Two Levels of “De Facto Shredding”: The Same Historical Goal with an “Updated Recipe”

Two Levels of “De Facto Shredding”: The Same Historical Goal with an “Updated Recipe”

The process of ending the wide-spread military conflicts in Syria, a process that was managed by the Astana track, included ending several “contact lines”, as well as fixing other lines as “temporary” lines to be removed by a comprehensive political solution.

It has been nearly two and a half years since the end of the wide-spread military conflict, and there are practically nearly no “battlefronts” in the pre-2019 sense. However, the comprehensive political solution also has not yet started, and there are two levels of “de facto partition”.

The first level

The first level of de facto partition that receives the greater part of the political and media attention is the one that is based on the distribution of “areas of influence” in the political sense, which divides Syria into three areas: the regime areas, the northwest, and the northeast.

The truth is that even within the same perspective, i.e., the areas of influence perspective, the reality is much worse. In addition to this general division among the three areas, there is a number of islands with “special status”. There is the al-Tanf area or what is called the 55-km area, which is still practically an American-British camp; and there is the Syrian south with all its complexities, which are difficult to even enumerate.

In dealing with this level, if it were understood and clear that the necessities of stopping the heated phase of the conflict and stopping the large-scale military destruction operations necessitated removing certain “contact lines” while fixing others, then extending that fixing while the political solution remains suspended, turns these lines into a growing risk to Syria’s unity with each additional day of the existence of these lines.

It also goes without saying that any talk of militarily “wiping out” those lines, i.e., reviving battles and fighting, is not only irresponsible, but also unrealistic. Those who are talking about this know that it is irresponsible and unrealistic, and they use it in their propaganda of rejecting the political solution. This is because those who reject the political solution cannot say that openly, and they must also present an alternative that guarantees the reunification of the country. Therefore, they toss the idea of reviving the fighting from time to time, and the idea of their “readiness” to fight (in which they did not and will not shed any drop of their own blood if it happens, but rather, as usual, the price will be paid by the ordinary people from the different sides).

In addition to the extremism misfortune within the Syrian sides, the Americans are clearly toying with attempts to perpetuate, deepen, and perpetuate the division, using various and diverse tools, including political ones, among which are attempts to play on national issues sometimes and sectarian issues at other times. Among the tools is also the tool of economic sanctions, which are controlled by tightening and mitigating them to varying degrees among the different Syrian areas, so that the sanctions also play a role in severing as much as possible natural relations, in the economic sense, within one country.

The second level

There is a second level that might be more dangerous than the first one, because in itself is dangerous and because it gets a poor share of the media and political attention, which poses a threat of deepening and exacerbating it. By this, we mean the “de facto economic partition”.

Among the well-known basic economic concepts is the concept of “the area of the production, distribution, and consumption circle”, or in short, the market area.

It is known that the state in its bourgeois format, which was clearly established after the French Revolution of 1789, is equivalent to the existence of a single market for that state. The circle of production, distribution, and consumption of its area is the area of the state itself, and it is separated from other states by customs borders that protect the internal market.

The process of reaching a single market within a state, is itself a historical process that does not get fully accomplished except through a long historical evolution. As for former colonies, many of them are still practically without a single market. Not to mention the global developments that have taken place since the end of the 19th century, all the way to globalization and thereafter, which has made the entire world, one way or another, a single market.

Nevertheless, the principle remains true, i.e., the principle that the political unity of a state cannot be preserved without the existence of a unified internal market. This is something that gets exposed by the war and conflict phases more than the peaceful ones. When conflicts erupt, the economy is one of its most important tools, and the points of lack of economic integration for any of the conflicting countries become major weaknesses and gaps. This is what we see today, for example, in the case of countries of the size and development of European countries.

Going back to “the area of the circle of production, distribution, and consumption”, many studies see that its diameter in Syria has become no more than 60-70 kilometers, and in fact, it may have become even smaller than that in many areas.

This means that we have practically returned to the local isolation of the feudal phase, where every small spot almost has its own economy, which is linked with weak links with the other spots and regions.

Among the clear main reasons for that:


  • High transportation costs, which double the prices of any goods transported from one place to another, whether agricultural, industrial, or service goods. These costs do not only include the costs of fuel and the costs of repairing transport machines, but also include the costs of “looting” (in its different forms) at the checkpoints of the various sides and in its various forms. These checkpoints have become, in one way or another, “borderlines” separating and connecting the economic zones that are isolated from each other.
  • The lack of electricity is a major factor in destroying the single national market, as it contributes a great deal to hitting the various production processes across the country, as well as hitting the consumption processes, and raising the prices of various goods, and making transporting them a superfluous and often costly matter. Moreover, it is historically known, starting from the 18th century, that the railway network was the main nerve for the unity of any country, based on unifying its market by linking its parts at the level of production, distribution, and consumption, and at the lowest possible costs, so that this connection is It is possible and worthwhile for the whole process, and for the simple and extensive reproduction process. Since the beginning of the 20th century, the country’s electricity linkage has become equally important. The lack of electricity in Syria today (because nearly 4 hours of connectivity out of 24 hours, does not constitute connectivity) threatens to add more nuisances to all the existing ones. This is opening the door more rapidly to private power generation business, which means in essence that the power system for each area, besides its huge costs that make it a luxury only available to a few, will be a system practically isolated from the rest of the country. We do not need to look far to visualize the issue, in addition to the Aleppo experience, we can see the deep experience of economic crime in Lebanon, which divides Lebanon beyond its division to small islands isolated from each other.

Reverting the country to “feudal” isolation is a wide door not only to dividing the country, but for its fragmentation and dismemberment and ending any basis for its unity. Therefore, while the political solution is being postponed and evaded by the Syrian extremists, and while the focus is on the fear of political de facto division, there is a process of tearing and fragmenting of the state foundations underway.


From France to “Israel”

It is not possible in any way to compare the complexity of the current stage of Syria’s history with any of its previous historical stages, because the volume of variables and influences, and the nature of the intertwining among them currently, is greater than ever before.

Despite that, there are a lot of similarities, and they are primarily related to Syria’s dangerous geographic positioning.

With the beginning of the European colonialism era, which was accompanied by a global centering of trade primarily across the seas, the role of the region at the center of which Syria lies became exponentially more important, in addition to its historical importance.

Whether we are talking about the British or the French, and despite all the contradictions and wars between them in various parts of the world, nevertheless, they implicitly and practically agreed to prevent any trade connectivity among the continents of the ancient world. This is because a connectivity of this sort would undermine the domination of the kingdoms of the high seas, not only over our region, but over the entire international trade.

In this regard, the British and French have worked in all their colonies to perpetuate a number of division and shredding factors, whether within each state of the states, or among the states.

The most important and most dangerous factor in tearing apart the entire region was undoubtedly the establishment of the Zionist entity. However, the dismemberment process preceded even the creation of this entity. Perhaps among the best “teaching” examples of the Western colonialism policies in the early 20th century are its policies in Syria, in which it relied on the “feudal” isolation that existed, trying to push it another step backward, by perpetuating a set of sectarian mini states in Syria. But also by working on the economic separation between the entire eastern coast of the Mediterranean and the internal regions. This is what we see the continued effects thereof till now through the nature of population concentration and the nature of economic activity, which has not been resolved by any of the authorities that ruled the country since independence. This is something that is still on the unimplemented national agenda under the title “Real Development”, which has not yet visited Syria, despite all the rumors and talk by all the authorities that have come through and ruled so far.

Stubborn facts

Despite all the attempts by the French, the form within which the Great Syrian Revolution of 1925-1927 crystallized was enough to undermine the foundations based on which the French wanted to tear the country apart. (It is not strange, within these coordinates, to understand the attempts for decades in Syria to perpetuate a certain direction of dealing with the heroes of the Great Syrian Revolution as “local leaders” or “sect leaders”, which contradicts the reality that they were national leaders above all and had a real independence project that included the entire country).

Among the most important evidence for this, is that each of the patriotic figures that led the revolution, was leading a war on two fronts together: against the French and against their agents who were calling for partition projects, those agents had “narrow affiliations” with which some tried to tie the patriotic figures.

Continuing the attempts to reduce the stature of the national independence figures, is not only a continuation of well-known foreign and colonial policies, but is also an expression of the continuous hatred against these figures by the socioeconomic groups that dragged the Guru chariot, which identified with the partition projects, and which still exist to this day, even if they changed their outfits and slogans.

Therefore, among the lessons learned by colonialism in its old and new forms in Syria, up to Zionism, is that merely playing on the sectarian and national dimensions cannot divide a country like Syria. There is perhaps no full explanation for why exactly this is so. Is it because there is a special cultural historical nucleus special to this country still present under the ashes despite all that it has gone through? Or for other, more complex reasons? However, what is certain is the situation that was very bad prior to the Great Syrian Revolution, and everything the French and British tried to do, did not prevent the outbreak of that revolution, and in the national manner in which it took place, and did not prevent the reunification of the country. Therefore, based on previous experiences, they are working now in a more complex and brutal manner to erase the existence of this country from history. Thus, in addition to investing in the de facto division at the two aforementioned levels, there is an additional very important factor that is not separate therefrom, which is shoveling the people out of the country.

Shoveling and shredding

Shredding the country with the two-level de facto division and shoveling its people out of it, are in the end two complementary sides to one project.

As a reminder, the process of displacing and shoveling is still ongoing in full swing, and we had touched on the aspects and forms of this process in a previous Kassioun Studies Unit article entitled: “An Attempt to Dissect Demographic Change” (Arabic). Here, we briefly refer to the main forms of shoveling that we noted at the time:

  • Displacement in its absolute form: As many as half of the Syrian people are now outside Syria, and with time this displacement is no longer temporary, at least in a significant portion of it.
  • Displacement of young people: The majority of the displaced are young people, that is, from the segment that is effective and capable of construction.
  • Displacement of qualified people: The vast majority of Syrian competencies are outside Syria, and Syria has thus lost an accumulation of generations of education and building, almost no one knows whether and how it can be restored.
  • The countryside-city displacement: This has transformed the entire country into one city with two branches, Damascus and Aleppo, in which the largest number of those remaining in the country are concentrated, and a vast, almost empty countryside.

In all, this process of displacement and shoveling, is the main additional component that was added to the traditional colonial recipe, between the beginning of the twentieth century and the beginning of this century. This is a dangerous component that, if the preparation process continues, will actually bring the dish to its desired Zionist and Western result, that is, to irreversible shredding and division.

Among the factors that help and reinforce this trend, not only economic sanctions and the continuation of the blockade, and the continuation of the de facto division, but perhaps even more dangerous and worse is the continuation of the liberal plundering policies in their brutal and subversive form.

In a word, the warlords, the great corruption forces, the lords of savage liberalism, and the extremists from all sides, whether or not they admit that, are working, willingly or not, within the same context of Western colonial work in its updated version: Anglo-Saxon-Zionism.

All these negative processes have not yet reached the point of no return, although coming from them has become incredibly costly and addressing them will necessarily need many years after the start of the solution. Nevertheless, reaching the point of no return is just a matter of time. This all reaffirms that the full implementation of UNSC Resolution 2254 is not a luxury and is not a political interest in the prevailing sense, but rather a patriotic necessity and a national and existential necessity.


(النسخة العربية)

Last modified on Saturday, 02 July 2022 18:20