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Can the Syrian regime succeed this time too?   

Arab News - 03 May, 2012
Author: Abdul Rahman Al-Rashid

It continues to indulge in propaganda campaigns and crimes against people with no fear of retribution

The Syrian government is currently launching a propaganda campaign to foil the mission of the UN international monitors who came to Syria to investigate the massacres being committed by the regime all over the country. No sooner had the monitors started the work than a series of explosions ripped Damascus and Idlib. The government was quick to make the revolutionists responsible for these explosions so as to convince the outside world that it is the victim of terrorist groups.

During the past decades, many people would easily bite the bait and be convinced by such stories, but now the regime has reached the end of the rope of its lies. The Syrian regime has a long history and rich experiments in managing the battles mainly by two factors: Frightening and misleading. For about 40 years, the regime has been practicing this method in the region against hostile Lebanese, Jordanians, Iraqis, Palestinians and Egyptians. What the regime is doing against the Syrian opposition now is just a repetition of the exercise. The regime is fighting its last and longest battle against the opposition in Lebanon, which it suppressed for about 40 years by a mixture of its military might and blatant lies.

About seven years back, the Syrian authorities were not content with the occupation of Lebanon only but decided to impose its complete hegemony and liquidate its opponents. For this purpose, it launched a campaign of lies against its opponents to defame and brand them as traitors. Then it began liquidating them one after another and continued doing this for more than two years.

The regime started its liquidation campaign with an assassination bid on Marwan Hamadah, a former Lebanese minister. When late Prime Minister Rafik Hariri challenged the nefarious Syrian design to rule Lebanon, the regime plotted his assassination and claimed that it was Israel that was behind the crime. Then it murdered two prominent Lebanese intellectuals, Sameer Qasir and Jubran Tuwaini for silencing the rest. The regime also tried to kill the famous Lebanese TV personality Mai Shidyaq. She survived after losing a hand and a leg.

The Syrian regime killed 22 Lebanese Parliament members and politicians and would not hesitate to liquidate anyone of its critics, whether Muslims or Christians.

When the UN decided to form a committee to investigate all these killings, the Syrian regime resorted to threatening the UN investigators themselves. It also killed one of Lebanon’s most famous security personalities after he was able to gather some evidence incriminating the Syrian regime.

Now, the same Syrian film, which nobody believes, is being shown again. The regime is faking scenes of explosions for which it blames the opposition in order to mislead the international community. It has done this before and it is doing it now.

The Syrian regime ridiculed a large segment of the Arabs, who did not only believe its slogans and excuses but rose up to the level of heroes and saviors. Late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was well aware of the regime’s propaganda campaigns. He always complained about the machinations of the region. He believed that the Syrian regime was more of a threat to him than his Israeli enemies. Because of the vicious Syrian propaganda, nobody believed Arafat. Many Arab leaders opposed Arafat for this.

There is no way we will forget what the Syrian regime did during the Arab Summit of 2002 in Beirut. The then Syrian President hinted to his puppet, President Lahoud of Lebanon, to prevent Arafat from delivering his speech. Israel had prevented the Palestinian leader from traveling to Lebanon to attend the summit and kept him a hostage in his own home in Ramallah.

Arafat stood in front of the cameras for three hours waiting to deliver his speech, but the Syrians were adamant in their position not to allow Arafat to address the summit. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates threatened to reduce their representation in the summit if Arafat was not allowed to address it through a televised speech from where he was. The Palestinian delegation withdrew in protest. The Syrians were then forced to allow Arafat to speak after humiliating him in public.

The pretext used by the Syrian regime for not allowing Arafat to deliver his speech was that they had fears that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon might intersect the TV message. This was, by all means, a lame excuse.

Regretfully, the Syrian regime and Hezbollah were able to brainwash millions of Arabs and for long years.

The regime believes it can continue ruling with the same old patterns, hoping at the same time not to be held accountable for its crimes, as has been the case for more than 40 years.
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