By Bashar “Ben” Jarrar, Special Contributor to the SDT
The views of the author do not necessarily reflect the views of the Syrian Democratic Times.
As the war on terror is entering its last phase in Syria, peace is within reach if the same enduring spirit is present. What better chance for all concerned parties to work hand in hand toward Syria’s resurrection?
No doubt there are patriotic Syrians who believed in the ruling party Al-Ba’ath (meaning “resurrection” in Arabic). Falling too short from achieving its two main goals, the resurrection of Arabs and the unity of its states, the only two Ba’athist states (Syria and Iraq under Bakr and Saddam) had ironically been partially occupied by ISIS, the notorious terrorist gang that had claimed to achieve its one mission, the resurrection of the territorial “Khilafat.”
Who would imagine that the crushed Moslem Brotherhood in the early eighties in Syria would “resurrect” in a more brutal form decades later as Al-Nusra? The cost of repression, terror, and counter terror is far from affordable to all: the regime, terrorist groups, and so-called “moderate” militants and their sponsors. No one can afford this depletion to reach the real assets of the players.
The good news, in my view, is that we are embarking upon two major last rounds in office for the main two players in Syria: President Donald Trump and President Vladimir Putin. While Trump cannot stay in power after 2024 for constitutional reasons, Putin seems to be arranging for a sort of constitutional amendment or popular mandate to keep checks over those who will be taking office after his previous posts as a president and as a prime minister.
Both presidents are interested in leaving a legacy that can solidify their doctrines in foreign policy. The shared concerns are: 1) Defeating terror in its bedrock before they have to chase it in caves and neighborhoods; 2) Defending Israel’s existence and security; 3) Agreeing on the unity of Syria as a state and as a nation, and finally; 4) Abandoning the regime change approach. Assad The Son is staying in power obviously as long as the regime changes its behavior, similar to Trump’s policy with Iran. Would Putin tame Assad or convince him to cooperate? I believe with all confidence, absolutely!
It is a golden opportunity that a victorious Assad will be more open to change and, more importantly, more willing to act on real sustainable change. Signs are encouraging so far in dealing with three major fronts: 1) liberating Idlib from terror; 2) containing the Turkish incursion, and 3) responding positively to the Syrian Democratic Council’s offer of peace, reconciliation, and cooperation through the Russian mediating team at Hmaimeem Base.
If both parties are sincere, there is one way to move forward. Syriana (“Our Syria” in Arabic) is the only answer. The real resurrection (Ba’ath) is the rebirth of the ancient Syria with today’s modern tools. This is a country of many ethnicities, a perfect model for the future prosperous Middle East. For centuries, conquerors and oppressors did not deliver on peace and prosperity. We are left with one alternative, and it’s a package that you cannot open and pick and choose. The package is peace, democracy, and good governance. Would this triad need a State to be adopted or realized? The answer is a definite no. Just compare the performance of the Palestinian National Authority and the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC).
I believe that the exemplary role that the SDC played in fighting terror on one hand and building basic blocks of that triad on the other hand will gain more credibility as they negotiate peace deal with Damascus.
Let the whole world watch and see how a secular, democratic, inclusive Syriana can be the corner stone in reshaping the whole Middle East and North Africa region. Moreover, this anticipated reconciliation can pave the way to similar peace deals in Iraq, Turkey, Lebanon, Libya, and The Sudan, and who knows, maybe between the Palestinians and The Israelis! This really will be The Mega Deal of The Century!
Bashar Jarrar is a Political Analyst and Media Consultant, hosted regularly on dozen Arab and International Networks. He is an op-ed writer to several publications, mainly CNN Arabic. He is an International Speaker with the Public Diplomacy Program – Department of State. He has 33 Years experience in News Broadcasting, Production, Gathering and Managing. He holds an MA in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution from UK (Chevening Scholarship). He is a Pro-Trump Conservative Republican, and he has a special interest in fighting terror and advancing interfaith dialogue and political and civic freedoms.