by Stephen Goodson
Syria is an ancient land with its capital, Damascus, being the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world (circa 4 000 years). Its Semitic people have been ruled at various times by Akkadians, Arameans, Persians, Greeks, Romans and Turks.
In November 1917 Syria was liberated by Colonel T.E. Lawrence, who was known as “the uncrowned King of Arabia” and “Lawrence of Arabia”, for having led the Arab revolt against Turkish rule. The objective of the Arabs was to establish a large unified Arab state with Damascus as its capital. This plan was thwarted by the Rothschild bankers, who blackmailed England into giving Palestine to the Khazarian Jews, a non-Semitic race, in return for pressurizing the United States into participating in World War I, which England was losing at that time.
At the Versailles peace conference in June 1919, Syria was awarded to France as a Class A mandate. Lawrence expressed his outrage at this betrayal in the “Seven Pillars of Wisdom”. In May 1935 he died in a suspicious motor cycle “accident”, after he had publicly announced that he would meet Adolf Hitler in order to promote permanent peace between England and Germany.
After France finally withdrew in April 1946, Syria became an independent state, but was subsequently plagued by a series of military coups d’etats (eight in total). In 1970 Hafez al-Assad, the commander of the air force took control and was elected president the following year as leader of the Ba’ath (Resurrection) Party.
With order restored Syria enjoyed a sustained period of economic growth of 8% per annum for the next ten years. Syria has a large agricultural sector, which generates 25% of national income. The principal crops are wheat and cotton. Oil is also produced and exported. In 2010 GDP growth was 3.2% per annum, while GDP per capita was $4 800.
A secular state, Syria has a population of 21 million, 90% of whom are Muslim. It is one of the few Arab states, which protects and respects its Christian minority (10%); a policy, which was also pursued by the previous leaders of Iraq and Libya.
The state provides free education up to university level, free medical care and subsidized housing for all its people. Adoption of an IMF structural adjustment program in 2006 has compromised some of these benefits. These services have also been adversely impacted by the presence of 1.5 million Iraqi and 500 000 Palestinian refugees victims of the Nakba (catastrophe) of 1948.
Most of the banks, including the Central Bank of Syria, Commercial Bank of Syria, Agricultural Co-operative Bank, Industrial Bank, Popular Credit Bank and Real Estate Bank, are STATE owned, a system of banking, which is anathema to the Western model of debt finance, which is based on fractional reserves and creates money out of nothing at interest.
Syria occupies a key strategic position in the Middle East and represents the last obstacle for a United States/Zionist takeover of the region and the imposition of puppet regimes in each state. The ultimate target appears to be Iran with whom Syria signed a defence co-operation pact in May 2008. The “popular uprising”, which started in March 2011, has been masterminded by Turkish, American (CIA) and Israeli intelligence agents. The so called “peaceful demonstrators” have been galvanized by agents provocateurs (Salafists, Jihadis), who are armed with heavy machine guns, mortars, anti-air rockets and tank traps. The purpose of these demonstrations is to destabilize the country, so that a fake humanitarian crisis is created, which demands military intervention on the basis of R2P the right to protect civilians. The final outcome is intended to be regime change.
Syria has a well trained defence force of 400 000 troops, an arsenal of surface-to-surface missiles and state of the art anti-aircraft defence systems, which should inhibit imposition of a no fly zone by NATO. It is capable of providing formidable resistance in the event of war.
An intriguing factor is a Russian naval base at Tartus, where a cruiser and four nuclear armed submarines are stationed. Russia has vowed to veto any UN resolutions seeking the overthrow of the Syrian government, but is not a reliable partner. It failed to veto UN resolution 1973, which has resulted in the destruction of Libya, and defaulted on the supply of a S-300 anti-missile defence system purchased by Iran in 2010.
President Bashar al-Assad is a popular leader and is supported by most of his people. In a presidential referendum held on 10 July 2010 he gained 97.3% of the votes cast. Perhaps on this occasion Syria will prove to be a “bridge too far” for the imperialist powers and their backers the international bankers.
The writer has visited Syria.