest allies of America cannot offer guarantees for anything it announces. For the United States is not historically known to have abided by everything it says. It can say one thing in the morning and do the opposite in the evening.
‘Therefore, I believe that the United States is not honest about the accord with Russia, and this accord has thus far not had, at least, an impact on the performance of these countries.
‘Saudi Arabia continues to send terrorists and support them with money and weapons, and Turkey continues to provide them with logistic support and facilitate their movement and entry into Syria.’
It is 41 years since the 1973 Arab-Israeli war which Assad refers to as the ‘October War’ in which the Zionists were defeated and driven out of the Sinai and Syria.
Assad said: ‘It is the Syrian people who made the October War thanks to their steadfastness and support for the armed forces.
‘These people go back thousands of years ago, and they have experienced different natural disasters, wars, massacres, and genocides. Nevertheless, they remained steadfast and strong, and Syria, especially Damascus and Aleppo, remained intact throughout history at a time when other civilisations, cities, and capitals in our region disappeared.
‘This is not the first crisis, and it might not be the last in the foreseeable future and to the future generations. As serious as it might be, this crisis should not frighten us or make us feel that we are losing hope.
”The mistake is not to learn lessons from this crisis so we can be stronger in future crises, if we assume that this is a crisis-ridden region and crises will always come to us, in different forms. Therefore, we should benefit from each crisis to be stronger in the face of the coming crisis.
‘As I just said, it was these people who supported the armed forces, and it is these forces – if we go back to the history of Syria since the independence – that made the history of Syria with all its details, whether the military or political events, chiefly the unity with Egypt.
‘This unity was primarily the creation of the armed forces, when a military delegation went to Egypt and met Abd-al-Nasir. It is these forces that confronted the Muslim Brotherhood, that contributed to unifying Lebanon, and that fought the October War of liberation.
‘These forces continue to make the history of Syria. Today, the Syrian people look at these armed forces in the same way they have looked at them throughout their history after the independence.
‘It is a look of hope that they will manage to defeat the terrorists and restore security and safety to Syria.
‘We fully trust our history. We have deep faith in God, the homeland, and this history. We strongly believe that we will achieve victory thanks to the steadfastness and awareness of the people and thanks to the valour of our armed forces.
‘I conclude my talk by addressing a message to you in the newspaper Tishrin, since we are having this interview on this occasion.
‘You carry the name of this occasion, which the Syrians hold precious in their hearts. When we talk today about a war Syria is fighting, this does not mean that the war is only being fought by the military personnel, but also by every Syrian citizen, each from his position.
‘When a teacher goes to his school, he is fighting. When a student goes to school and his family sends him to school, this is also part of the war and of the defence of Syria.
‘When a worker, an employee, and every business owner go to work, this is also part of the battle. This is what you are doing as media people, and you are in the first line, because you were threatened from the beginning that you would pay the price for your patriotic stands.
‘I hope you will continue to carry this message so you can express the essence of the October War – represented by the steadfastness of the people, the valour and power of the army, and the will for victory.’
• Meanwhile, printed in the Turkish newspaper ‘Today’s Zaman’ is an editorial by Bulent Kenes entitled: ‘A Nation Fast Asleep Amid War Cries’.
In his editorial he writes of the Turkish government ‘dragging the country towards a disaster from which the country will not be able to recover for many years to come’.
It states: ‘The war is right next door to our country, and we can clearly hear the war cries.
‘One would need to be totally blind and deaf in order not to hear the war cries and alarm bells and not to be horrified by the potential disasters.
The editorial concludes: ‘The ruling mentality has totally abandoned the policy of reinforcing the country and making it prosper as a whole and, instead, set on monopolising all the power in the country with an urge for an egocentric concentration of power.
‘As you know, Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc previously stated that he did not know of any Cabinet decision regarding Kimse Yok Mu (aid and humanitarian relief charity), but it soon became clear that he had personally undersigned the decision. However, Arinc opted to act in a hard-boiled manner in the face of this apparent contradiction.
‘On September 30, Arinc publicly lied on a live broadcast programme, saying, “I didn’t hear about such a decision,” but when his lie became obvious, he opted for a scandalous self-defence to cover up his lie: “As I undersigned the decision about Kimse Yok Mu, I was in no position to ask, “What’s happening? Why is this happening? Why on earth is this happening?” for hours … Of course, we read the beginning of the decision, but we didn’t think about it in depth … I don’t care about Kimse Yok Mu, but you should …”
‘As you can see, even Cabinet members fail to read the texts bearing their signatures, and the government’s deputies in Parliament automatically approve government-introduced bills without questioning; and the government is taking the entire country to war.
‘The ruling party – which lost its secrets to the German, UK and US secret services – is dragging the country towards a disaster from which the country will not be able to recover for many years to come.
‘Our government officials are grabbing with four hands any anti-Assad group, just because they seek to make Assad go at any price. But the ties of our government officials with radical organisations are best known to themselves and those who closely monitor them. These secrets, unknown to us, but known to both sides, and which we can guess at with pretty good accuracy, have virtually taken Turkey hostage.
‘Add empty courage to this enforced slavery and ambition-induced blindness, and you can see how Turkey is running towards a fiasco.
‘This ambition-induced blindness is exactly the same lack of foresight that reduced Turkey’s influence in Palestine, Libya, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, the Balkans, Europe and elsewhere and made the country suffer defeats, big and small.
‘This lot of incompetent but ambitious officials is dreaming of great power based on the blood of Turkish soldiers who will be killed as a result of their decisions, but history teaches us that they will eventually be held responsible for their acts.’