FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

The Bankrupt War on Syria

The Syrian election has indirectly exposed or confirmed a surprising statistic that shows how badly the anti-Assad fighters are losing and how hopeless their cause is.

It is of course no surprise at all that Assad won big in the first open and contested Syrian presidential election in memory, winning 88% of the total.‎ Whether you believe that the vote was rigged or that the Syrian people ‎overwhelmingly love their president, the margin was almost embarrassing. ‎ During the days before the election, the Syrian street began joking  that the votes of the challengers might need to be padded.

The surprise was the total number of votes cast. According to the Syrian National Presidential Commission, a total of 15.84 million Syrians age 18 or older were eligible to vote in the election. Of these, 11.63 million – equal to 73.7% – actually did.

That’s an enviable  turnout anywhere‎, but astonishing under the current conditions in Syria. The Syrian obsession to vote is a great story. Syrian expatriates and refugees besieged their embassies when they could and returned to Syria – sometimes across ten time zones – when they couldn’t. But that also is not the surprise.

The surprise is not who voted or how many, but rather who did not. They are the 4.2 million difference between the numbers of eligible and actual voters. Who are they?

Many are living in other countries. Some are refugees, for whom the lowest accepted estimate is 2.5 million. If we add another  conservative number of dual national Syrian expatriates, it rises to 3.1 million. Even with the incredible voting efforts of this population, however, that figure shrinks by only 200,000, to 2.9 million.

This accounts for all but 1.3 million of the Syrians who didn’t vote. It is not reasonable to expect that all Syrians who had the chance actually voted. We have to allow at least 5% or 790,000 for the one in twenty that decided not to vote, for whatever reason. This leaves a maximum of only a half million Syrians – around  3% – in captive areas.‎ It is probably less than that.

This is of course an educated (if conservative) guess. However, it safely puts to rest the inflated estimates of 40% propagated by mainstream journalists and deceitful government officials. Those figures were obtained by applying pre-conflict population statistics to the geographic areas under the control of anti-regime groups, a patently absurd formula.

Such figures are a fantasy conceived for the purpose of deception and distortion. Vast numbers of Syrians have fled anti-regime areas, mostly to government territory, but also to other countries. However, only the most delusional propagandist  ‎would claim that meaningful  numbers of Syrians are fleeing to anti-regime areas.

In fact, one of the tactics of the Syrian military seems to be to allow the anti-regimists to hold a territory long enough to drive the civilians out, and then ‎to either negotiate terms or remove them by means of weapons that cause the fewest government casualties. This is what earns the regime the title of ruthless murderer in western hyperbole.

It is time to pay attention to what the Syrian people are saying. When they went to the polls by the millions, they did  much more than affirm ‎their self-determination and their choice for president. They showed us by their numbers that the attempt to destroy Syria is bankrupt and doomed to failure.

Paul Larudee is a founding member of the Syria Solidarity Movement. ‎He submitted this piece from Syria after completing an assignment as an election observer.

 

 

More articles by:

Paul Larudee is on the steering committee of the Syria Solidarity Movement.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
December 13, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
The FBI: Another Worry in the National Security State
Rob Urie
Establishment Politics are for the Rich
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: That’s Neoliberalism for You
Paul Street
Midnight Ramble: A Fascist Rally in Hershey, Pennsylvania
Joan Roelofs
The Science of Lethality
Joyce Nelson
Buttigieg and McKinsey
Joseph Natoli
Equally Determined: To Impeach/To Support
Charles Pierson
The National Defense Authorization Act Perpetuates the Destruction of Yemen
REZA FIYOUZAT
An Outrageous Proposal: Peace Boats to Iran
Lee Hall
Donald Trump Jr., Mongolian Sheep Killer
Andrew Levine
A Plague on Both Their Houses, Plus a Dozen Poxes on Trump’s
David Rosen
Mortality Rising: Trump and the Death of the “American Dream”
Dave Lindorff
The Perils of Embedded Journalism: ‘Afghan Papers’ Wouldn’t Be Needed If We Had a Real Independent News Media
Brian Cloughley
Human Rights and Humbug in Washington
Stephen Leas
Hungry for a Livable Planet: Why I Went On Hunger Strike and Occupied Pelosi’s Office
Saad Hafiz
Pakistan Must Face Its Past
Lawrence Davidson
Deteriorating Climates: Home and Abroad
Cal Winslow
The End of the Era: Nineteen Nineteen
Louis Proyect
If Time Magazine Celebrates Greta Thunberg, Why Should We?
Thomas Drake
Kafka Down Under: the Threat to Whistleblowers and Press Freedom in Australia
Thomas Knapp
JEDI Mind Tricks: Amazon Versus the Pentagon and Trump
Jesse Jackson
Trump’s War on the Poor
Michael Welton
Seeing the World Without Shadows: the Enlightenment Dream
Ron Jacobs
The Wind That Shook the Barley: the Politics of the IRA
Rivera Sun
Beyond Changing Light Bulbs: 21 Ways You Can Stop the Climate Crisis
Binoy Kampmark
The Bloomberg Factor: Authoritarianism, Money and US Presidential Politics
Nick Pemberton
Ideology Shall Have No Resurrection
Rev. Susan K. Williams Smith
What Trump and the GOP Learned From Obama
Ramzy Baroud
‘Elected by Donors’: the University of Cape Town Fails Palestine, Embraces Israel
Cesar Chelala
Unsuccessful U.S. Policy on Cuba Should End
Harry Blain
The Conservatism of Impeachment
Norman Solomon
Will the Democratic Presidential Nomination Be Bought?
Howard Lisnoff
The One Thing That US Leaders Seem to Do Well is Lie
Jeff Cohen
Warren vs. Buttigieg Clash Offers Contrast with Sanders’ Consistency
Mel Gurtov
The Afghanistan Pentagon Papers
Gaither Stewart
Landslide … to Totalitarianism
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
How Blaming Nader in 2000 Paved the Way for Today’s Neo-Fascism
Steve Early
In Re-Run Election: LA Times Journalist Wins Presidency of NewsGuild 
David Swanson
If You’re Not Busy Plotting Nonviolent Revolution for Peace and Climate, You’re Busy Dying
Nicky Reid
Sorry Lefties, Your Impeachment is Bullshit
John Kendall Hawkins
The Terror Report You Weren’t Meant to See
Susan Block
Krampus Trumpus Rumpus
Martin Billheimer
Knight Crawlers
David Yearsley
Kanye in the West
Elliot Sperber
Dollar Store 
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail