“There is no Opposition in Regime Areas”… The Opposition is Only That One We Name for You!
Reem Issa Reem Issa

“There is no Opposition in Regime Areas”… The Opposition is Only That One We Name for You!

In many past articles we have discussed the saying the People’s Will Party has adopted since nearly 2005 (at the time the party was the National Committee for the Unity of the Syrian Communists), that about illusory dualisms. Some of the clearer examples of that are: opponent v. loyalist, secular v. religious, in addition to sectarian, national, and other dualities.

Extremists from the Syrian sides use these illusory dualities to work on dividing the Syrian people vertically, turning them into warring and conflicting “groups”, even portraying the conflict among them as an “existential conflict”.

One of the forms of dividing the plundered Syrians into illusory ranks does not stop at dividing them between “loyalists” and “opponents”, but also within the opposition itself. Since the beginning, certain sides insisted on creating a new type of illusory divisions based on the saying: “Since the regime is repressive, there can be no opposition within the regime-controlled areas. The opposition is only that one outside Syria”.

The Amount of Insults and the Degree of “Opposition”

As soon as the popular movement started in spring 2011, the intensive media coverage, especially that by Gulf and Western media in general in addition to local ones, turned into one of the most important tools in reshaping (and sabotaging) the movement itself, and in formulating ideas and general trends.

From that moment on, the spotlight focused on the dichotomy of “tyranny v. freedom”, and the entire issue was condensed within this dichotomy, in order to cover up the socioeconomic basis of the movement, and to turn it into a tool that would be employed to redistribute the plundering among the plunderers while continue plundering those who are plundered.

However, more specifically, the direct use of the duality (tyranny v. freedom) was in what said hereinabove, which is that there is no possibility of opposition in the regime areas, and if it exists, it is the regime’s creation. But, what how true is this and why has it been advertised this way?

As an initial matter, one truth should be established and that is the fact that actual opposition exists inside the country and abroad, although the foundation of its existence remains inside not abroad. It should also be acknowledged that the fabricated opposition, whether by other countries’ intelligence or the regime’s, also exists inside the country and abroad. The criterion for assessing which is actual opposition and which is fabricated is far from mere slogans and “the amount of insults” being thrown around. Noting, however, that the type using a lot of insults, usually has no content, and covers with the plethora of insults the work it is doing which goes against the interests of people.

Aerially Dropped Opposition

Promoting the notion that there is no opposition inside, and that there is no opposition inside in the first place, was very necessary in the beginning to justify the establishment of “opposition” formations abroad of the type of the “Syrian National Council” – which later, with some embellishments, turned into the Syrian Coalition. The establishment of the Council at the time was widely welcomed by the West and their regional allies, which is natural because its founders are the same one that welcomed it.

Looking at the composition of the National Council at the time, we find that the majority of its main personalities were of the type that had continuously lived outside Syria before 2011 for several consecutive decades… two, three, and even four decades. When someone does not live in a particular country continuously for a period of up to forty years, regardless of the extent to which they have a belonging to that country or their supposed love for it, will necessarily be strange to it and all the details related thereto, especially since we are talking about mere individuals, and not political movements that have actual presence and social significance.

Therefore, it was necessary to justify putting a group of “chronic expatriates” within the front ranks, especially since they generally have in common being Western in their tendencies and thinking.

In order for the picture to become complete, their migration turns into a story about a long stubborn struggle that they started before they even reached the age of eighteen, which is what caused their displacement from the country. This does not mean, of course, that the regime did not cause the displacement and migration of many, but by chance, those who were in the forefront in particular, were among those who frequented Syria from time to time to give lectures and to provide insights into civil society issues, and even to theorize about the regime’s declared transition towards economic liberalism, and the “good” relationship with Jacques Chirac and the West in general.

One of the clear intentions of this type of formations was to facilitate the process of guiding events on the ground by the West, primarily to serve its agendas.

Military Intervention

Saying that it is impossible to have political opposition in the regime-controlled areas is not only necessary to invent a suitable type of “opposition” but is also necessary to justify the request for external military intervention. This was by saying that it is not possible to do anything from the inside and therefore external “help” must be sought, which is exactly what the aerially dropped opposition in the National Council and the subsequent formations to which the Council developed did.

Violence and Military Action

Denying any possibility of political work at home, is not only a call for external military intervention, but is also part of the justification of “the necessity of moving to military action”.

When there is no possibility of political struggle inside, this means that there is no possibility of a peaceful political struggle there, and therefore what is possible is only military action. Military action, in turn, requires arms and funding. In order for arms and funding to come, that necessarily means more external dependence, which means giving a higher priority to foreign agendas at the expense of the national agenda. This has gotten some to a possibly historically unprecedented levels of insolence and agency, like appealing to the US, the West, and NATO. In fact, some of the petty ones reached the point of expressing their gratitude for the strikes carried out by the Zionist entity.

The Regime’s Extremists Also Support these Trends

The extremists within the regime – through violence, repression, and intense propaganda – helped the extremists on the other side in reinforcing the idea that there is no real opposition inside. This was done by fabricating numerous “oppositions”, with varying degrees of ability to “insult” (because this is the criterion for the degree of opposition according to the media), as well as with varying working positions between inside and abroad.

Why all that? Because this type of opposition, which deflects the focus from fundamental issues – socioeconomic and national – and focuses on only a formalistic part of the democratic aspect, is one of the most useful types of opposition for the extremists within the regime. It allows the division of Syrians to be perpetuated on illusory bases and not on the basis of plunderers v. the plundered. The division along illusory basis means that the approximately 20 million plundered Syrians will be divided between millions here and millions there, and therefore will not be able to bring about a radical change in the existing system, nor in the existing “opposition”, but will turn, as we mentioned, into a tool in the hands of the elites fighting to share the plundering and keep those who are plundered still plundered.

Beyond That…

The most dangerous thing is the last point that we reached in our discussion, which goes beyond the issue of classifying the opposition itself, to classifying Syrians. The criminality has reached the minds and hearts of the Syrians, that some have come to justify or accept that Syrians who are under the regime’s control are getting tormented and starved due to sanctions under the pretext of “they deserve that; why did not they revolt?” On the other side, there are some who have reached a point of inhumanity to accept the idea that al-Nusra kills a portion of the Syrians “because they deserve that; they are the ones who brought it”.

Repression Does Not Happen Without Some Acceptance

Formalistic reliance on the idea of repression, violence, and tyranny to classify Syrians once and for all on the basis of the geographical area in which they are located, is to belittle the Syrian people themselves, and is hostile to the Syrians in general because it considers them mere servile subordinates who have no opinion, power, nor will.

Anyone who thinks this way should stop using words like “revolution” and “change”, because their thinking is clearly one of superiority and arrogance towards people. We can see those who think this way, through actual practices in the areas they control, almost literally repeating the practices of the regime they claim to oppose.

In any case, what must be clarified about the issue of repression is that it is not an abstract issue that is subject only to the whims of the rulers, but rather an issue that cannot take place without a required minimum level of social acceptance thereof. That is, the authorities that repress depend in the process of repression on mobilizing with it a portion of the people, regardless of the method of mobilization. However, the main basis for long-term repression is an economic one. Meaning that the ability of any regime to practice severe and prolonged repression is the presence of a broad segment that believes that the regime in question is defending its interests, and subsequently allows it, and even participates in the repression.

When regimes lose the broad economic segments that support the repression, they search for justifications and other pretexts for repression, and benefit in this context from the illusory sectarian, political, national, and tribal, etc. dualities. This is what happened with the extremists in the Syrian regime after losing economic support during the years of economic liberalism starting practically from 1991, which gradually took greater bites out of the gains of the laborers and farmers, then began to devour their flesh, reaching the bone.

The Plundered Must Unite

The West in general, and with it the warlords from all sides, does not want us to see all of this or ever look into it. They want us to remain only at the surface of the issue, and to leave its depth to them as the “elites”, and considering the people are “ignorant” and get moved by merely general emotions and slogans. Things should not be this way and should not continue if they are. The tool for not allowing this to continue is by engaging more in the struggle to unite the ranks of the plundered Syrians regardless of the initial opinions they present, and organizing their ranks for the upcoming big battles, for which the implementation of a comprehensive political solution based on UNSC Resolution 2254 will be just a wide door to enter through, leading to the real revolution that is ahead of the Syrian people, not behind them!

(Arabic version)

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