Kassioun Editorial 1111: What After the Earthquake?
It has now been three weeks since the earthquake catastrophe. While the space the disaster occupies in the media and politically is gradually receding, the reality reveals every day new depths of the disaster, as well as tremendous pain and suffering that is crushing the bones of (survivors), if it is correct to describe those who were not killed by the earthquake as survivors.
The existing system, with its savage liberalism and massive corruption, was prior to the earthquake unable to solve any of society’s problems. Now, it reveals not only incapacity, but also the absence of a real will to heal people’s wounds and help them. The government is still in the stage of examining the repercussions, forming committees concerned with the formation of committees, and so on. Actual measures, and even promises of actual measures, are almost completely nonexistent, at least if one looks at the measures taken by countries hit by earthquake catastrophes this period, including Turkey.
Among the procedures that must be implemented, that can be implemented, and for which there are resources to implement, are the following:
First: Providing free alternative housing for everyone whose house was destroyed.
Second: Paying real compensation to the families of the earthquake victims, especially to the ones who lost their breadwinners.
Third: Compensating the various material losses that resulted from the earthquake.
Fourth: Publicly holding accountability the major corrupt criminals who profited from people’s blood through construction that violates the requirements, which is proven by facts, including that a significant portion of the newly built buildings were the most damaged and the most destroyed, and that the older buildings were more resistant; additionally, buildings built by the public sector were for the most part much more solid than those built by the private sector.
Fifth: The government must clearly and transparently declare to the Syrian people all types of aid it receives, as it comes in, and the means of its disbursement, in a documented manner, because whoever was on watch when the criminals of construction got away in violation of the requirement cannot be entrusted with the aid and how it is disbursed.
Sixth: Securing lucrative loans for those affected immediately, with zero interest, and the possibility of easy, long-term repayment plans.
Seventh: Ending, once and for all, dealing with superiority with those affected, as if they are receiving charity or are beggars; these are the ones who have the right that has been breached, and the true landowners, in the legal, political, and national sense.
In theory, the possibility of achieving all these objectives, and more, is a realistic one. The two main entry points to achieving this are: first, to seize the money and go after the major criminals who have plundered Syrians for decades and have accumulated tens, perhaps hundreds of billions of dollars; and second, to turn East – in talk and action – to truly cooperate therewith for the reconstruction of the country within mega integrated projects.
Even within the existing situation, a major part of these objectives can be carried out if there is a real political will for that.
Transforming the theoretical possibility into a practical reality, without waiting to test again what has been already tested, has one entry point: a radical and comprehensive change through a political solution based on UNSC Resolution 2254 as the only effective emergency solution, and at the same time as the gateway to a comprehensive, long-term solution.