29 August/Addounia interview with Mr President Bashar al Assad


President al-Assad confirmed in a meeting with Addounia TV channel, that the battle in Syria is a regional and international battle and there must be a time for it to end.
Al-Assad said: we are moving forward and the situation is better, but the settlement is not done yet.
The President pointed that we have to see the deference between what we want as Syrians only and not what the outside wants.
Adding that we have to remain the relationship with the outside people because the Logistic boost stays weak without the support of peoples.
About Homs, President al-Assad talked about the delay of settlement, revealing that we must separate between the situation in Homs and the rest of the provinces.
Saying that when our armed forces want to use all their powers, all areas will be crushed, but this solution is rejected.
Pointing that our armed forces must remain souls and infrastructure safe.
He added that the militants are still getting supplies, specifically in Homs.
About the isolated areas, President al-Assad affirmed that an isolated area is done under the approval of the country.
Pointing that the isolated zones and areas are unrealistic and does not exist.
He stressed that Syria does not need a green light from anyone for its sovereign and national cases.
About the republican role in the Syrian crisis, President al-Assad said that the essential challenge is to confront the involved people in the current circumstances.
Adding that the public togetherness has failed all the schemes of the enemies.
Al-Assad said that it is important for us to punish every person who committed mistakes or wanted to extend the crisis in Syria for any purposes.
President al-Assad stressed that all officials must be observed and media must move from the educational role to the investigative role and give solutions.
Adding that as long as the institutions do not grow, all the roles of any official, including the President, will be minor.
About the role of Syrian media and the attacks against it during the current period, President al-Assad said: the Syrian media can strike real media empires that are not only supported by money, but political decisions also.
President al-Assad about the defections, and specifically about the defection of the Prime Minister Riyadh Hijab and Manaf Tlas, commented: the defection is done inside the country, but what they did is an escape to the outside and not a defection.
He added that who escapes is a corrupt person who was given money, a coward person who has been threatened or an ambitious person who hoped for having positions. Al-Assad said that the defection operations are cleaning processes for the country and the nation.

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From SANA – 30 AUGUST 2012



President Bashar al-Assad gave the following interview to Addounia TV on the local and regional developments:
Dear viewers of Addounia TV… greetings,
We greet you from the People’s Palace in the Syrian capital of Damascus. We are honored to meet President Bashar al-Assad, President of the Syrian Arab Republic. Mr. President, welcome on Addounia TV.
We greet you from the People’s Palace in the Syrian capital of Damascus. We are honored to meet President Bashar al-Assad, President of the Syrian Arab Republic. Mr. President, welcome on Addounia TV.
President al-Assad: Welcome to you and to Addounia TV.
President al-Assad: Welcome to you and to Addounia TV.
Question: Mr. President, allow me to discuss during today’s meeting the most important issues occupying the thoughts of Syrian citizens which they inquire about daily and in which they dwell upon in all issues, whether it pertains to the situation on the ground or the political situation… we start with the situation on the ground… of course, Aleppo… they talked a lot about Aleppo… what is the situation in Aleppo; how do you view it?
Question: Mr. President, allow me to discuss during today’s meeting the most important issues occupying the thoughts of Syrian citizens which they inquire about daily and in which they dwell upon in all issues, whether it pertains to the situation on the ground or the political situation… we start with the situation on the ground… of course, Aleppo… they talked a lot about Aleppo… what is the situation in Aleppo; how do you view it?
President al-Assad: We cannot separate the situation in Aleppo from the situation in Syria. The difference is that Aleppo and Damascus are the two biggest cities and the two most important cities. One is the political capital and the other is the economic capital. The normal citizen’s evaluation of the situation in general – including Aleppo – comes through escalation; when he sees escalation he considers the situation to be worse and when he sees calm he considers  the situation to be better… matters aren’t measured like this. When there are military or security operations then there could be constant escalation and suddenly the situation ends well or the opposite, a continuing calm ends with escalation. In the end, the issue is a battle of wills in the first degree. They have a will to destroy the country. They started with Daraa, moved to Homs and Damascus and Aleppo and Deir Ezzor and Lattakia; to all provinces. They try to move from one place to another. The importance is in the difference in scale or weight of the city in the Syrian context, but if we take into account the scale of the complex battles waged by the armed forces on the technical, tactical and strategic levels, then they are among the most complex types of battles, yet the armed forces achieve great successes in this regard. Everyone hopes that the achievement or the resolution to be within weeks or days and hours. This is illogical; we’re involved in a regional and global battle, so time is needed to resolve it. But I can summarize all this explanation in a sentence: we are moving forward and the situation is practically better but resolution hasn’t been achieved and this takes time.
President al-Assad: We cannot separate the situation in Aleppo from the situation in Syria. The difference is that Aleppo and Damascus are the two biggest cities and the two most important cities. One is the political capital and the other is the economic capital. The normal citizen’s evaluation of the situation in general – including Aleppo – comes through escalation; when he sees escalation he considers the situation to be worse and when he sees calm he considers  the situation to be better… matters aren’t measured like this. When there are military or security operations then there could be constant escalation and suddenly the situation ends well or the opposite, a continuing calm ends with escalation. In the end, the issue is a battle of wills in the first degree. They have a will to destroy the country. They started with Daraa, moved to Homs and Damascus and Aleppo and Deir Ezzor and Lattakia; to all provinces. They try to move from one place to another. The importance is in the difference in scale or weight of the city in the Syrian context, but if we take into account the scale of the complex battles waged by the armed forces on the technical, tactical and strategic levels, then they are among the most complex types of battles, yet the armed forces achieve great successes in this regard. Everyone hopes that the achievement or the resolution to be within weeks or days and hours. This is illogical; we’re involved in a regional and global battle, so time is needed to resolve it. But I can summarize all this explanation in a sentence: we are moving forward and the situation is practically better but resolution hasn’t been achieved and this takes time.
Question: Mr. President, regarding areas or provinces to which problems moved, starting from Daraa to Damascus Countryside, Homs, Lattakia, Aleppo and Idleb. Of course, there are those who broached the issue of neighboring countries. In this case, many ask what is the position of the Syrian state towards neighboring countries, particularly since some countries facilitate, train, finance and arm in all manners which may constitute a violation of the Syrian state, the security of Syria and the safety of Syrian citizens?
Question: Mr. President, regarding areas or provinces to which problems moved, starting from Daraa to Damascus Countryside, Homs, Lattakia, Aleppo and Idleb. Of course, there are those who broached the issue of neighboring countries. In this case, many ask what is the position of the Syrian state towards neighboring countries, particularly since some countries facilitate, train, finance and arm in all manners which may constitute a violation of the Syrian state, the security of Syria and the safety of Syrian citizens?
President al-Assad: Some neighboring countries stand by Syria but maybe they’re not exactly able to control the smuggling of logistic supplies to terrorists. Some countries overlook or keep their distance, and some countries participate in this matter, but we have to distinguish between what we as Syria and as Syrian people and as a country want from these countries. Do we seek a relation or a dispute with the country or with the people? As for Turkey for example; the position of the Turkish state is known, and it assumes direct responsibility for the blood that bled and was shed in Syria. But when we began developing our relation with Turkey, we didn’t look for a relation with individuals or a transient government; rather we looked to a history of tense and turbulent relation for nearly nine decades approximately. We wanted to erase it, then do we go backwards because of the ignorance of some Turkish officials, or do we look at the relation with the Turkish people, particularly since this people practically stood with us during this crisis and didn’t drift despite the media and financial pressure to go in the other direction. We must think first of peoples, because governments are transient and we must preserve relations with the peoples because these people are the ones who will practically protect us, as logistic supply will remain weak if the people don’t embrace the issue.
President al-Assad: Some neighboring countries stand by Syria but maybe they’re not exactly able to control the smuggling of logistic supplies to terrorists. Some countries overlook or keep their distance, and some countries participate in this matter, but we have to distinguish between what we as Syria and as Syrian people and as a country want from these countries. Do we seek a relation or a dispute with the country or with the people? As for Turkey for example; the position of the Turkish state is known, and it assumes direct responsibility for the blood that bled and was shed in Syria. But when we began developing our relation with Turkey, we didn’t look for a relation with individuals or a transient government; rather we looked to a history of tense and turbulent relation for nearly nine decades approximately. We wanted to erase it, then do we go backwards because of the ignorance of some Turkish officials, or do we look at the relation with the Turkish people, particularly since this people practically stood with us during this crisis and didn’t drift despite the media and financial pressure to go in the other direction. We must think first of peoples, because governments are transient and we must preserve relations with the peoples because these people are the ones who will practically protect us, as logistic supply will remain weak if the people don’t embrace the issue.
Question: But here we ask about the stances of these peoples towards their governments. Some Syrians expect a movement on the part of these people as their governments polices harm neighboring countries and harm the reputation and dignity of the people.
Question: But here we ask about the stances of these peoples towards their governments. Some Syrians expect a movement on the part of these people as their governments polices harm neighboring countries and harm the reputation and dignity of the people.
President al-Assad: Correct, but this needs time, and we mustn’t forget that these peoples themselves are waging battles against these governments. Political battles, of course, and this needs time. We need to be objective, but we must account for winning and losing. Animosity with peoples will not reduce the supply of terrorists; on the contrary, it will make this supply more available. We must improve relations and help these peoples by presenting facts; when these peoples discover the reality of what is happening in Syria and the truth about the position of their officials, they will become stronger in their political battle and the longevity of these governments and these officials will be short in political work., we can withstand this short spell and we can adapt to it while we resolve the battle in Syria.
President al-Assad: Correct, but this needs time, and we mustn’t forget that these peoples themselves are waging battles against these governments. Political battles, of course, and this needs time. We need to be objective, but we must account for winning and losing. Animosity with peoples will not reduce the supply of terrorists; on the contrary, it will make this supply more available. We must improve relations and help these peoples by presenting facts; when these peoples discover the reality of what is happening in Syria and the truth about the position of their officials, they will become stronger in their political battle and the longevity of these governments and these officials will be short in political work., we can withstand this short spell and we can adapt to it while we resolve the battle in Syria.
Question: Mr. President, many talked about Homs; Homes which witnessed since the beginnings strong armed activities and high feelings of all types. Many ask: what is the situation in Homs? Why isn’t the situation over in Homs?
President al-Assad: We cannot separate the situation of Homs from the situation of the rest of the provinces. As for the delay of resolving the situation in the city, it’s known that when armed forces wage battles in cities they must take two things into consideration: first, concern for human life, and second, concern for properties. Apart from that, if the armed forces wanted to use all their military capabilities including firepower then they can crush the enemy in a short time, but this is unacceptable and doesn’t achieve the desired results. This type of operations needs time. On the other hand, we cannot forget that there’s constant supply of gunmen in Homs, specifically because they considered Homs to be the center from which the victory they hope for will move, in addition to its proximity to the Lebanese borders.
President al-Assad: We cannot separate the situation of Homs from the situation of the rest of the provinces. As for the delay of resolving the situation in the city, it’s known that when armed forces wage battles in cities they must take two things into consideration: first, concern for human life, and second, concern for properties. Apart from that, if the armed forces wanted to use all their military capabilities including firepower then they can crush the enemy in a short time, but this is unacceptable and doesn’t achieve the desired results. This type of operations needs time. On the other hand, we cannot forget that there’s constant supply of gunmen in Homs, specifically because they considered Homs to be the center from which the victory they hope for will move, in addition to its proximity to the Lebanese borders.
Question: Can we call it a buffer zone?
Question: Can we call it a buffer zone?
President al-Assad: Most Syrian provinces are border provinces; Deir Ezzor, Hasaka, Raqqa, Idleb, Lattakia, Daraa, Sweida, and even Homs partly borders Iraq too. This maybe a reason (why some use buffer zones) but I can’t analyze on behalf of the planners. This issue isn’t important for us, whether they consider them buffer zones or not. A buffer zone is a zone established with the state’s approval through specific agreements between two countries, and we as a state never in any day decided to assume that there’s an area outside Syrian control. When the army wants to enter an area then it can do that. They considered many areas to be outside the state’s control and the army entered most of these areas with ease, which means that they weren’t able to create this zone. Therefore, I believe that talking about buffer zones is firstly nonexistent, and secondly unrealistic, even for countries playing a hostile role.
President al-Assad: Most Syrian provinces are border provinces; Deir Ezzor, Hasaka, Raqqa, Idleb, Lattakia, Daraa, Sweida, and even Homs partly borders Iraq too. This maybe a reason (why some use buffer zones) but I can’t analyze on behalf of the planners. This issue isn’t important for us, whether they consider them buffer zones or not. A buffer zone is a zone established with the state’s approval through specific agreements between two countries, and we as a state never in any day decided to assume that there’s an area outside Syrian control. When the army wants to enter an area then it can do that. They considered many areas to be outside the state’s control and the army entered most of these areas with ease, which means that they weren’t able to create this zone. Therefore, I believe that talking about buffer zones is firstly nonexistent, and secondly unrealistic, even for countries playing a hostile role.
Question: Mr. President, as the Commander-in-chief of the Army and Armed Force and with your knowledge of the situation on the ground and its details; there are those among the opposition who talk and ask why the Syrian forces and the Syrian army are inside Syrian cities, while not a single bullet has been fired in the Golan for nearly forty years. They ask in this regard if tanks’ natural place is inside Syrian cities and not on the Golan front.
Question: Mr. President, as the Commander-in-chief of the Army and Armed Force and with your knowledge of the situation on the ground and its details; there are those among the opposition who talk and ask why the Syrian forces and the Syrian army are inside Syrian cities, while not a single bullet has been fired in the Golan for nearly forty years. They ask in this regard if tanks’ natural place is inside Syrian cities and not on the Golan front.
President al-Assad: The task of the army and armed forces in all countries of the world is to protect the homeland. Protecting the homeland doesn’t only mean protecting it from outside, but from within as well; any enemy that comes from any place. You have to defend your country through relevant institutions, primarily the army and armed forces. This time, the enemy moved from within, not from without, and you may tell me that they’re Syrians  and I tell you that any Syrian who carries out a foreign and hostile plan becomes an enemy and is no longer Syrian. The proof being that if a Syrian commits espionage then he is sentenced to death by law is execution. In fact, those who implement an enemy’s plan are considered an enemy. The enemy moved from within, so the armed forces moved.
President al-Assad: The task of the army and armed forces in all countries of the world is to protect the homeland. Protecting the homeland doesn’t only mean protecting it from outside, but from within as well; any enemy that comes from any place. You have to defend your country through relevant institutions, primarily the army and armed forces. This time, the enemy moved from within, not from without, and you may tell me that they’re Syrians  and I tell you that any Syrian who carries out a foreign and hostile plan becomes an enemy and is no longer Syrian. The proof being that if a Syrian commits espionage then he is sentenced to death by law is execution. In fact, those who implement an enemy’s plan are considered an enemy. The enemy moved from within, so the armed forces moved.
Question: So this doesn’t contradict the concept of resistance and that Syria adopts the ideas of resistance.
Question: So this doesn’t contradict the concept of resistance and that Syria adopts the ideas of resistance.
President al-Assad: Not at all, on the contrary, Syria adopts the ideas of resistance. But the other idea is that if Syria adopts resistance, then why there isn’t resistance towards the Golan – this may be the idea you mean – then resistance is emerges when a state abandons its responsibility in reclaiming its land, which didn’t happen in Syria like in Lebanon, maybe because of the civil war at the time, and like in Palestine when there’s no state in the first place to reclaim rights, so the resistance had to exist. When we abandon, as a creed, policy and armed forces our primary goal of reclaiming land, then there will be a Syrian resistance.
President al-Assad: Not at all, on the contrary, Syria adopts the ideas of resistance. But the other idea is that if Syria adopts resistance, then why there isn’t resistance towards the Golan – this may be the idea you mean – then resistance is emerges when a state abandons its responsibility in reclaiming its land, which didn’t happen in Syria like in Lebanon, maybe because of the civil war at the time, and like in Palestine when there’s no state in the first place to reclaim rights, so the resistance had to exist. When we abandon, as a creed, policy and armed forces our primary goal of reclaiming land, then there will be a Syrian resistance.
Question: Mr. President, regarding the military operations taking place inside Syria now; there is talk on the Syrian street that Syria received a green light, a Russian green light and Chinese green light, with some going as far as to even say an American green light maybe or a western green light. Does Syria need a green light to carry out what it’s doing now?
Question: Mr. President, regarding the military operations taking place inside Syria now; there is talk on the Syrian street that Syria received a green light, a Russian green light and Chinese green light, with some going as far as to even say an American green light maybe or a western green light. Does Syria need a green light to carry out what it’s doing now?
President al-Assad: In various stages there was talk of a green light. For example, when Syria entered Lebanon in 1976 there was such talk and it was repeated at other stages. In fact, Syria doesn’t need a green light in sovereign issues, in local issues neither and in national issues, from friends nor from enemies nor from opponents. If we didn’t possess the green light then there’s no need for our existence as a homeland and as a state.
President al-Assad: In various stages there was talk of a green light. For example, when Syria entered Lebanon in 1976 there was such talk and it was repeated at other stages. In fact, Syria doesn’t need a green light in sovereign issues, in local issues neither and in national issues, from friends nor from enemies nor from opponents. If we didn’t possess the green light then there’s no need for our existence as a homeland and as a state.
Question: Mr. President, there are those who say that the popular movement in Syria remained peaceful for four or five months and became armed after it was oppressed by the state. Some quote or distort a speech by Your Excellency, the speech before the last in which you said that in Ramadan it became an armed movement and all activities that were out peaceful became armed.
Question: Mr. President, there are those who say that the popular movement in Syria remained peaceful for four or five months and became armed after it was oppressed by the state. Some quote or distort a speech by Your Excellency, the speech before the last in which you said that in Ramadan it became an armed movement and all activities that were out peaceful became armed.
President al-Assad: No, this explanation is inaccurate for a simple reason; if they were unarmed then what explains that in the first week of turbulence and events there were a number of martyrs among security and police forces? Then how did these people die? Did they die from screams? From the sound waves of protestors? This is illogical. The truth is they died by weapons, but the type of arming and the goal of arming were different. At that time, the main goal was rallying the people by shooting protesters, security men and the police so that the police and security respond and kill more civilians; thereby spreading a state of hostility towards the state. After the failure of this project, they shifted since the last Ramadan to armed action through which they reached rebellious areas that the state cannot enter like Baba Amr and other areas, and of course these areas were entered so the gunmen’s tactic changed. Now, after Baba Amr was entered and after the fall of their sites in various other provinces that they had considered to be fortified, they switched to another method that involved more assassinations and more terrorism against citizens and more of punishing citizens by blocking roads, preventing the arrival of flour for bread, and fuel like diesel, gas oil and gas, and other daily necessities. In fact, the gunmen appeared since the first days. The images broadcast by Syrian TV on what happened in Daraa, the shootings by gunmen which they said at the time were fabricated, were real.
President al-Assad: No, this explanation is inaccurate for a simple reason; if they were unarmed then what explains that in the first week of turbulence and events there were a number of martyrs among security and police forces? Then how did these people die? Did they die from screams? From the sound waves of protestors? This is illogical. The truth is they died by weapons, but the type of arming and the goal of arming were different. At that time, the main goal was rallying the people by shooting protesters, security men and the police so that the police and security respond and kill more civilians; thereby spreading a state of hostility towards the state. After the failure of this project, they shifted since the last Ramadan to armed action through which they reached rebellious areas that the state cannot enter like Baba Amr and other areas, and of course these areas were entered so the gunmen’s tactic changed. Now, after Baba Amr was entered and after the fall of their sites in various other provinces that they had considered to be fortified, they switched to another method that involved more assassinations and more terrorism against citizens and more of punishing citizens by blocking roads, preventing the arrival of flour for bread, and fuel like diesel, gas oil and gas, and other daily necessities. In fact, the gunmen appeared since the first days. The images broadcast by Syrian TV on what happened in Daraa, the shootings by gunmen which they said at the time were fabricated, were real.
Question: It is said on the street that the state delayed the resolution, meaning that after people saw the progress of military operations they said that the state was capable of doing the sort of military and security operations now which are in the framework of resolution, so why did it delay in this regard, which implied to many who thought that the state is weak so they acquired more weapons, were misled more, and moved forward with this project on a larger scale?
Question: It is said on the street that the state delayed the resolution, meaning that after people saw the progress of military operations they said that the state was capable of doing the sort of military and security operations now which are in the framework of resolution, so why did it delay in this regard, which implied to many who thought that the state is weak so they acquired more weapons, were misled more, and moved forward with this project on a larger scale?
President al-Assad: The state did not delay, and the proof is that when the armed forces sensed a major escalation in Daraa during the beginning of the events in the first months, the army entered Daraa. We never hesitated for a second for the resolution. But with every step the state took, there was a development in their modus operandi, so in turn the state needed more counter steps. Some want us to handle that stage as we handle the stage today. This is illogical. The stage is different, their modus operandi was different, even the public understanding of what is happening was different. Many people were misled in the beginning, thinking that what is happening is a state of excitement a wave of The Arab spring that will affect Syria, that these youths are excitable, that there are no gunmen, that the state is fabricating,  all the these things we used to hear. For us as a state, the lack of public understanding was a problem. What helped the state in the resolution in recent months was the clarity of the picture for the larger part of the Syrian population as there’s a change in political conditions and in the security in the security conditions themselves.
President al-Assad: The state did not delay, and the proof is that when the armed forces sensed a major escalation in Daraa during the beginning of the events in the first months, the army entered Daraa. We never hesitated for a second for the resolution. But with every step the state took, there was a development in their modus operandi, so in turn the state needed more counter steps. Some want us to handle that stage as we handle the stage today. This is illogical. The stage is different, their modus operandi was different, even the public understanding of what is happening was different. Many people were misled in the beginning, thinking that what is happening is a state of excitement a wave of The Arab spring that will affect Syria, that these youths are excitable, that there are no gunmen, that the state is fabricating,  all the these things we used to hear. For us as a state, the lack of public understanding was a problem. What helped the state in the resolution in recent months was the clarity of the picture for the larger part of the Syrian population as there’s a change in political conditions and in the security in the security conditions themselves.
There’s a change in the public mood towards what is happening and towards the gunmen as they discovered that what is happening isn’t a revolution nor a spring; they are rather it is terrorist acts in the full meaning of the word, and the clarification of the external factor which wasn’t clear at the beginning. When I delivered my first speech at the People’s Assembly and talked about a conspiracy and confrontation, many wondered what conspiracy and what confrontation, accusing us of saying that everything is a conspiracy and considering what was happening to be a mere case of excitement as I mentioned before, and that if the President had said a few kind and sentimental words then the problem would have been solved. I told them that the problem didn’t begin with sentiments and won’t end with sentiments; there’s a plan and there are internal tools, so from the beginning we took a decision for resolution because the picture was clear, but the method of resolution differs depending on the different stages of the crisis.
There’s a change in the public mood towards what is happening and towards the gunmen as they discovered that what is happening isn’t a revolution nor a spring; they are rather it is terrorist acts in the full meaning of the word, and the clarification of the external factor which wasn’t clear at the beginning. When I delivered my first speech at the People’s Assembly and talked about a conspiracy and confrontation, many wondered what conspiracy and what confrontation, accusing us of saying that everything is a conspiracy and considering what was happening to be a mere case of excitement as I mentioned before, and that if the President had said a few kind and sentimental words then the problem would have been solved. I told them that the problem didn’t begin with sentiments and won’t end with sentiments; there’s a plan and there are internal tools, so from the beginning we took a decision for resolution because the picture was clear, but the method of resolution differs depending on the different stages of the crisis.
Question: Mr. President, this crisis included and was exacerbated by the presence of some personalities who partook in corruption at this stage and exploited the crisis among officials, whether they were in the army security forces or in the state or businessmen and merchants and many activities who exploited the crisis and even contributed to increase it. What about those?
Question: Mr. President, this crisis included and was exacerbated by the presence of some personalities who partook in corruption at this stage and exploited the crisis among officials, whether they were in the army security forces or in the state or businessmen and merchants and many activities who exploited the crisis and even contributed to increase it. What about those?
President al-Assad: I wish to distinguish between crisis traders who appear in every crisis in any country, whether they are merchants in the economic or material sense or other people who want to exploit the crisis for other private interests, and they could be inside the state or outside the state, and on the other hand, the mistakes that occur within the crisis and have no relation to prolonging the crisis. There were mistakes that happened, there were transgressions that happened, there were violations, thefts, some of which was uncovered but in a limited number and those were referred to the judiciary many months ago. Everyone who made a mistake or wanted to prolong the crisis for different reasons must be held accountable. This issue is final and isn’t up for discussion or debate, but the Question is how to identify them. You hold accountable the known not the anonymous; and most lawsuits filed and complaints that come in are against anonymous sides, and in the cases in which the individuals were identified and held accountable the wronged party brought the name and there was scrutiny and investigation and the misdemeanor or crime was proven and referred to the judiciary. The main challenge is how to find out who these people are, particularly since that in the conditions of security work and during chaotic circumstances investigation becomes harder than before. As a matter of principle, these individuals must be held accountable even if it were after overcoming these conditions and restoring calm.
President al-Assad: I wish to distinguish between crisis traders who appear in every crisis in any country, whether they are merchants in the economic or material sense or other people who want to exploit the crisis for other private interests, and they could be inside the state or outside the state, and on the other hand, the mistakes that occur within the crisis and have no relation to prolonging the crisis. There were mistakes that happened, there were transgressions that happened, there were violations, thefts, some of which was uncovered but in a limited number and those were referred to the judiciary many months ago. Everyone who made a mistake or wanted to prolong the crisis for different reasons must be held accountable. This issue is final and isn’t up for discussion or debate, but the Question is how to identify them. You hold accountable the known not the anonymous; and most lawsuits filed and complaints that come in are against anonymous sides, and in the cases in which the individuals were identified and held accountable the wronged party brought the name and there was scrutiny and investigation and the misdemeanor or crime was proven and referred to the judiciary. The main challenge is how to find out who these people are, particularly since that in the conditions of security work and during chaotic circumstances investigation becomes harder than before. As a matter of principle, these individuals must be held accountable even if it were after overcoming these conditions and restoring calm.
Question: Meaning that if they were in positions of power, then dismissal isn’t enough, but also trial?
Question: Meaning that if they were in positions of power, then dismissal isn’t enough, but also trial?
President al-Assad: When you don’t have proof but rather inconclusive indicators, then you may dismiss that individual for lack of confidence in their performance, but when you have conclusive evidence that this individual did something then he must be referred to the judiciary immediately regardless of the position he occupies.
President al-Assad: When you don’t have proof but rather inconclusive indicators, then you may dismiss that individual for lack of confidence in their performance, but when you have conclusive evidence that this individual did something then he must be referred to the judiciary immediately regardless of the position he occupies.
Question: There are those who say that after nearly a year and a half of the crisis there’s still a problem with the matter of appointments, with some wondering why appoint someone who isn’t qualified, who doesn’t have the ability and qualification needed and who might later cause us problems leading to dismissing and trying them for example. Mr. President, is there a flaw in the appointment mechanism, particularly since the crisis didn’t influence in or maybe didn’t motivate instruments in a bigger way in this regard?
Question: There are those who say that after nearly a year and a half of the crisis there’s still a problem with the matter of appointments, with some wondering why appoint someone who isn’t qualified, who doesn’t have the ability and qualification needed and who might later cause us problems leading to dismissing and trying them for example. Mr. President, is there a flaw in the appointment mechanism, particularly since the crisis didn’t influence in or maybe didn’t motivate instruments in a bigger way in this regard?
President al-Assad: There’s an objective side to this proposition and a subjective side. The objective sides is that we don’t have in Syria so far human resources management in the scientific sense, and this is a standalone science, and this is what we’re doing by putting the final touches on a project related to public employment, which evaluates the person since entering the government employment and until leaving it with a full course that specifies the development of their work. Someone good may come along and the evaluation is correct but after a while they deviate. The mechanism of entry alone isn’t enough. As for saying that this person came and didn’t prove to be good in the current mechanism in the absence of human resources management then you can only try as you don’t know if this person will fail. You must try to know that they will fail, and as long as they failed and you can replace them then where’s the problem? Of course, this takes time, but you don’t have other options. There are cases where a person is successful in a place and we assume that his success in this place will lead to his success elsewhere, only to discover that this isn’t true after trying. In fact, with the absence of human resources in their scientific form, then you have no option except to try, and the important thing in this case is not to keep quiet over someone who makes mistakes or fails, nor keep them in place, and in turn there’s someone who fails in a place not because they’re bad, but because this place doesn’t suit them, when you transfer them elsewhere they might succeed.
President al-Assad: There’s an objective side to this proposition and a subjective side. The objective sides is that we don’t have in Syria so far human resources management in the scientific sense, and this is a standalone science, and this is what we’re doing by putting the final touches on a project related to public employment, which evaluates the person since entering the government employment and until leaving it with a full course that specifies the development of their work. Someone good may come along and the evaluation is correct but after a while they deviate. The mechanism of entry alone isn’t enough. As for saying that this person came and didn’t prove to be good in the current mechanism in the absence of human resources management then you can only try as you don’t know if this person will fail. You must try to know that they will fail, and as long as they failed and you can replace them then where’s the problem? Of course, this takes time, but you don’t have other options. There are cases where a person is successful in a place and we assume that his success in this place will lead to his success elsewhere, only to discover that this isn’t true after trying. In fact, with the absence of human resources in their scientific form, then you have no option except to try, and the important thing in this case is not to keep quiet over someone who makes mistakes or fails, nor keep them in place, and in turn there’s someone who fails in a place not because they’re bad, but because this place doesn’t suit them, when you transfer them elsewhere they might succeed.
Question: Mr. President, many people link everything to the President, saying the President appointed this minister or issued that or discussed this, confusing a presidential decree with a mistake or something the government is in charge of. Your Excellency talked on more than one occasion about a true supervision that the media should perform on government performance. How can the media have the bigger role in supervision?
Question: Mr. President, many people link everything to the President, saying the President appointed this minister or issued that or discussed this, confusing a presidential decree with a mistake or something the government is in charge of. Your Excellency talked on more than one occasion about a true supervision that the media should perform on government performance. How can the media have the bigger role in supervision?
President al-Assad: Officials must be monitored from above and monitored form below, which means the public base, but demands so far are to monitor officials from above only, and this isn’t enough. It might be enough for certain levels of responsibility; a minister, a general director and the like, but there are lower levels like employees who need popular oversight in which the media plays a main role. The media tried in various stages to play this role, but this isn’t only through articles highlighting general issues, as the media’s role is to prepare a full case like, in countries that are advanced in what happens this field; the journalist presents a full case containing evidence, and in this case there’s no choice for officials but to refer this case as it is to investigation and later to the judiciary. This is what the media lacks. Of course, for the media to succeed in this, we also need more transparency by the state, as those affected will attempt to shut all doors in the face of the media, but the media must remain persistent and determined in this framework. Of course, for the President’s role, he’s responsible for the entire state and cannot evade or say I’m not responsible for a certain aspect of the state, but there’s a certain reality:  no-one can see all corners of the country.
President al-Assad: Officials must be monitored from above and monitored form below, which means the public base, but demands so far are to monitor officials from above only, and this isn’t enough. It might be enough for certain levels of responsibility; a minister, a general director and the like, but there are lower levels like employees who need popular oversight in which the media plays a main role. The media tried in various stages to play this role, but this isn’t only through articles highlighting general issues, as the media’s role is to prepare a full case like, in countries that are advanced in what happens this field; the journalist presents a full case containing evidence, and in this case there’s no choice for officials but to refer this case as it is to investigation and later to the judiciary. This is what the media lacks. Of course, for the media to succeed in this, we also need more transparency by the state, as those affected will attempt to shut all doors in the face of the media, but the media must remain persistent and determined in this framework. Of course, for the President’s role, he’s responsible for the entire state and cannot evade or say I’m not responsible for a certain aspect of the state, but there’s a certain reality:  no-one can see all corners of the country.
Question: From this comes the emphasis on the role of institutions which Your Excellency talked about since the oath speech, that in a state of establishment each point must assume its true role?
Question: From this comes the emphasis on the role of institutions which Your Excellency talked about since the oath speech, that in a state of establishment each point must assume its true role?
President al-Assad: Exactly. As long as establishments aren’t mature, any official’s role including the President’s will remain a lacking role. The President supervises in a general manner the policies of establishments and intervenes in some cases, but here we’re dealing with thousands of cases each day, cases that relate to citizens who cannot be supervised daily unless there are institutions of establishments or   participation on the part of citizens in managing the state’s affairs.
President al-Assad: Exactly. As long as establishments aren’t mature, any official’s role including the President’s will remain a lacking role. The President supervises in a general manner the policies of establishments and intervenes in some cases, but here we’re dealing with thousands of cases each day, cases that relate to citizens who cannot be supervised daily unless there are institutions of establishments or   participation on the part of citizens in managing the state’s affairs.
Question: You Excellency said that the media should persist, but is there a mechanism that organizes work more effectively and thus gives – we don’t want to say authority in the literal sense but rather a bigger role for the media? Are we allowed to intervene more in affairs which may be related to oversight?
Question: You Excellency said that the media should persist, but is there a mechanism that organizes work more effectively and thus gives – we don’t want to say authority in the literal sense but rather a bigger role for the media? Are we allowed to intervene more in affairs which may be related to oversight?
President al-Assad: It’s more than a question of being allowed or not. For me as an official, when you do your duty, I succeed, and your role is a success for me, and it’s in my personal interest that the media succeeds in this regard, and there’s national interest too as the homeland succeeds, institutions succeed and citizens succeed and become comfortable. In these matters, we all win when you play your role. The media playing its role isn’t a matter of allowing or not, but rather a matter of knowing exactly how to play the role objectively, and for the media not to exploit their role for personal interest. The media, in the end, is one of the authorities that can exploit authority for personal interest, and this relies on the profession’s professional ethics of those working in the field.
President al-Assad: It’s more than a question of being allowed or not. For me as an official, when you do your duty, I succeed, and your role is a success for me, and it’s in my personal interest that the media succeeds in this regard, and there’s national interest too as the homeland succeeds, institutions succeed and citizens succeed and become comfortable. In these matters, we all win when you play your role. The media playing its role isn’t a matter of allowing or not, but rather a matter of knowing exactly how to play the role objectively, and for the media not to exploit their role for personal interest. The media, in the end, is one of the authorities that can exploit authority for personal interest, and this relies on the profession’s professional ethics of those working in the field.
Question: Meaning that if the issue is within the supervision framework oversight and the framework of serving the country, then the media, as Your Excellency said, has the green light.
Question: Meaning that if the issue is within the supervision framework oversight and the framework of serving the country, then the media, as Your Excellency said, has the green light.
President al-Assad: Exactly, but by overcoming the educational role and playing a more investigative role, and by having the media’s role become investigating cases and finding evidence in addition to solutions, thereby assisting the judiciary and the investigating authorities, and at the same time proposing solutions to officials that we can benefit from in our decisions in the future.
President al-Assad: Exactly, but by overcoming the educational role and playing a more investigative role, and by having the media’s role become investigating cases and finding evidence in addition to solutions, thereby assisting the judiciary and the investigating authorities, and at the same time proposing solutions to officials that we can benefit from in our decisions in the future.
Question: Mr. President, the media is being targeted now in Syria, and Your Excellency highlighted this on more than one occasion. In a previous stage we faced a media war from abroad, then it shifted to targeting the Syrian media politically. We saw the decision of the Arab foreign ministers when they decided to block Syrian channels from satellites which is also a precedent, and bloody targeting that manifested itself in al-Ikhbariya bombing, the bombing of the General Establishment of Radio and Television, and the targeting of Addounia TV and journalists with kidnapping and murder. Where do you place the media in this context?
Question: Mr. President, the media is being targeted now in Syria, and Your Excellency highlighted this on more than one occasion. In a previous stage we faced a media war from abroad, then it shifted to targeting the Syrian media politically. We saw the decision of the Arab foreign ministers when they decided to block Syrian channels from satellites which is also a precedent, and bloody targeting that manifested itself in al-Ikhbariya bombing, the bombing of the General Establishment of Radio and Television, and the targeting of Addounia TV and journalists with kidnapping and murder. Where do you place the media in this context?
President al-Assad: The answer lies in the question, and it takes us to an important point which is that we must stop self flagellation, despite the presence of shortcomings in all fields including the media, and we wish things had been better. But if this tool has been a failure, as some claim, then it wouldn’t have been targeted. If it were bad, harmful and a failure then they would have provided you, as national media whether public or private, free satellite channels. This affirms that Syrian media managed to expose them and undermine true media empires behind which is not just money but also political decisions  in major capitals of the world. This in itself is proof of the success of Syrian media. Of course, we can be stronger and more successful, and this is natural. We haven’t reached our aspirations and you haven’t reached your aspirations as media, and this is the course of life. But to those who say that the media is a failure, this is our answer.
President al-Assad: The answer lies in the question, and it takes us to an important point which is that we must stop self flagellation, despite the presence of shortcomings in all fields including the media, and we wish things had been better. But if this tool has been a failure, as some claim, then it wouldn’t have been targeted. If it were bad, harmful and a failure then they would have provided you, as national media whether public or private, free satellite channels. This affirms that Syrian media managed to expose them and undermine true media empires behind which is not just money but also political decisions  in major capitals of the world. This in itself is proof of the success of Syrian media. Of course, we can be stronger and more successful, and this is natural. We haven’t reached our aspirations and you haven’t reached your aspirations as media, and this is the course of life. But to those who say that the media is a failure, this is our answer.
Question: Mr. President, the issue of defections is one of the things that concerned Syrian society lately as well. There were those who promoted the defection of figures like Riyad Hijab, Manaf Tlas, some diplomats and some officers of various ranks, and they said that if these people hadn’t seen something dark in Syria’s future and that the state isn’t stable and isn’t strong, then they wouldn’t have abandoned fortune, power and positions to the unknown.
Question: Mr. President, the issue of defections is one of the things that concerned Syrian society lately as well. There were those who promoted the defection of figures like Riyad Hijab, Manaf Tlas, some diplomats and some officers of various ranks, and they said that if these people hadn’t seen something dark in Syria’s future and that the state isn’t stable and isn’t strong, then they wouldn’t have abandoned fortune, power and positions to the unknown.
President al-Assad: Regardless of the names, and assuming that the future is dark, is this a reason to leave the country? What is this limited proposition, it is an accusation of being unpatriotic. But let us examine the term. First, defection is when one establishment separates from a bigger establishment that presides over it or the defection of a part of an establishment from the main establishment, and at the top of this establishment is an individual or individuals who rebel against the higher levels or the main establishment. This didn’t happen. What happened was that individuals who were occupied certain positions fled the country, which is a process of desertion and escape, not defection. The defection is internal, not external. It’s a rebellion against the state within the country, which didn’t happen. Therefore, these are desertions outside the country, and those who desert or flee are either people who were presented with money and left, and are therefore corrupt and accept bribes, or cowards who were threatened by terrorists or the other side or, as you said, had no hope of a bright future, so they got scared of this future and fled abroad, or maybe it was someone with ambition who believed that he should have gotten gains or benefits or specific ranks but didn’t and decided to flee. Of course, there other reasons. In the end, those who flee are practically either weak or bad, because a patriotic and good person doesn’t runaway and doesn’t flee abroad. Practically, this process is positive and a process of self-cleansing of the state first and the country in general, so we mustn’t be upset by this process because it’s positive. Many people we didn’t know had these qualities and they exposed their truth themselves, which is positive. Add to that that more than one person was said to want to defect before, and what did we do? We told those who proposed that let’s facilitate it for him and let him go. It’s a positive process. Of course, we weren’t sure in all cases, and in return in some cases we were very sure yet we didn’t mind, and despite that many people were discussed before and lately and were allegedly to flee Syria under the slogan of defection, did you hear that the state arrested any of those? Of course not, because we view this positively.
President al-Assad: Regardless of the names, and assuming that the future is dark, is this a reason to leave the country? What is this limited proposition, it is an accusation of being unpatriotic. But let us examine the term. First, defection is when one establishment separates from a bigger establishment that presides over it or the defection of a part of an establishment from the main establishment, and at the top of this establishment is an individual or individuals who rebel against the higher levels or the main establishment. This didn’t happen. What happened was that individuals who were occupied certain positions fled the country, which is a process of desertion and escape, not defection. The defection is internal, not external. It’s a rebellion against the state within the country, which didn’t happen. Therefore, these are desertions outside the country, and those who desert or flee are either people who were presented with money and left, and are therefore corrupt and accept bribes, or cowards who were threatened by terrorists or the other side or, as you said, had no hope of a bright future, so they got scared of this future and fled abroad, or maybe it was someone with ambition who believed that he should have gotten gains or benefits or specific ranks but didn’t and decided to flee. Of course, there other reasons. In the end, those who flee are practically either weak or bad, because a patriotic and good person doesn’t runaway and doesn’t flee abroad. Practically, this process is positive and a process of self-cleansing of the state first and the country in general, so we mustn’t be upset by this process because it’s positive. Many people we didn’t know had these qualities and they exposed their truth themselves, which is positive. Add to that that more than one person was said to want to defect before, and what did we do? We told those who proposed that let’s facilitate it for him and let him go. It’s a positive process. Of course, we weren’t sure in all cases, and in return in some cases we were very sure yet we didn’t mind, and despite that many people were discussed before and lately and were allegedly to flee Syria under the slogan of defection, did you hear that the state arrested any of those? Of course not, because we view this positively.
Question: Despite knowing and being aware of this.
Question: Despite knowing and being aware of this.
President al-Assad: In some cases, we have information and high suspicions. We don’t say fully aware. But the question put by relevant authority was what to do, how to act, should we prevent them? There was a call to prevent them but we told them no, prevention isn’t right, these people’s departure is the right thing. First, they’re exposed before the Syrian people. Second, every person who leaves the country is finished. If they have political ambition or goals then they’re over for the simple reason which is that the Syrian people don’t respect those who run away, and that Syrian people cannot be led by remote control with wireless devices, and they cannot lead them from abroad. This issue has been resolved historically, so I can say that if there’s a Syrian citizen who knows that about someone who is hesitant and wants to flee, then they should encourage them.
President al-Assad: In some cases, we have information and high suspicions. We don’t say fully aware. But the question put by relevant authority was what to do, how to act, should we prevent them? There was a call to prevent them but we told them no, prevention isn’t right, these people’s departure is the right thing. First, they’re exposed before the Syrian people. Second, every person who leaves the country is finished. If they have political ambition or goals then they’re over for the simple reason which is that the Syrian people don’t respect those who run away, and that Syrian people cannot be led by remote control with wireless devices, and they cannot lead them from abroad. This issue has been resolved historically, so I can say that if there’s a Syrian citizen who knows that about someone who is hesitant and wants to flee, then they should encourage them.
Question: Within the major campaign targeting Syria, can we expect more desertion? Do you have a problem in this regard?
Question: Within the major campaign targeting Syria, can we expect more desertion? Do you have a problem in this regard?
President al-Assad: If desertion is by this kind of people then it’s a positive case, and it’s natural for this sort of people come to the surface during crises, and this a positive thing that we must anticipate and be optimistic about, not pessimistic.
President al-Assad: If desertion is by this kind of people then it’s a positive case, and it’s natural for this sort of people come to the surface during crises, and this a positive thing that we must anticipate and be optimistic about, not pessimistic.
Question: Your Excellency indicated on all occasions the scale of the conspiracy and pressure against Syria and the many things for which all available methods and means have been rallied politically and non-politically, morally and immorally. The Syrians ask: why us? Why are we being targeted with this enormous amount of resources aimed at Syria?
Question: Your Excellency indicated on all occasions the scale of the conspiracy and pressure against Syria and the many things for which all available methods and means have been rallied politically and non-politically, morally and immorally. The Syrians ask: why us? Why are we being targeted with this enormous amount of resources aimed at Syria?
President al-Assad: this is the history of Syria, conflict on Syria took place even when we were part of the Ottoman Empire, because the Levant is a strategic region, following independence and the French evacuation all the coups were funded from outside and aimed at controlling Syria and the Syrian policy as well as dragging it into axes which were present at that time when Syria started to adopt an independent policy, practically after March 8th Revolution and consolidated after the Corrective  Movement when the attack on Syria became more powerful than before. Now, we are paying the price of different stances, some of them related to the principled polices linked to the Syrian rights, our stance on the resistance and our relation with Iran which means with this axes that is not liked by the West.
President al-Assad: this is the history of Syria, conflict on Syria took place even when we were part of the Ottoman Empire, because the Levant is a strategic region, following independence and the French evacuation all the coups were funded from outside and aimed at controlling Syria and the Syrian policy as well as dragging it into axes which were present at that time when Syria started to adopt an independent policy, practically after March 8th Revolution and consolidated after the Corrective  Movement when the attack on Syria became more powerful than before. Now, we are paying the price of different stances, some of them related to the principled polices linked to the Syrian rights, our stance on the resistance and our relation with Iran which means with this axes that is not liked by the West.
Some of those are linked to our latest stances, a lot of people aren’t aware that our stance on the shelling of Libya was a lonely stance at the Arab League against the no-fly zone. We objected, and not merely abstained. As we fully understood that the no-fly zone means the start of aggression on Libya and this is what has happened. We pay the price of these stances and the price of the west’s openness towards us in 2008, 2009 and 2010 during which time some have mistakenly believed that it was a real openness stage, but it was a stage through which they aimed to change the way of dealing with Syria , and to reach the needed goals, conspiring against resistance, particularly in Lebanon and targeting relations between Syria and Iran which stands by us and the Arab right, and when they failed during that stage, the Arab Spring was the new justification for them in front of their peoples to conspire once again against Syria. For all these reasons we pay the price.
Some of those are linked to our latest stances, a lot of people aren’t aware that our stance on the shelling of Libya was a lonely stance at the Arab League against the no-fly zone. We objected, and not merely abstained. As we fully understood that the no-fly zone means the start of aggression on Libya and this is what has happened. We pay the price of these stances and the price of the west’s openness towards us in 2008, 2009 and 2010 during which time some have mistakenly believed that it was a real openness stage, but it was a stage through which they aimed to change the way of dealing with Syria , and to reach the needed goals, conspiring against resistance, particularly in Lebanon and targeting relations between Syria and Iran which stands by us and the Arab right, and when they failed during that stage, the Arab Spring was the new justification for them in front of their peoples to conspire once again against Syria. For all these reasons we pay the price.
Question: Mr. President, Was anything were demanded to be done by your side, and you refused to do so during the openness and interest stage which was practiced on Syria between 2008 and 2010, so the ways and means have changed?
Question: Mr. President, Was anything were demanded to be done by your side, and you refused to do so during the openness and interest stage which was practiced on Syria between 2008 and 2010, so the ways and means have changed?
President al-Assad: Yes, they clearly and continuously asked us to move away from Iran, and our answer was clear as much as Iran stands by us, supports us and stands by our rights without any hesitation and even without discussions of the details just as it is a Syrian right or a Syrian opinion. So how could we move away from it. In principle, rejecting or inverting on a side or faithful country, this is unacceptable .In terms of interest, a country which changed the Israeli Embassy into a Palestinian one and stood with the Palestinian right. As Arab states, we don’t talk but with the Palestinian right, do we come and turn the table on this country ?? on the other side, the attempts which were made during that time were related to conspiring on the Iranian nuclear file though we are not part of this file, and Iran didn’t ask assistance in this issue, the issue is proposed on the international arena, not on the regional one, what was needed from Syria was to convince Iran with matters against its interest, we saw that issue as an issue which relates to our future interest, our national security in the future, because what is applied to Iran as a state which seeks to get peaceful nuclear energy will be applied to us in future, particularly as this energy is basic in the future, and the West wanted to monopolize the knowledge and prevent it from the developing countries. There is another side related to the resistance, they also wanted us to conspire against the resistance in Palestine, the resistance in Lebanon through some measures which might be happening in Lebanon to prevent it, we rejected all these issues, they relied on the principle of openness and that the Arabs like honoring, and appreciation, and flattery, this openness and the repeated visits and drumming by the western media against Syria whose president was a criminal a few years ago according to their media in 2005 after al-Hariri issue, and suddenly became a peace maker, this gives you an idea of western hypocrisy, and when they failed during that stage, the Arab spring was the opportunity to terminate the Syrian policy.
President al-Assad: Yes, they clearly and continuously asked us to move away from Iran, and our answer was clear as much as Iran stands by us, supports us and stands by our rights without any hesitation and even without discussions of the details just as it is a Syrian right or a Syrian opinion. So how could we move away from it. In principle, rejecting or inverting on a side or faithful country, this is unacceptable .In terms of interest, a country which changed the Israeli Embassy into a Palestinian one and stood with the Palestinian right. As Arab states, we don’t talk but with the Palestinian right, do we come and turn the table on this country ?? on the other side, the attempts which were made during that time were related to conspiring on the Iranian nuclear file though we are not part of this file, and Iran didn’t ask assistance in this issue, the issue is proposed on the international arena, not on the regional one, what was needed from Syria was to convince Iran with matters against its interest, we saw that issue as an issue which relates to our future interest, our national security in the future, because what is applied to Iran as a state which seeks to get peaceful nuclear energy will be applied to us in future, particularly as this energy is basic in the future, and the West wanted to monopolize the knowledge and prevent it from the developing countries. There is another side related to the resistance, they also wanted us to conspire against the resistance in Palestine, the resistance in Lebanon through some measures which might be happening in Lebanon to prevent it, we rejected all these issues, they relied on the principle of openness and that the Arabs like honoring, and appreciation, and flattery, this openness and the repeated visits and drumming by the western media against Syria whose president was a criminal a few years ago according to their media in 2005 after al-Hariri issue, and suddenly became a peace maker, this gives you an idea of western hypocrisy, and when they failed during that stage, the Arab spring was the opportunity to terminate the Syrian policy.
Question: Syria has and still encounters all forms of sanctions that targeted some Ministers, companies, among them medical, food ones, so the Syrian people was the target. Those sanctions were seemingly imposed on a number of personalities, but the reality is that they impacted the people as a whole, who could Syria avoid all these sanctions, particularly as they say that through economic pressure, or through making Syria collapse economically they might achieve their political goals?
Question: Syria has and still encounters all forms of sanctions that targeted some Ministers, companies, among them medical, food ones, so the Syrian people was the target. Those sanctions were seemingly imposed on a number of personalities, but the reality is that they impacted the people as a whole, who could Syria avoid all these sanctions, particularly as they say that through economic pressure, or through making Syria collapse economically they might achieve their political goals?
President al-Assad: This kind of sanctions will undoubtedly affect Syria, but it will affect with specific degrees. This depends on how we could we adapt with these conditions. Look to Iran, it progresses forwards in light of severe sanctions throughout many decades. We are a nation that has intelligence throughout history, we have a great ability to adapt, we have lived the crises throughout our history. The stages which were calm were limited stages in the Syrian history, undoubtedly we have capability to adapt with them as we are a productive state, we are not an importer country in principle, we are productive state from agriculture, crafts into small industries, but we have to reformulate our economy in a way that suits with this new condition, in this case we can make achievement. The Syrian industry has developed in light of the eighties siege, you remember at that time we had not even the basic materials, that condition was  more difficult than this stage, we had no minimum reserve in our banks, even though we could develop industry, today we have bigger capabilities but  they need some thinking, a number of practical plans, not theorization, I believe that we will get benefit, these outcomes will occur after the crisis though self-dependence and keeping away from some unimportant consumer- habits which we have adopted mainly because we live years of welfare, so we have the ability to remain and develop, and what we need is to specify what the best formula for our economy.
President al-Assad: This kind of sanctions will undoubtedly affect Syria, but it will affect with specific degrees. This depends on how we could we adapt with these conditions. Look to Iran, it progresses forwards in light of severe sanctions throughout many decades. We are a nation that has intelligence throughout history, we have a great ability to adapt, we have lived the crises throughout our history. The stages which were calm were limited stages in the Syrian history, undoubtedly we have capability to adapt with them as we are a productive state, we are not an importer country in principle, we are productive state from agriculture, crafts into small industries, but we have to reformulate our economy in a way that suits with this new condition, in this case we can make achievement. The Syrian industry has developed in light of the eighties siege, you remember at that time we had not even the basic materials, that condition was  more difficult than this stage, we had no minimum reserve in our banks, even though we could develop industry, today we have bigger capabilities but  they need some thinking, a number of practical plans, not theorization, I believe that we will get benefit, these outcomes will occur after the crisis though self-dependence and keeping away from some unimportant consumer- habits which we have adopted mainly because we live years of welfare, so we have the ability to remain and develop, and what we need is to specify what the best formula for our economy.
Question: Mr. President, You called for dialogue, and the state calls for dialogue, some opposition parties talk now about dialogue, they were rejecting dialogue, but now they accept, some reject, other accept, how the State deals with the call for dialogue since the convening of the conference last year?
Question: Mr. President, You called for dialogue, and the state calls for dialogue, some opposition parties talk now about dialogue, they were rejecting dialogue, but now they accept, some reject, other accept, how the State deals with the call for dialogue since the convening of the conference last year?
President al-Assad: This is a very long story though it lasted a year and a half, but it was very rich and a lot of people don’t know what things were happening and what was the reality of the dialogue, what was the stance of the state and the opposition’s. At the beginning of the crisis, we asked to conduct dialogue with all the forces and personalities even those who were novice in politics, we went beyond all the political forces reaching social and cultural personalities, etc, we considered the issue as not a political issue, but a national issue, each person in Syria is engaged in resolving this crisis, at that time, the issue of dialogue was proposed on all levels by different sides, and by the states which came to advise us, with good or bad faith, the same thing by the powers existing in Syria which wanted to exploit the crisis, or those who wanted to take a national and real position.  We said that the notion of dialogue is good and we started to work for that purpose, here the sorting out began, particularly regarding the forces of opposition. There was a national opposition which wanted to put aside all its interests and visions which we differ on to put the interest of the Homeland first. Subsequently in the political process, some of them entered elections, others participated in the People’s Assembly and the government. On the other side, there was the non-national opposition whom we didn’t talk about directly, without specifying who was this opposition, the people will later know who they are, but we have to specify what is happening. In the beginning, that opposition presented a reform process, reforming, amending, changing laws or amending the constitution.  It believed that we would reject this logic, of course, this is what has been proposed by it publically, At the same time, it was bargaining with us through hidden channels that it had no interest in all this and that this speech was for the media or popular consumption, but it wanted to take part in the government. Of course, in principle we said we have no problem in the issue of participation in the government. The government is not restricted to one side, the government is for all people.  We have always let independent people participate. Other forces could come, we have no problem, but we don’t accept blackmail.  The basis in dealing with any side is the moral and principled dealing.  We reached dialogue.  Those forces were calling for dialogue, we were surprised that they didn’t come, I stress that I talk about part of the opposition, why did those forces refuse to come to dialogue? Because, before dialogue starts, they supposed it to be restricted to the State and those groups, to sit at the dialogue table in the absence of other sides.
President al-Assad: This is a very long story though it lasted a year and a half, but it was very rich and a lot of people don’t know what things were happening and what was the reality of the dialogue, what was the stance of the state and the opposition’s. At the beginning of the crisis, we asked to conduct dialogue with all the forces and personalities even those who were novice in politics, we went beyond all the political forces reaching social and cultural personalities, etc, we considered the issue as not a political issue, but a national issue, each person in Syria is engaged in resolving this crisis, at that time, the issue of dialogue was proposed on all levels by different sides, and by the states which came to advise us, with good or bad faith, the same thing by the powers existing in Syria which wanted to exploit the crisis, or those who wanted to take a national and real position.  We said that the notion of dialogue is good and we started to work for that purpose, here the sorting out began, particularly regarding the forces of opposition. There was a national opposition which wanted to put aside all its interests and visions which we differ on to put the interest of the Homeland first. Subsequently in the political process, some of them entered elections, others participated in the People’s Assembly and the government. On the other side, there was the non-national opposition whom we didn’t talk about directly, without specifying who was this opposition, the people will later know who they are, but we have to specify what is happening. In the beginning, that opposition presented a reform process, reforming, amending, changing laws or amending the constitution.  It believed that we would reject this logic, of course, this is what has been proposed by it publically, At the same time, it was bargaining with us through hidden channels that it had no interest in all this and that this speech was for the media or popular consumption, but it wanted to take part in the government. Of course, in principle we said we have no problem in the issue of participation in the government. The government is not restricted to one side, the government is for all people.  We have always let independent people participate. Other forces could come, we have no problem, but we don’t accept blackmail.  The basis in dealing with any side is the moral and principled dealing.  We reached dialogue.  Those forces were calling for dialogue, we were surprised that they didn’t come, I stress that I talk about part of the opposition, why did those forces refuse to come to dialogue? Because, before dialogue starts, they supposed it to be restricted to the State and those groups, to sit at the dialogue table in the absence of other sides.
Interposition: which means monopolization.
Interposition: which means monopolization.
President al-Assad: Yes, for a simple reason: they wanted to pretend to be defenders of the people and representatives for them, and that we are against the people.
President al-Assad: Yes, for a simple reason: they wanted to pretend to be defenders of the people and representatives for them, and that we are against the people.
They had no popular base, but they tried to achieve a political position for them in as opportunists in order to negotiate with the State, so we rejected this speech and called on all different powers, on the dialogue table there was more than 100 personalities. They represent different Syrian spectrums, this is from one side. Another side was that some of these powers were continuously contacting the western embassies which were actively working in Syria at that time, they were told not to go for dialogue because the life span of the state, or what they call “regime”- and this word is rejected-, the life span of this state is in weeks or a number of months, so you don’t have to talk to a collapsed side. There were other sides which went to Egypt, received money from Gulf countries at the Arab League or through officials at the Arab League in order not to go to the dialogue. There was another reason, they proposed the issue of reform, I met some groups of them, they talked about the constitution and the 8th Article, before a month of the dialogue, I addressed the people at Damascus University, during which I announced reforms. According to them, what was needed from this dialogue was to propose reforms and put us in front of two options; if we accepted, they would say to the people that they brought the reform through negotiations with the state, and if we rejected, they would say that the State was against reform, so let us fight it.  So they monopolize the popular base as defenders of the people’s rights. This was clear for us, they are opportunists to a great deal, so we disregarded them, and moved to another stage after dialogue.  Of course, they continued their stance through betting on the embassies and the Gulf powers existed at the Arab League and contacted them till they lost hope. Lately, we heard that they started to talk about dialogue. Let us put aside all this opportunism, and suppose good well, let us say to come late is better than not to come, but if you wanted to come late, you have to be true, not to come once more as an opportunist to get on a wave that you see this ship didn’t sink, so let us ensure a place in it. You are talking now about rejecting violence and arming from all sides.  This is the word which some are ruminating from time to time, if you admitted of the weapon or arming, why did you reject it a year ago? Would you come and say clearly that you were mistaken or in maximum that you have lied to the people. We don’t expect the second, in minimum, the first. Let him say that he didn’t know, let him say that he made a mistake in evaluation. But to come as if nothing has happened, this speech is rejected, this opportunism is rejected, when they believe that they didn’t find a place for them on the other ship and that it drowned through councils abroad or through the outside’s discovering that the opportunist opposition has no real position in Syria, has no role.
Through betting on the military terrorist act and the failure of this armed terrorist work in Syria to achieve important outcomes, on the contrary it was a retreat and contraction. At that time they began to shift. This speech is unacceptable for us. This is on one side, but on the other, there are other initiatives at work.
Through betting on the military terrorist act and the failure of this armed terrorist work in Syria to achieve important outcomes, on the contrary it was a retreat and contraction. At that time they began to shift. This speech is unacceptable for us. This is on one side, but on the other, there are other initiatives at work.
Question: Initiatives of the opposition like Rome’s. Here we discussed the three stages of dialogue that first they demanded it, second they refrained from it, and now they demand it again, and with the belief that the ship hasn’t sunk.  The number may expand and new spectrums may come to join them.
Question: Initiatives of the opposition like Rome’s. Here we discussed the three stages of dialogue that first they demanded it, second they refrained from it, and now they demand it again, and with the belief that the ship hasn’t sunk.  The number may expand and new spectrums may come to join them.
President al-Assad: In addition to what I said in my previous answer on rejecting dealing with opportunism, we have a principled policy and what we said at the beginning of the crisis we say today. We didn’t change our positions at all towards the events and all the circumstances surrounding it. We say that our dealing with initiatives is also based on what side is making the initiative? What tools do they possess? What is their weight in Syria? If they’re countries like what is happening now when we hear about an initiative to be carried out by Iran and we supported it, first due to Iran’s role in the region and its importance and principled nature and other reasons, and because it will be with a group of other countries that aren’t necessarily as principled and of the same weight, but they can play a role in one way or another. We ask each side that makes an initiative: what is the weight of this side? Many initiatives came from various sides, some from foreign organizations like the one that sponsored the recent Rome initiative, and I’m surprised that foreign organizations are sponsoring Syrian initiatives by Syrian people. This is disgraceful for us on the national level. We disregarded many of these initiatives that have no value and no weight, as the crisis isn’t a place for some people to seek positions. This is part of trading in the crisis.
President al-Assad: In addition to what I said in my previous answer on rejecting dealing with opportunism, we have a principled policy and what we said at the beginning of the crisis we say today. We didn’t change our positions at all towards the events and all the circumstances surrounding it. We say that our dealing with initiatives is also based on what side is making the initiative? What tools do they possess? What is their weight in Syria? If they’re countries like what is happening now when we hear about an initiative to be carried out by Iran and we supported it, first due to Iran’s role in the region and its importance and principled nature and other reasons, and because it will be with a group of other countries that aren’t necessarily as principled and of the same weight, but they can play a role in one way or another. We ask each side that makes an initiative: what is the weight of this side? Many initiatives came from various sides, some from foreign organizations like the one that sponsored the recent Rome initiative, and I’m surprised that foreign organizations are sponsoring Syrian initiatives by Syrian people. This is disgraceful for us on the national level. We disregarded many of these initiatives that have no value and no weight, as the crisis isn’t a place for some people to seek positions. This is part of trading in the crisis.
Question: Those who watched the issue of the ship whether it will sink or not, bet on a time frame. We’re talking now about a year and a half. The ship is still strong and it seems that with the determination of this country’s people it will remain strong. We ask: who made Syria so far strong and steadfast in the face of all it went through?
Question: Those who watched the issue of the ship whether it will sink or not, bet on a time frame. We’re talking now about a year and a half. The ship is still strong and it seems that with the determination of this country’s people it will remain strong. We ask: who made Syria so far strong and steadfast in the face of all it went through?
President al-Assad: First, some made a mistake in believing that the ship is the ship of the state or, once again in quotes, a “regime.” The ship is the homeland either Syria drowns or Syria makes it. We must be clear on this point; the state cannot sink and the homeland persists for simple reason which is that despite the many mistakes that exist, there’s a deep bond between this state’s policies and this people’s creed. But if we said who made this country steadfast, the fact is it’s the people in general, and the popular base not its elite. To be clear for history: the wide base which maybe isn’t usually interested in politics.
President al-Assad: First, some made a mistake in believing that the ship is the ship of the state or, once again in quotes, a “regime.” The ship is the homeland either Syria drowns or Syria makes it. We must be clear on this point; the state cannot sink and the homeland persists for simple reason which is that despite the many mistakes that exist, there’s a deep bond between this state’s policies and this people’s creed. But if we said who made this country steadfast, the fact is it’s the people in general, and the popular base not its elite. To be clear for history: the wide base which maybe isn’t usually interested in politics.
Interposition: The common people.
Interposition: The common people.
President al-Assad: Yes, the common people who maybe aren’t interested in politics, maybe they don’t have degrees, maybe they don’t live in these atmospheres, but they have a deep natural feeling about the truth of the crisis and its substance and essence. This isn’t the first time I discover this or see this scene; we saw it in 2003 after the war on Iraq and its results when some jumped to criticize the Syrian position for opposing major countries and siding with Iraq at the time, and it showed clearly after 2005 when the west conspired against it on the background of the assassination of al-Hariri in Lebanon, and now we see it clearer; it’s the same image. This wide base of the people is the one that protects the country, not the elite, to be clear whether this satisfies some or upsets them. Doubtless the most important element of this people which made this country steadfast is the armed forces. This army and armed forces, with their security and police, carry out heroic acts in the full sense of the word. They have readiness for sacrifice which we heard of before and believed to be individual cases, and they’re present in any army in the world, individual cases of heroism. But the surprising thing was the general state of readiness for sacrifices, cases of which we saw directly and live on Addounia TV and on the Syrian TV during the battles that showed their bravery and the successes they achieved. Without the successes of the Syrian Arab Army during these complicated circumstances, the country’s situation would doubtless be in danger, and the people’s embracing of this army is essential. We say the people’s army, as this army is part of this people. If we look at society as sectors of doctors, intellectuals, university graduates, vocational workers, farmers, workers, etc., and if we go back to the beginning of the crisis, the crisis began or relied on sectarian propositions. They wanted in the beginning to create a sectarian divide among the Syrian people to open a large hole in Syria in which this plan can pass very easily and quickly. The sectarian proposition is a departure from religion and deviation from religion, because religions, and Islam in particular, cannot be sectarian and separatist. There are many tools for confronting sectarianism, but the most important tool for this is proper religion, and no-one can play this role like religious figures or scholars. Truth is, for history, the role of religious figures in this crisis was very important and vital, and many people don’t know that a number of respectable religious figures were tortured and imprisoned in basements and some were assassinated and paid with their lives not for standing by the state, but for saying a word of truth or for speaking of the true principles of religion. The essence of the crisis was primarily creating sectarian strife and religious figures had a primary role in combating it. Here we also talk about the media as we said before; if the role of the media in Syria wasn’t important then journalists wouldn’t have paid the price with their lives. There are many groups, there are people in various points. I don’t exclude groups; all groups have patriotic people and people who paid the price with their lives, but there was a focus by the opponents and enemies on specific direction, and these groups or sectors of the people had to fulfill their duty and they carried out their duty. On the other hand, there were of course deviant religious figures who played a negative role either due to ignorance in creed or due to hidden political reasons for which they exploited religion, but those were encircled by the religious figures of Syria. Therefore, I believe this stage is one that should be recorded for all these groups that protected the homeland.
President al-Assad: Yes, the common people who maybe aren’t interested in politics, maybe they don’t have degrees, maybe they don’t live in these atmospheres, but they have a deep natural feeling about the truth of the crisis and its substance and essence. This isn’t the first time I discover this or see this scene; we saw it in 2003 after the war on Iraq and its results when some jumped to criticize the Syrian position for opposing major countries and siding with Iraq at the time, and it showed clearly after 2005 when the west conspired against it on the background of the assassination of al-Hariri in Lebanon, and now we see it clearer; it’s the same image. This wide base of the people is the one that protects the country, not the elite, to be clear whether this satisfies some or upsets them. Doubtless the most important element of this people which made this country steadfast is the armed forces. This army and armed forces, with their security and police, carry out heroic acts in the full sense of the word. They have readiness for sacrifice which we heard of before and believed to be individual cases, and they’re present in any army in the world, individual cases of heroism. But the surprising thing was the general state of readiness for sacrifices, cases of which we saw directly and live on Addounia TV and on the Syrian TV during the battles that showed their bravery and the successes they achieved. Without the successes of the Syrian Arab Army during these complicated circumstances, the country’s situation would doubtless be in danger, and the people’s embracing of this army is essential. We say the people’s army, as this army is part of this people. If we look at society as sectors of doctors, intellectuals, university graduates, vocational workers, farmers, workers, etc., and if we go back to the beginning of the crisis, the crisis began or relied on sectarian propositions. They wanted in the beginning to create a sectarian divide among the Syrian people to open a large hole in Syria in which this plan can pass very easily and quickly. The sectarian proposition is a departure from religion and deviation from religion, because religions, and Islam in particular, cannot be sectarian and separatist. There are many tools for confronting sectarianism, but the most important tool for this is proper religion, and no-one can play this role like religious figures or scholars. Truth is, for history, the role of religious figures in this crisis was very important and vital, and many people don’t know that a number of respectable religious figures were tortured and imprisoned in basements and some were assassinated and paid with their lives not for standing by the state, but for saying a word of truth or for speaking of the true principles of religion. The essence of the crisis was primarily creating sectarian strife and religious figures had a primary role in combating it. Here we also talk about the media as we said before; if the role of the media in Syria wasn’t important then journalists wouldn’t have paid the price with their lives. There are many groups, there are people in various points. I don’t exclude groups; all groups have patriotic people and people who paid the price with their lives, but there was a focus by the opponents and enemies on specific direction, and these groups or sectors of the people had to fulfill their duty and they carried out their duty. On the other hand, there were of course deviant religious figures who played a negative role either due to ignorance in creed or due to hidden political reasons for which they exploited religion, but those were encircled by the religious figures of Syria. Therefore, I believe this stage is one that should be recorded for all these groups that protected the homeland.
Question: Of course, we remember the assassination of many activities; doctors, engineers, university professors, scientists in all fields.
Question: Of course, we remember the assassination of many activities; doctors, engineers, university professors, scientists in all fields.
President al-Assad: This is correct. But maybe what was wanted from each individual in these groups was limited compared to the big slogans that were posed at the beginning of the crisis, yet I go back and say that everyone belongs to this people, and when I started by saying that the people were the ones who protected this country, then this encompasses all groups.
President al-Assad: This is correct. But maybe what was wanted from each individual in these groups was limited compared to the big slogans that were posed at the beginning of the crisis, yet I go back and say that everyone belongs to this people, and when I started by saying that the people were the ones who protected this country, then this encompasses all groups.
Question: Your Excellency, the Syrians want to know where they are heading, Where are we going?  What next?  What do you say to the Syrians, Your Excellency?
Question: Your Excellency, the Syrians want to know where they are heading, Where are we going?  What next?  What do you say to the Syrians, Your Excellency?
President al-Assad: We take Syria to the destination we want to as Syrian People and not to any other place. The external factor has an effect as it can speed up a certain process or slow it down or divert the direction, but we can correct the direction.  All that is taking place in Syria was never to take place if we had not certain groups: specific groups, but they are influential in pace with the foreign scheme politically or criminally. In the absence of such groups, be sure that a conspiracy led by the entire world against Syria, and in which all the world takes part against Syria is unable to affect the future which we want to draw for ourselves. In short, the fate of Syria is in the hands of the Syrians, NOT in the hands of anybody else; and once we eliminate terrorism, we will have no problem, even the conspirator would return and change.
President al-Assad: We take Syria to the destination we want to as Syrian People and not to any other place. The external factor has an effect as it can speed up a certain process or slow it down or divert the direction, but we can correct the direction.  All that is taking place in Syria was never to take place if we had not certain groups: specific groups, but they are influential in pace with the foreign scheme politically or criminally. In the absence of such groups, be sure that a conspiracy led by the entire world against Syria, and in which all the world takes part against Syria is unable to affect the future which we want to draw for ourselves. In short, the fate of Syria is in the hands of the Syrians, NOT in the hands of anybody else; and once we eliminate terrorism, we will have no problem, even the conspirator would return and change.
The Syrians who took part in these events are responsible for encouraging the conspirators to persist in their conspiracies.  This is the truth.  That is why we need to address the internal situation.  The conspiracy is big; but as I said in every speech and every interview, the foundation lies in Syria.  When we get rid of those terrorists and return to search later for the causes behind the presence of such criminality which we did not believe existed in our country, then we will be assured.  This is the responsibility of society and the entire homeland to eliminate terrorists and search for the real causes and deal with them. Then we should be assured; and then Syria will return as we know it before the crisis and I am certainly confident of this thing.
The Syrians who took part in these events are responsible for encouraging the conspirators to persist in their conspiracies.  This is the truth.  That is why we need to address the internal situation.  The conspiracy is big; but as I said in every speech and every interview, the foundation lies in Syria.  When we get rid of those terrorists and return to search later for the causes behind the presence of such criminality which we did not believe existed in our country, then we will be assured.  This is the responsibility of society and the entire homeland to eliminate terrorists and search for the real causes and deal with them. Then we should be assured; and then Syria will return as we know it before the crisis and I am certainly confident of this thing.
Question: On more than one occasion, Your Excellency said that Syria is the mother of all her children; and consequently when the state grants an amnesty for those who have been involved in the events, there are those who say that such amnesties might be granted when the state is strong.  Some people also empty the amnesty of its significance.  The same applies to calls for the armed men to lay down their weapons. Those people say that the state is not in a position which enables it to grant such amnesties.
Question: On more than one occasion, Your Excellency said that Syria is the mother of all her children; and consequently when the state grants an amnesty for those who have been involved in the events, there are those who say that such amnesties might be granted when the state is strong.  Some people also empty the amnesty of its significance.  The same applies to calls for the armed men to lay down their weapons. Those people say that the state is not in a position which enables it to grant such amnesties.
President al-Assad: The answer is implied in the Question. You show mercy when you are strong, not when you are weak.  It is a sign of strength and self-confidence. It is confidence in ourselves and in the people, because the state represents the people and is part of it.  Many people have been misled and misguided. Put aside mistakes: some times, in security work, some people get arrested by mistake and are released individually or collectively.  But there are cases which are identified by law as offences, and which we might show some tolerance towards.  This approach has produced positive results during the past eighteen months. If amnesty achieves positive results, why shouldn’t we pursue it.  Solving the crisis is not only through the elimination of terrorism, or through force. We have to use all possible means including tolerance.  That is why we continue to embrace this policy.
President al-Assad: The answer is implied in the Question. You show mercy when you are strong, not when you are weak.  It is a sign of strength and self-confidence. It is confidence in ourselves and in the people, because the state represents the people and is part of it.  Many people have been misled and misguided. Put aside mistakes: some times, in security work, some people get arrested by mistake and are released individually or collectively.  But there are cases which are identified by law as offences, and which we might show some tolerance towards.  This approach has produced positive results during the past eighteen months. If amnesty achieves positive results, why shouldn’t we pursue it.  Solving the crisis is not only through the elimination of terrorism, or through force. We have to use all possible means including tolerance.  That is why we continue to embrace this policy.
Question: Part of the Syrian people say – and let us put this between quotation marks – that they no longer believe in pan-Arabism.  They say we should put “Syria first” and abandon pan-Arabism after the stances taken by the Arab League and suspending Syria’s membership and the role played by some Arab regimes. Does His Excellency President Bashar al-Assad still believe in pan-Arabism and what is called “Arab action”?
Question: Part of the Syrian people say – and let us put this between quotation marks – that they no longer believe in pan-Arabism.  They say we should put “Syria first” and abandon pan-Arabism after the stances taken by the Arab League and suspending Syria’s membership and the role played by some Arab regimes. Does His Excellency President Bashar al-Assad still believe in pan-Arabism and what is called “Arab action”?
President al-Assad: First, I repeat what I said in one of my speeches, that “Syria first” is self-evident.  Every homeland, every village to which a human being belongs is “first”.  But this does not contradict with what comes second, which is the city, the larger homeland and the Arab world to which we belong.  This talk is reductive and comes as a reaction.  When we say “Syria first”, or that we don’t want to belong to the Arab nation, it means that we are handing the Arab nation over to those conspiring against us.  On the contrary, I say that today I am more committed to pan-Arabism, more convinced of it and more comfortable with it. After more than a decade of working with some – not all – of those Arab officials at different levels – some of them heads of state – I know that they don’t belong to the Arab nation and it doesn’t belong to them. This assures one that the Arab nation is pure despite some people’s endeavours to make it murky with their existence.  As to the Arab league, it is not a standard of a criterion for pan-Arabism.  Pan-Arabism is not an organization, it is a state of civilization.  This region is based on a number of pillars, the biggest among them are pan-Arabism and Islam.  Without both of them as two big bases, the region can never exist in its present form.  Without believing in these two main pillars, we show that we do not believe in something which exists in reality whether we like it or not.  This is a fact.  If you don’t believe in it, you need to change it.  Can we cancel away pan-Arabism?  This is a different issue.
President al-Assad: First, I repeat what I said in one of my speeches, that “Syria first” is self-evident.  Every homeland, every village to which a human being belongs is “first”.  But this does not contradict with what comes second, which is the city, the larger homeland and the Arab world to which we belong.  This talk is reductive and comes as a reaction.  When we say “Syria first”, or that we don’t want to belong to the Arab nation, it means that we are handing the Arab nation over to those conspiring against us.  On the contrary, I say that today I am more committed to pan-Arabism, more convinced of it and more comfortable with it. After more than a decade of working with some – not all – of those Arab officials at different levels – some of them heads of state – I know that they don’t belong to the Arab nation and it doesn’t belong to them. This assures one that the Arab nation is pure despite some people’s endeavours to make it murky with their existence.  As to the Arab league, it is not a standard of a criterion for pan-Arabism.  Pan-Arabism is not an organization, it is a state of civilization.  This region is based on a number of pillars, the biggest among them are pan-Arabism and Islam.  Without both of them as two big bases, the region can never exist in its present form.  Without believing in these two main pillars, we show that we do not believe in something which exists in reality whether we like it or not.  This is a fact.  If you don’t believe in it, you need to change it.  Can we cancel away pan-Arabism?  This is a different issue.
As to the Arab League, let’s be realistic: in the past 10 years, since the outbreak of the Intifada – In the 1990s it only met once, since there was only one Arab summit.  Since the year 2000, what are the achievements of the Arab League in the interest of the Arab nation?  In fact, through my presence in all Arab Summits, Syria had no ambition to achieve anything. Our utmost ambition was to decrease losses. We always knew that there were traps and landmines which we needed to dismantle.  We never believed that in the Arab League there was real work in the interest of the Arab nation. One of his most difficult political activities was to attend an Arab Summit as to dismantle and deter the set-off of traps and mines, citing the lack of a belief in the presence of a genuine work in the League in the interest of the Arab Nation.
As to the Arab League, let’s be realistic: in the past 10 years, since the outbreak of the Intifada – In the 1990s it only met once, since there was only one Arab summit.  Since the year 2000, what are the achievements of the Arab League in the interest of the Arab nation?  In fact, through my presence in all Arab Summits, Syria had no ambition to achieve anything. Our utmost ambition was to decrease losses. We always knew that there were traps and landmines which we needed to dismantle.  We never believed that in the Arab League there was real work in the interest of the Arab nation. One of his most difficult political activities was to attend an Arab Summit as to dismantle and deter the set-off of traps and mines, citing the lack of a belief in the presence of a genuine work in the League in the interest of the Arab Nation.
Question: A number of Foreign media outlets said they want President Assad to appear on TV screens every day to dispel rumors about him.  They wonder where you are: in Lattakia, in Tehran, in Moscow?  Even his wife and children: where are they, inside Syria, outside Syria.  Mr. President, where are you now?
Question: A number of Foreign media outlets said they want President Assad to appear on TV screens every day to dispel rumors about him.  They wonder where you are: in Lattakia, in Tehran, in Moscow?  Even his wife and children: where are they, inside Syria, outside Syria.  Mr. President, where are you now?
President al-Assad: I am with you in the Republican Palace in Damascus.  Anyway, such rumors are not entirely negative, as we do not in most cases respond to the rumors which are like ‘bubbles’ exposing their lies and falsifications, though such rumors might confuse the citizen a little, but they confuse them more and confuse their fighters.  They try to improve the morale of their fighters through such rumors, and by so doing offer illusions to their tools.  This is a good thing and should not annoy us.  This means that these tools will soon fail.  We should not pay heed nor get upset by such rumors.  I am here on the ground, in reality.   They are incapable of making fear creep to my heart or into the hearts of the majority of Syrians. They will never achieve this.
President al-Assad: I am with you in the Republican Palace in Damascus.  Anyway, such rumors are not entirely negative, as we do not in most cases respond to the rumors which are like ‘bubbles’ exposing their lies and falsifications, though such rumors might confuse the citizen a little, but they confuse them more and confuse their fighters.  They try to improve the morale of their fighters through such rumors, and by so doing offer illusions to their tools.  This is a good thing and should not annoy us.  This means that these tools will soon fail.  We should not pay heed nor get upset by such rumors.  I am here on the ground, in reality.   They are incapable of making fear creep to my heart or into the hearts of the majority of Syrians. They will never achieve this.
Question: Thank you very much Mr. President.
Question: Thank you very much Mr. President.
President al-Assad: Thank you, and I want you to pass my best wishes to all the staff of Addounia TV, who are carrying on with their national duty, despite the threats they have received, in order to bring out the truth.
أدلى السيد الرئيس بشار الأسد بحديث لتلفزيون الدنيا بثه أمس حول الأوضاع المحلية والإقليمية أكد فيه أن سورية تخوض معركة إقليمية وعالمية ولا بد من توفر الوقت لحسمها وأن الوضع عمليا هو أفضل ولكن لم يتم الحسم بعد وهذا بحاجة للوقت.
وأوضح الرئيس الأسد أن سورية تدفع الآن ثمن مواقفها المبدئية المرتبطة بالحقوق السورية وموقفها من المقاومة وعلاقاتها مع إيران ومع هذا المحور الذي لا يعجب الغرب مؤكدا أن الحديث عن مناطق عازلة هو غير موجود عملياً وهو أمر غير واقعي حتى بالنسبة للدول التي تلعب دوراً معادياً لسورية.
وفيما يلي النص الكامل للحديث مع تلفزيون الدنيا..
فردا على سؤال حول الوضع في حلب قال الرئيس الأسد.. لا نستطيع أن نفصل الوضع في حلب عن الوضع في سورية الفرق أن حلب ودمشق أكبر مدينتين وأهم مدينتين واحدة العاصمة السياسية والأخرى العاصمة الاقتصادية.. تقييم المواطن العادي للوضع بشكل عام بما فيه حلب يأتي من خلال التصعيد.. عندما يرى تصعيداً يعتبر أن الوضع أسوأ وعندما يرى شيئاً من الهدوء يعتبر أن الوضع أفضل.. الأمور لا تقاس بهذا الشكل.. عندما تكون هناك عمليات عسكرية أو أمنية فقد يكون هناك تصعيد مستمر وفجأة ينتهي بوضع جيد أو بالعكس.. هدوء مستمر ينتهي بتصعيد.
القضية هي معركة إرادات بالدرجة الأولى.. والقوات المسلحة تحقق نجاحات كبيرة
وأضاف الرئيس الأسد.. في النهاية القضية هي معركة إرادات بالدرجة الأولى.. لديهم إرادة بتدمير البلد.. بدؤوا بدرعا.. انتقلوا إلى حمص ودمشق وحلب ودير الزور واللاذقية.. إلى كل المحافظات.. فهم يجربون الانتقال من مكان لآخر.. الأهمية تختلف باختلاف حجم أو وزن المدينة بالنسبة لسورية ولكن لو أخذنا بالاعتبار حجم المعارك المعقدة التي تخوضها القوات المسلحة.. من الناحية التقنية والتكتيكية والاستراتيجية فهي من أعقد أنواع المعارك ومع ذلك القوات المسلحة تحقق نجاحات كبيرة في هذا المجال.
وقال الرئيس الأسد.. إن الكل يتمنى أن يكون الإنجاز أو الحسم خلال أسابيع أو أيام أو ساعات.. هذا كلام غير منطقي.. نحن نخوض معركة إقليمية وعالمية.. فلا بد من وقت لحسمها لكن أستطيع أن أختصر كل هذا الشرح بجملة أننا نتقدم إلى الأمام والوضع عملياً هو أفضل ولكن لم يتم الحسم بعد وهذا بحاجة لوقت.
موقف الدولة التركية معروف وهي تتحمل مسؤولية مباشرة في الدماء التي سفكت في سورية
وحول موقف سورية من دول الجوار وخاصة بعض الدول التي تسهل وتدرب وتمول وتسلح بكل الأصناف التي يمكن أن تشكل انتهاكاً للدولة السورية أكد الرئيس الأسد أن بعض دول الجوار تقف مع سورية ولكن ربما لا تستطيع تماماً أن تسيطر على تهريب الإمدادات اللوجستية للإرهابيين.. بعض الدول تغض النظر وتنأى بنفسها.. بعض الدول تساهم في هذا الموضوع.. ولكن علينا أن نفرق بين ما نريده نحن كسورية وكشعب سوري وكوطن من هذه الدول.. هل نبحث عن علاقة أو خلاف مع الدولة أم مع الشعب.. على سبيل المثال تركيا.. موقف الدولة التركية معروف.. وهي تتحمل مسؤولية مباشرة في الدماء التي نزفت وسفكت في سورية.. ولكن نحن عندما بدأنا بتطوير العلاقة مع تركيا لم ننظر إلى علاقة مع أشخاص أو حكومة عابرة وإنما نظرنا إلى تاريخ علاقة متوترة مضطربة لنحو تسعة عقود تقريبا.. أردنا أن نمحوها فهل نعود إلى الوراء بسبب جهل بعض المسؤولين الأتراك… أم ننظر إلى العلاقة مع الشعب التركي وخاصة أن هذا الشعب وقف معنا عملياً خلال الأزمة ولم ينجرف على الرغم من الضخ الإعلامي والمادي كي يذهب بالاتجاه المعاكس.
وأضاف الرئيس الأسد.. علينا أن نفكر أولاً بالشعوب لأن الحكومات عابرة والمشاكل مع الدول هي مشاكل عابرة ويجب ألا ننفعل ونعمل برد الفعل في هذا الموضوع ويجب أن نحافظ على العلاقة مع الشعوب لأن هذه الشعوب هي التي ستقوم عملياً بحمايتنا فالإمداد اللوجستي إن لم يكن هناك احتضان شعبي له يبقى ضعيفاً.
وحول مواقف هذه الشعوب بالنسبة لدولها وانتظار بعض السوريين لتحركاتها مادامت سياسات دولها تسيء لدول الجوار أوضح الرئيس الأسد أن هذا بحاجة لوقت ولا ننسى أن هذه الشعوب نفسها تخوض معارك ضد تلك الحكومات.. معارك سياسية طبعا.. وهذا بحاجة لوقت.. يجب أن نكون موضوعيين لكن علينا أن نحسب الربح والخسارة.. العداء مع الشعوب لن يخفف الإمداد للإرهابيين.. بل على العكس سيجعل هذا الإمداد متاحاً بشكل أكبر.. علينا أن نحسن العلاقة ونساعد هذه الشعوب من خلال طرح الحقائق.. عندما تكتشف هذه الشعوب حقيقة ما يجري في سورية وحقيقة موقف مسؤوليها ستكون أقوى في معركتها السياسية وسيكون عمر هذه الحكومات وهؤلاء المسؤولين قصيراً في العمل السياسي وهذا العمر القصير نستطيع أن نتحمله ونستطيع أن نتأقلم معه ريثما نحسم المعركة في سورية.
وجوابا على سؤال حول وضع حمص ولماذا لم ينته بعد قال الرئيس الأسد.. لا نستطيع أن نفصل وضع حمص عن وضع باقي المحافظات.. أما بالنسبة لتأخر حسم الوضع في المدينة فالمعروف أن القوات المسلحة عندما تخوض معارك داخل المدن عليها أن تأخذ بالاعتبار شيئين.. أولاً الحرص على الأرواح وثانياً الحرص على الممتلكات.. عدا عن ذلك القوات المسلحة إذا أرادت أن تستخدم كل قدراتها العسكرية بما فيها القدرات النارية تستطيع أن تسحق العدو في وقت قصير.. ولكن هذا مرفوض ولا يحقق النتائج المطلوبة.
وتابع الرئيس الأسد.. هذا النوع من الأعمال بحاجة إلى وقت.. ومن جانب آخر لا ننسى أن هناك إمداداً مستمراً للمسلحين في حمص تحديداً لأنهم كانوا يعتبرون أن حمص هي المركز الذي سينطلق منه الانتصار المأمول بالنسبة لهم.. ويضاف إلى ذلك قربها من الحدود اللبنانية.
الحديث عن مناطق عازلة أولاً غير موجود عمليا.. وثانياً هو أمر غير واقعي حتى بالنسبة للدول التي تلعب دوراً معادياً
وفيما إذا كان ممكنا أن نسميها مناطق عازلة أوضح الرئيس الأسد أن معظم المحافظات السورية حدودية.. دير الزور حدودية.. الحسكة.. الرقة.. حلب.. إدلب.. اللاذقية.. درعا.. السويداء.. حتى حمص جانب منها حدودي مع العراق أيضا.. قد يكون هذا سبباً لاستخدام البعض المناطق العازلة ولكن لا أستطيع أن أحلل نيابة عن المخططين.. هذا الموضوع ليس هاماً بالنسبة لنا.. إذا كانوا يفكرون بمناطق عازلة أم لا.. المنطقة العازلة هي منطقة تتم بموافقة الدولة.. باتفاقيات معينة بين بلدين ونحن كدولة لم نقرر في يوم من الأيام أن نفترض بأن هناك منطقة خارج نطاق السيطرة السورية.. وعندما يريد الجيش الدخول إلى مكان فهو قادر على ذلك.
وأضاف الرئيس الأسد.. هم اعتبروا أن الكثير من المناطق هي خارج سلطة الدولة ودخل الجيش بسهولة إلى معظم هذه المناطق أي انهم لم يتمكنوا من خلق هذه المنطقة.. ولذلك أعتقد بأن الحديث عن مناطق عازلة أولاً غير موجود عمليا.. وثانياً هو أمر غير واقعي حتى بالنسبة للدول التي تلعب دوراً معادياً.
ورداً على سؤال حول وجود الجيش السوري داخل المدن وليس على جبهة الجولان.. قال الرئيس الأسد.. إن مهمة الجيش والقوات المسلحة في كل دول العالم هي حماية الوطن.. حماية الوطن لا تعني فقط الحماية من الخارج.. بل الحماية من الداخل أيضاً.. أي عدو يأتيك من أي مكان عليك أن تدافع عن وطنك عبر المؤسسات المعنية وفي مقدمتها الجيش والقوات المسلحة.. وفي هذه المرة تحرك العدو من الداخل وليس من الخارج.. وقد تقول لي إنهم سوريون وأقول لك إن أي سوري يقوم بتنفيذ مخطط أجنبي ومعاد يتحول إلى عدو ولا يعود سورياً.. الدليل إذا تجسس سوري حكمه في القانون هو الإعدام.. في الحقيقة من ينفذ مخطط عدو فهو كالعدو.. تحرك العدو من الداخل فتحركت القوات المسلحة.
وفيما اذا كان وجود الجيش في المدن يتنافى مع منطق المقاومة قال الرئيس الأسد.. لا أبدا.. بالعكس .. سورية تتبنى فكر المقاومة.. ولكن الطرح الآخر بأنه إذا كانت سورية تتبنى المقاومة لماذا لا تجري المقاومة باتجاه الجولان ربما يكون هذا هو الطرح الذي تقصده فالمقاومة تنشأ عندما تتخلى الدولة عن مسؤوليتها في استعادة الأرض وهذا شيء لم يحصل في سورية كما حصل في لبنان ربما بسبب الحرب الأهلية في ذلك الوقت وكما حصل في فلسطين حيث لا توجد دولة أساساً لكي تسترد الحقوق فكان لا بد من وجود المقاومة.. عندما نتخلى كعقيدة وكسياسة وكقوات مسلحة عن هدفنا الأساسي في استعادة الأرض ستكون هناك مقاومة سورية.
سورية ليست بحاجة لضوء أخضر في القضايا السيادية
وفيما اذا كانت سورية بحاجة لضوء أخضر حتى تنفذ ما تقوم به الآن على أراضيها قال الرئيس الأسد.. في مختلف المراحل كان يقال إن هناك ضوءاً أخضر فمثلاً عندما دخلت سورية إلى لبنان في 1976 قيل هذا الكلام وتكرر الأمر في مراحل أخرى.. والحقيقة أن سورية ليست بحاجة لضوء أخضر في القضايا السيادية وفي القضايا المحلية وفي القضايا الوطنية لا من أصدقاء ولا من أعداء ولا من خصوم.. إن لم نمتلك نحن الضوء الأخضر فلا داعي لوجودنا كوطن وكدولة.
وحول الحديث عن تحول الحراك في سورية إلى حراك مسلح في شهر رمضان فقط قال الرئيس الأسد.. هذا التفسير غير دقيق لسبب بسيط إذا كانت غير مسلحة فما الذي يفسر أنه في الأسبوع الأول من الاضطرابات والأحداث سقط عدد من الشهداء من قوى الأمن والشرطة.. إذاً كيف سقط هؤلاء… سقطوا بالصراخ.. بالأمواج الصوتية للمتظاهرين.. هذا الكلام غير منطقي والحقيقة أنهم سقطوا بسلاح ولكن نوع التسليح وهدف التسليح كان مختلفاً.. ففي ذلك الوقت كان الهدف الأساسي هو إثارة الشعب من خلال القيام بإطلاق النار على متظاهرين وعلى الأمن والشرطة لكي تقوم الشرطة والأمن بالرد وقتل المزيد من المدنيين وبالتالي انتشار حالة من العداء للدولة.. وتابع الرئيس الأسد.. وبعد فشل هذا المشروع انتقلوا من رمضان الماضي إلى العمل المسلح الذي وصلوا من خلاله إلى مناطق متمردة لا يمكن للدولة أن تدخل إليها كبابا عمرو وغيرها من المناطق وطبعاً تم الدخول إليها فتغير تكتيك المسلحين.. والآن بعد دخول بابا عمرو وسقوط مواقعهم في مختلف المحافظات الأخرى التي اعتبروها مواقع محصنة انتقلوا إلى أسلوب آخر شمل المزيد من الاغتيالات والمزيد من الإرهاب للمواطنين والمزيد من معاقبة المواطنين بقطع الطرق ومنع وصول الطحين للخبز والوقود كالمازوت والكاز والغاز وغيرها من المواد الأساسية اليومية.. في الحقيقة انه منذ الأيام الأولى ظهر المسلحون.. والصور التي بثت في التلفزيون السوري عما حصل في درعا من إطلاق نار من قبل المسلحين والتي قالوا في وقتها إنها مفبركة هي حقيقة.
وبشأن حديث الشارع عن تأخر الدولة في الحسم وتورط الكثيرين الذين اعتقدوا أن الدولة ضعيفة وبالتالي تسلحوا أكثر وغرر بهم أكثر أكد الرئيس الأسد أن الدولة لم تتأخر والدليل أن القوات المسلحة عندما شعرت أن هناك تصعيداً كبيراً في درعا في بدايات الأحداث في الأشهر الأولى دخل الجيش إلى درعا.. لم نتردد لحظة واحدة في الحسم.. ولكن مع كل خطوة كانت تقوم بها الدولة كان هناك تطوير لأسلوب أعمالهم وبالمقابل كانت الدولة بحاجة إلى مزيد من الخطوات المقابلة.. البعض يريد أن نتعامل مع تلك المرحلة كما نتعامل مع المرحلة اليوم وهذا الكلام غير منطقي لأن المرحلة مختلفة وأسلوب عملهم كان مختلفا والوضع السياسي كان مختلفا وحتى التفهم الشعبي لما يحصل كان مختلفا.. كثير من الناس غرر بهم في البدايات.. كانوا يعتقدون أن ما يحصل هو حالة انفعال وموجة ربيع عربي ستؤثر في سورية وأن هؤلاء الشباب منفعلون ولا يوجد مسلحون والدولة تفبرك كل هذه الأشياء التي كنا نسمعها.
من البداية أخذنا قراراً بالحسم لأن الصورة واضحة لكن أسلوب الحسم يختلف باختلاف مراحل الأزمة
وتابع الرئيس الأسد.. بالنسبة لنا كدولة فإن عدم وجود تفهم شعبي كان مشكلة.. وما ساعد الدولة في الحسم في الأشهر الأخيرة هو وضوح الصورة بالنسبة للقسم الأكبر من المواطنين السوريين فهناك تغير في الظروف السياسية.. وفي الظروف الأمنية نفسها.. وهناك تغير في المزاج الشعبي تجاه ما يحصل وتجاه المسلحين باكتشافهم أن ما يحصل ليس بثورة ولا هو بربيع بل هو عبارة عن أعمال إرهابية بكل ما للكلمة من معنى.. وتوضح العامل الخارجي الذي لم يكن واضحاً في البداية.. فعندما ألقيت خطابي الأول في مجلس الشعب وتحدثت عن مؤامرة ومواجهة تساءل كثيرون أي مؤامرة وأي مواجهة.. واتهمونا بأننا نقول عن كل شيء بأنه مؤامرة واعتبروا أن ما يحصل حالة انفعالية فقط كما ذكرت سابقاً.. وأنه لو قال الرئيس بضع كلمات طيبة وعاطفية لكانت حلت المشكلة.. قلت لهم المشكلة لم تبدأ بعواطف ولن تنتهي بعواطف.. هناك مخطط وهناك أدوات داخلية.. فإذاً نحن من البداية أخذنا قراراً بالحسم لأن الصورة واضحة لكن أسلوب الحسم يختلف باختلاف مراحل الأزمة.
وجوابا على سؤال حول بعض الشخصيات التي مارست الفساد في هذه الفترة واستغلالهم للأزمة والمساهمة في زيادتها قال الرئيس الأسد أريد أن أفرق بين تجار الأزمة الذين يظهرون في كل أزمة من الأزمات في أي وطن سواء كانوا تجارا بالمعنى الاقتصادي أو المادي أو أشخاصاً آخرين يريدون استغلال الأزمة لمصالح أخرى خاصة وقد يكونون داخل الدولة أو خارجها.. ومن جانب آخر الأخطاء التي تحصل خلال الأزمة وليس لها علاقة بإطالة أمد الأزمة.. هناك أخطاء حصلت.. هناك اعتداءات حصلت.. هناك انتهاكات.. سرقات.. تم كشف البعض منها ولكن بعدد محدود وتم تحويل هؤلاء إلى القضاء منذ أشهر عديدة.. فلا بد من محاسبة كل شخص ارتكب خطأ أو كل شخص أراد أن يطيل الأزمة لأسباب مختلفة.. هذا الموضوع محسوم وليس محل نقاش أو جدل.. ولكن السؤال كيف تعرف هؤلاء.. أنت تحاسب معلوماً ولا تحاسب مجهولاً ومعظم الدعاوى التي ترفع والشكاوى التي تأتي هي ضد مجهول.. وفي الحالات التي تمت فيها معرفة الأشخاص ومحاسبتهم أتى صاحب المظلمة بالاسم وتم التدقيق والتحقيق وثبتت الجنحة أو الجناية وتم تحويله إلى القضاء.
وتابع الرئيس الأسد.. إن التحدي الأساسي هو كيف نعرف من هم الأشخاص وخاصة انه في ظروف الأعمال الأمنية وفي ظروف الفوضى تصبح عملية التحقيق أصعب من قبل.. أما كمبدأ فلا شك أنه لا بد من محاسبة هؤلاء الأشخاص حتى لو بعد تجاوز هذه الظروف وعودة الهدوء.
وأضاف الرئيس الأسد.. عندما لا يوجد لديك دليل بل مؤشرات غير دامغة يمكن أن تقيل هذا الشخص لعدم ثقتك بأدائه.. ولكن عندما يكون لديك دليل دامغ بأن هذا الشخص قام بعمل ما فلا بد من تحويله مباشرة إلى القضاء وبأي موقعٍ كان.
ورداً على من يقول بوجود خلل في آلية التعيين وتعيين بعض الأشخاص غير المؤهلين قال الرئيس الأسد.. هناك جانب موضوعي في هذا الطرح وهناك جانب غير موضوعي.. الجانب الموضوعي هو أنه لا يوجد لدينا في سورية حتى الآن إدارة موارد بشرية بالمعنى العلمي وهذا علم قائم بحد ذاته وهذا ما نقوم به الآن من خلال وضع اللمسات الأخيرة على مشروع له علاقة بالوظيفة العامة.. وهو الذي يقيم هذا الشخص منذ دخوله إلى الدولة وحتى خروجه منها بمسار كامل يحدد تطور عمله.. فقد يأتيك شخص جيد ويكون التقييم صحيحاً ولكن بعد فترة ينحرف.. فآلية الدخول بحد ذاتها ليست كافية.. أما أن نقول إن هذا الشخص أتى ولم يثبت أنه جيد في الآلية الحالية في غياب وجود إدارة موارد بشرية فليس أمامك سوى أن تجرب فأنت لا تعرف أن هذا الشخص سيفشل.. لا بد من التجربة كي تعرف أنه سيفشل.. وبما أنه فشل وأنت قادر على تبديله فأين المشكلة.. طبعاً هذا يستهلك وقتاً ولكن ليس لديك خيارات أخرى.
وتابع الرئيس الأسد.. هناك حالات يكون فيها الشخص ناجحاً في مكان ونحن نفترض بأن نجاحه في هذا المكان سيؤدي إلى نجاحه في مكان آخر لنكتشف بأن هذا غير صحيح بعد التجربة.. في الحقيقة بغياب الموارد البشرية بالشكل العلمي لا يوجد لديك خيار سوى أن تجرب والمهم في هذه الحالة ألا نسكت عن شخص يخطىء أو يفشل.. وألا نبقيه في مكانه.. بالمقابل هناك شخص يفشل في مكان ليس لأنه سيىء ولكن لأن هذا المكان لا يناسبه.. عندما تنقله إلى مكان آخر قد ينجح فيه.
وقال الرئيس الأسد جوابا على سؤال حول كيف يمكن أن يكون للإعلام الدور الأكبر في الرقابة على الأداء الحكومي.. لا بد من مراقبة المسؤولين مراقبة من الأعلى.. ومراقبة من الأسفل أي من القاعدة الشعبية.. إلا أن المطالبة حتى الآن هي بمراقبة المسؤولين من الأعلى فقط.. وهذه الحالة غير كافية.. قد تكون كافية بمستويات معينة من المسؤولية.. وزير.. مدير مركزي.. وما شابه ذلك.. ولكن هناك مستويات دنيا كالموظفين بحاجة إلى رقابة شعبية يلعب فيها الإعلام دوراً أساسياً.. وحاول الإعلام في مراحل مختلفة أن يلعب هذا الدور.. لكن هذا لا يكون فقط من خلال مقالات تشير إلى قضايا عامة.. فدور الإعلام هو أن يقوم بتحضير حالة كاملة كما يحصل في الدول المتطورة في هذا المجال.. يقدم الإعلامي حالة متكاملة فيها الأدلة.. في هذه الحالة لا يكون هناك من خيار أمام المسؤولين سوى تحويل هذه الحالة كما هي إلى التحقيق ولاحقاً إلى القضاء.. هذا ما ينقص الإعلام.. طبعاً لكي ينجح الإعلام في هذا الموضوع نحن بحاجة أيضاً إلى مزيد من الشفافية من قبل الدولة.. فالمتضرر سيحاول أن يغلق كل الأبواب بوجه الإعلام ولكن على الإعلام أن يبقى ملحاً ومصمماً في هذا الإطار.. طبعاً بالنسبة لدور رئيس الجمهورية فهو مسؤول عن كل الدولة.. لا يستطيع أن يتهرب أو أن يقول أنا لست مسؤولاً عن جانب معين من الدولة إلا أن هناك واقعاً معيناً لا يمكن فيه لأي شخص أن يرى كل زوايا الوطن.
وبشأن التأكيد على المؤسساتية وضرورة أن يأخذ كل مفصل دوره الحقيقي قال الرئيس الأسد.. تماما.. طالما أن المؤسسات لم تنضج سيبقى دور أي مسؤول بما فيه دور رئيس الجمهورية دوراً قاصراً.. رئيس الجمهورية يشرف بشكل عام على سياسات المؤسسات ويتدخل في بعض الحالات لكننا هنا نتعامل مع آلاف الحالات يومياً.. قضايا لها علاقة بالمواطنين لا يمكن متابعتها يومياً إلا إذا كانت هناك حالة مؤسساتية أو حالات مشاركة مع المواطنين في إدارة شؤون الدولة.
وحول وجود آلية تتيح دورا أكبر للإعلام والسماح له بالتدخل أكثر بشؤون قد تكون رقابية قال الرئيس الأسد.. هي أكثر من قضية سماح أو عدمه.. بالنسبة لي كمسؤول عندما تقوم أنت بواجبك فأنا أنجح.. ودوركم هو نجاح لي ومن مصلحتي الشخصية أن ينجح الإعلام في هذا الموضوع.. وفي ذلك مصلحة وطنية أيضاً حيث ينجح الوطن وتنجح المؤسسات وينجح المواطن ويرتاح.. في هذه الأمور كلنا نربح عندما تقوم بدورك.. إن قيام الإعلام بدوره ليس قضية سماح أم لا.. بل هي قضية أن تعرف تماماً كيف تلعب الدور بشكل موضوعي.. وألا يستغل الإعلام هذه الحالة أو هذا الدور لمصالح شخصية.. فالإعلام في النهاية هو سلطة من السلطات وأي صاحب سلطة قادر على استغلال السلطة لمصلحة خاصة.. وهذا يعتمد على أخلاقيات المهنة بالدرجة الأولى.
الإعلام السوري تمكن من فضحهم وضرب امبراطوريات إعلامية حقيقية
وحول ما اذا كان الإعلام حصل على ضوء أخضر إذا كان الموضوع في الاطار الرقابي وفي إطار خدمة الوطن قال الرئيس الأسد.. تماما.. لكن بتجاوز الدور التثقيفي والدخول بالدور التحقيقي وأن يكون دور الإعلام هو التحقيق في الحالة وإيجاد الأدلة إضافة إلى طرح الحلول وبالتالي مساعدة القضاء والجهات التي تقوم بالتحقيق.. وبنفس الوقت طرح حلول على المسؤولين نستطيع أن نستفيد منها في قراراتنا مستقبلاً.
وردا على سؤال حول استهداف الإعلام في سورية سياسيا ودمويا من الخارج وحجب بعض القنوات السورية عن الأقمار الاصطناعية وتفجير بعض مقراته وخطف الصحفيين وأين يمكن وضع الإعلام السوري في هذا السياق قال الرئيس الأسد.. الجواب متضمن في السؤال وينقلنا إلى نقطة مهمة بأنه علينا أن نتوقف عن جلد الذات.. فرغم وجود تقصير في كل المجالات بما فيها الإعلام.. وكنا نتمنى أن تكون الأمور أفضل.. لكن لو كانت هذه الأداة فاشلة كما يدعي البعض لما كانت استهدفت.. لو كانت سيئة وضارة وفاشلة لكانوا قدموا لكم كإعلام وطني سواء كان عاما أو خاصا أقنية فضائية مجاناً.. هذا ما يؤكد أن الإعلام السوري تمكن من فضحهم وضرب امبراطوريات إعلامية حقيقية يقف خلفها ليس المال فقط وإنما القرار السياسي في العواصم الكبرى في العالم.. فهذا في حد ذاته دليل نجاح للإعلام السوري.. طبعاً نستطيع أن نكون أقوى وأكثر نجاحاً.. وهذا شيء طبيعي.. لم نصل إلى طموحنا ولم تصلوا إلى طموحكم كإعلام وهذه مسيرة الحياة ولكن لمن يقول إن الإعلام فاشل نقول هذا هو الجواب.
من يفر إما أن يكون إنساناً قدم له المال وخرج فهو فاسد ومرتش.. أو شخصاً جباناً هدد من قبل إرهابيين أو جهات أخرى
وبشأن موضوع الانشقاقات وانشغال المجتمع السوري بها وقول البعض إنه لو لم ير هؤلاء المنشقون في مستقبل سورية ما هو مظلم لما انشقوا قال الرئيس الأسد.. بغض النظر عن الأسماء ولنفترض بأن المستقبل مظلم هل هذا مبرر لكي أترك الوطن… ما هذا الطرح القاصر.. إنه اتهام باللاوطنية.. لكن لندقق في المصطلح.. أولاً.. يتحدثون عن انشقاقات.. والانشقاق هو انشقاق مؤسسة عن مؤسسة أكبر منها ترأسها أو انشقاق جزء من مؤسسة عن المؤسسة الأم التي تتبع لها وعلى رأس هذه المؤسسة شخص أو أشخاص يقومون بالتمرد على المستوى الأعلى أو على الجزء الأم من هذه المؤسسات.. هذا الشيء لم يحصل.. وما حصل أن أشخاصاً كانوا موجودين في مواقع فروا خارج البلد وهي عملية فرار وهروب وليست عملية انشقاق.. الانشقاق يكون داخلياً وليس خارجيا.. يكون تمرداً على الدولة داخل البلد.. وهذا الشيء لم يحصل.. إذاً هي عمليات فرار خارج الدولة.. ومن يفر إما أن يكون إنساناً قدم له المال وخرج فهو فاسد ومرتش.. أو شخصاً جباناً هدد من قبل إرهابيين أو جهات أخرى أو كما تقول لم يكن لديه أمل بمستقبل مشرق فخاف من هذا المستقبل وهرب إلى الخارج.. أو شخصا لديه طموح ويعتقد بأنه كان يجب أن يحصل على مكاسب أو مزايا أو مراتب معينة فلم يحصل عليها فقرر الهروب.
وتابع الرئيس الأسد.. طبعاً هناك أسباب أخرى.. بالمحصلة من يهرب عملياً فهو إما شخص ضعيف أو سيىء.. لأن الشخص الوطني والجيد لا يهرب ولا يفر خارج الوطن.. عملياً هذه العملية هي عملية إيجابية وعملية تنظيف ذاتية للدولة أولاً وللوطن بشكل عام.. فعلينا ألا ننزعج من هذه العملية لأنها إيجابية.. كثير من الأشخاص لم نكن نعرف بأنهم بهذه المواصفات.. هم كشفوا عن حقيقتهم بأنفسهم.. وهذا الشيء إيجابي.
وأضاف الرئيس الأسد.. ان أكثر من شخص طرح سابقاً بأنه يريد أن يفر خارج سورية.. ماذا فعلنا.. قلنا لمن طرح ذلك لنسهل له ودعوه يذهب.. هي عملية إيجابية.. طبعاً لم نكن متأكدين من كل الحالات.. وبالمقابل في بعض الحالات كانت نسبة التأكد عالية ومع ذلك لم نمانع.. ورغم أن كثيراً من الأشخاص طرح سابقاً ومؤخراً بأنهم سيفرون خارج سورية تحت عنوان الانشقاق.. هل سمعت بأن الدولة قامت باعتقال أحد من هؤلاء… طبعاً لا لأننا ننظر إليها نظرة إيجابية.
الشعب السوري لا يحترم من يهرب
وأوضح الرئيس الأسد أنه في بعض الحالات لدينا معلومات وشكوك عالية.. لا نقول دراية كاملة.. ولكن كان السؤال من المؤسسات المعنية ماذا نفعل.. كيف نتصرف.. هل نمنع… وكان هناك توجه باتجاه المنع لكننا قلنا لهم لا.. المنع ليس صحيحاً.. خروج هؤلاء هو الشيء الصحيح.. أولاً يكشفون أمام المواطن السوري.. ثانياً كل شخص يخرج من الوطن انتهى.. إذا كان لديه طموح سياسي أو هدف سياسي فقد انتهى.. لسبب بسيط وهو أن الشعب السوري لا يحترم من يهرب.. والشعب السوري لا يقاد بالتحكم عن بعد بأجهزة اللاسلكي ولا يستطيعون أن يقودوه من الخارج.. هذا الموضوع محسوم تاريخياً لذلك أنا أستطيع أن أقول انه إذا كان هناك مواطن سوري يعرف أن هناك شخصاً متردداً من هؤلاء ولديه الرغبة بالهروب فليشجعه.
وبشأن توقع المزيد من الفرار في إطار الحملة الكبيرة التي تستهدف سورية ووجود مشكلة بهذا الموضوع قال الرئيس الأسد.. إذا كان الفرار لهذا النوع من الأشخاص فهو حالة إيجابية.. ومن الطبيعي أن يظهر هذا النوع من الأشخاص في الأزمات على الواجهة وهذا شيء إيجابي علينا أن نتوقعه وأن نتفاءل بظهوره لا أن نتشاءم.
ندفع ثمن مواقف مختلفة البعض منها متعلق بالسياسات المبدئية المرتبطة بالحقوق السورية وموقفنا من المقاومة
وأكد الرئيس الأسد ردا على سؤال لماذا تستهدف سورية بكل هذا الكم الهائل من الوسائل والسبل المتاحة سياسيا وغير سياسيا وأخلاقيا وغير أخلاقيا.. هذا تاريخ سورية.. فالصراع كان على سورية حتى عندما كنا جزءاً من الامبراطورية العثمانية.. لأن منطقة بلاد الشام منطقة استراتيجية.. وبعد الاستقلال والجلاء الفرنسي كل الانقلابات كانت انقلابات ممولة من الخارج تهدف للسيطرة على سورية وعلى السياسة السورية وجرها باتجاه المحاور التي كانت موجودة في ذلك الوقت حتى بدأت سورية بانتهاج سياسة مستقلة.. عملياً بعد ثورة الثامن من آذار وتكرست بعد الحركة التصحيحية.. فأصبح الهجوم على سورية أكثر شدة وتصميماً من قبل.. الآن نحن ندفع ثمن مواقف مختلفة البعض منها متعلق بالسياسات المبدئية المرتبطة بالحقوق السورية وموقفنا من المقاومة وعلاقتنا مع إيران أي مع هذا المحور الذي لا يعجب الغرب.. ومنها يرتبط بمواقفنا الأخيرة.. فكثير من الناس لا ينتبه الى أن موقفنا من القصف على ليبيا كان موقفاً وحيداً في الجامعة العربية ضد حظر الطيران ولم يكن الامتناع عن التصويت لأننا كنا نفهم تماماً أن حظر الطيران يعني بدء عدوان على ليبيا وهذا ما تم.
وتابع الرئيس الأسد.. نحن ندفع ثمن هذه المواقف وثمن انفتاح الغرب علينا في الأعوام 2008-2009-2010 والتي أخطأ البعض واعتقد أنها مرحلة انفتاح حقيقي بينما كانت مرحلة يهدفون من خلالها لتغيير أسلوب التعامل مع سورية بالرضا.. والوصول إلى الأهداف المطلوبة والتآمر على المقاومة وخاصة في لبنان وضرب العلاقة بين سورية وإيران التي تقف معنا ومع الحق العربي.. وعندما فشلوا في تلك المرحلة كان عنوان الربيع العربي هو المبرر الجديد لهم أمام شعوبهم للتآمر مرة أخرى على سورية.. لكل هذه الأسباب نحن ندفع الثمن.
الغرب يريد أن يحتكر المعرفة ويمنعها عن العالم الثالث
وحول امتناع سورية عن تنفيذ أشياء طلبت منها خلال فترة الانفتاح والترغيب التي مورست من 2008 وحتى 2010 وحصول تحول في الأسلوب والوسائل قال الرئيس الأسد.. نعم طلب بشكل واضح ومستمر أن نبتعد عن إيران.. وكان جوابنا واضحاً طالما أن إيران تقف معنا وتدعمنا وتقف مع حقوقنا من دون تردد وحتى من دون أن تناقشنا في قناعاتها لمجرد أنه حق سوري أو رأي سوري فكيف نبتعد عنها.. من الناحية المبدئية أن ترفض أو تنقلب على جهة أو بلد وفي لك.. هذا كلام غير مقبول.. ومن الناحية المصلحية بلد قلب السفارة الاسرائيلية إلى سفارة فلسطينية ووقف مع الحق الفلسطيني.. ونحن كدول عربية لا نتحدث سوى بالحق الفلسطيني.. نأتي وننقلب على هذا البلد.
وأضاف الرئيس الأسد.. إن المحاولات التي كانت تتم في ذلك الوقت مرتبطة أيضاً بالتآمر على الموضوع النووي الإيراني بالرغم من أننا لسنا جزءاً من هذا الملف.. وإيران لم تطلب المساعدة في هذا الموضوع.. فالموضوع مطروح على الساحة الدولية وليس على الساحة الإقليمية.. وكان المطلوب من سورية أن تقنع إيران بأشياء ضد مصلحتها.. نحن نظرنا إلى هذا الموضوع كموضوع يتعلق بمصلحتنا المستقبلية وأمننا الوطني في المستقبل لأن ما ينطبق على إيران كدولة تسعى للحصول على الطاقة النووية السلمية ينطبق علينا في المستقبل.. وخاصة أن هذه الطاقة أساسية في المستقبل.. والغرب يريد أن يحتكر المعرفة ويمنعها عن العالم الثالث أو العالم النامي.
وتابع الرئيس الأسد.. هناك جانب آخر يتعلق بالمقاومة.. كان المطلوب أن نتآمر على المقاومة في فلسطين.. وعلى المقاومة في لبنان من خلال بعض الإجراءات التي ربما تحصل في لبنان لتحجيم المقاومة فرفضنا كل هذه الأشياء.. هم كانوا يعتمدون على مبدأ الانفتاح والزيارات المتكررة والتطبيل بالإعلام الغربي لسورية التي كان رئيسها قبل سنوات مجرماً بحسب إعلامهم في عام 2005 بعد قضية الحريري.. وفجأة تحول إلى صانع سلام.. هذا يعطيك صورة عن النفاق الغربي.. وعندما فشلوا بهذه المرحلة كان الربيع العربي هو الفرصة للانتهاء من السياسة السورية.
علينا أن نعيد صياغة اقتصادنا بما يتناسب مع الظرف الجديد
وحول كيفية تدارك سورية العقوبات التي استهدفت الشعب السوري وإشاعة البعض بأنه عن طريق الضغط الاقتصادي تنهار سورية اقتصادياً وفيما اذا كانوا من خلال العقوبات قد يحققون غاياتهم السياسية قال الرئيس الأسد.. هذا النوع من العقوبات سيؤثر على سورية بلا شك.. ولكنه سيؤثر بنسب معينة وتعتمد هذه النسب على كيفية تأقلمنا مع هذه الظروف.. انظر إلى إيران فهي تتقدم إلى الأمام في ظل عقوبات قاسية عمرها عقود من الزمن.. فنحن شعب نمتلك الذكاء عبر التاريخ.. لدينا قدرة عالية على التأقلم.. عشنا الأزمات عبر تاريخنا.. الفترات التي كانت فترات هدوء هي فترات محدودة في التاريخ السوري.. لا شك بأنه لدينا القدرة على التأقلم معها وخاصة أننا بلد منتج.. نحن لسنا بلداً مستورداً بالدرجة الأولى.. نحن بلد منتج من الزراعة إلى الحرف إلى الصناعات الصغرى ولكن علينا أن نعيد صياغة اقتصادنا بما يتناسب مع هذا الظرف الجديد.. في هذه الحالة نستطيع أن نحقق مكاسب.
وتابع الرئيس الأسد.. الصناعة السورية تطورت في ظل حصار الثمانينيات.. ففي ذلك الوقت لم يكن لدينا حتى المواد الأساسية.. كان الظرف أصعب من هذه المرحلة ولم يكن لدينا حد أدنى من الاحتياطي في مصارفنا ومع ذلك تمكنا من تطوير الصناعة.. اليوم لدينا إمكانيات أكبر هي بحاجة للقليل من التفكير وبعض الخطط العملية على الأرض وليس التنظير.. أعتقد بأننا سنستفيد وستظهر هذه النتائج بعد الأزمة بالاعتماد أكثر على الذات والابتعاد عن بعض العادات الاستهلاكية غير الضرورية التي اعتدناها ربما بسبب سنوات من الرخاء.. فنحن لدينا القدرة على البقاء والتطوير والمهم أن نحدد ما هي الصيغة الأفضل بالنسبة لاقتصادنا.
وبخصوص كيفية تعامل الدولة مع موضوع الدعوة للحوار منذ المؤتمر الذي عقد العام الماضي قال الرئيس الأسد.. هذه قصة طويلة جداً بالرغم من أن المدة الزمنية هي عام ونصف العام ولكنها غنية جداً وكثير من الناس لا يعرفون ما هي الأشياء التي كانت تحصل وما هي حقيقة موضوع الحوار وما هو موقف الدولة وما هو موقف المعارضة.
وأضاف الرئيس الأسد.. في بداية الأزمة طلبنا أن نتحاور مع كل القوى والشخصيات حتى الهاوية منها للسياسة.. وتجاوزنا القوى السياسية وصولاً لشخصيات ثقافية واجتماعية وغيرها.. واعتبرنا أن القضية ليست قضية سياسية وإنما قضية وطنية فكل إنسان في سورية معني بحل هذه الأزمة.. وطرح في ذلك الوقت موضوع الحوار على كل المستويات من قبل الجهات المختلفة ومن الدول التي أتت لكي تنصحنا.. عن حسن نية أو عن سوء نية.. ونفس الشيء من قبل القوى الموجودة في سورية التي أرادت أن تستغل الأزمة.. أو البعض منها الذي أراد أن يأخذ موقعاً وطنياً حقيقياً.. فقلنا إن فكرة الحوار جيدة وبدأنا نعمل من أجلها.. وهنا بدأ الفرز وخاصة بالنسبة لقوى المعارضة.. هناك معارضة وطنية أرادت أن تضع كل مصالحها ورؤاها التي نختلف حولها جانباً وأن تضع مصلحة الوطن أولاً وسارت في موضوع الحوار ولاحقاً سارت في العملية السياسية.. البعض منها دخل الانتخابات.. البعض منها شارك في مجلس الشعب والبعض شارك في الحكومة.
وتابع الرئيس الأسد.. بالمقابل كان هناك المعارضة اللاوطنية التي لم نتحدث عنها سابقاً بشكل مباشر.. من دون أن أحدد من هي هذه المعارضة وسيكتشف الشعب من هي في يوم من الأيام ولكن يجب أن نحدد بدقة ما الذي حصل.. هذه المعارضة طرحت في البداية عملية الإصلاح.. إصلاح القوانين أو تغيير القوانين أو تعديلها وتعديل الدستور.. كانت تعتقد بأننا سنرفض هذا المنطق.. طبعاً هذا ما كانت تطرحه بشكل معلن.. وبنفس الوقت كانت تساومنا بالأقنية المخفية حول أنها لا تهتم بكل ذلك وأن هذا الكلام فقط للاستهلاك الإعلامي أو للاستهلاك الشعبي وإنما هي تريد أن تشارك في الحكومة.
نحن لا نقبل الابتزاز.. الأساس في التعامل مع أي جهة هو التعامل الأخلاقي والمبدئي
وأضاف الرئيس الأسد.. نحن قلنا من ناحية المبدأ لا يوجد لدينا مشكلة بموضوع المشاركة في الحكومة.. فالحكومة ليست محصورة بجهة.. الحكومة هي لكل الشعب ونحن أساساً دائماً نشرك مستقلين.. فلتأت قوى أخرى وتشارك.. لا يهم.. ولكن نحن لا نقبل الابتزاز.. الأساس في التعامل مع أي جهة هو التعامل الأخلاقي والمبدئي.. وصلنا إلى الحوار وكانت هذه القوى تدعو إلى الحوار.. فوجئنا خلال الحوار بأنها رفضت المجيء.. وأؤكد بأنني أتحدث عن جزء من المعارضة.. لماذا رفضت هذه القوى المجيء للمشاركة بالحوار… لأنها قبل الحوار طرحت أن يكون الحوار فقط حصرياً بين الدولة وبين هذه المجموعات.. أن نجلس على طاولة وألا تكون هناك جهات أخرى.. لسبب بسيط وهو أنهم أرادوا الظهور كمدافعين عن الشعب وممثلين عنه.. وأننا نحن ضد الشعب.. هم لا توجد لديهم قاعدة فحاولوا أن يحققوا موقعاً سياسياً لهم بشكل انتهازي لكي يفاوضوا الدولة.. فرفضنا هذا الكلام وقمنا بدعوة مختلف القوى وكان هناك في الحوار أكثر من مئة شخصية.. لا أذكر العدد بدقة.. تمثل كل الأطياف المختلفة في سورية.. هذا جانب من الجوانب.. هناك جانب آخر أن بعض هذه القوى كان على تواصل مستمر مع السفارات الغربية التي كانت تعمل بنشاط في سورية في ذلك الوقت.. فقيل لهم لا تذهبوا إلى الحوار لأن عمر هذه الدولة أو ما يسمى بين قوسين النظام وهذه كلمة مرفوضة عمر هذه الدولة بضعة أسابيع أو بضعة أشهر.. لا تحاوروا جهة ساقطة.. هناك جهات أخرى منهم ذهبت إلى مصر وقبضت أموالاً من الجهات الخليجية المعنية في الجامعة العربية أو عبر مسؤولين في الجامعة العربية لكي لا تذهب إلى الحوار.
وتابع الرئيس الأسد.. هناك سبب آخر فهم طرحوا موضوع الإصلاح.. وأنا التقيت بمجموعات من هؤلاء وتحدثوا معي عن الدستور والمادة الثامنة والقوانين.. وقبل الحوار بنحو شهر أو أقل ألقيت خطاباً في جامعة دمشق وأعلنت فيه عن الإصلاح.. بالنسبة لهم كان المطلوب من هذا الحوار أن يطرحوا هم الإصلاح من خلاله ويضعونا أمام خيارين.. إذا قبلنا فسيقولون للشعب إننا نحن من أتينا لكم بالإصلاح من خلال المفاوضات مع الدولة.. وإذا رفضنا فسيقولون إن هذه الدولة ضد الإصلاح.. فلنحاربها وبالتالي يقومون بالاستئثار بهذه القاعدة الشعبية كمدافعين عن حقوق الشعب.. الأمور كانت واضحة بالنسبة لنا.. فهي مجموعات انتهازية في جزء كبير منها وقد أهملناها جانباً.. وانتقلنا بعد الحوار إلى مرحلة ثانية.
وقال الرئيس الأسد.. هم استمروا في موقفهم من خلال الرهان على السفارات والقوى الخليجية الموجودة في الجامعة العربية والتواصل معها حتى فقدوا الأمل لاحقاً.. فسمعنا مؤخراً بأنهم بدؤوا يتحدثون عن الحوار.. لنضع كل هذه الانتهازية جانباً ولنفترض حسن النية ولنقل أن تأتي متأخراً أفضل من ألا تأتي أبداً.. لكن إذا أردت أن تأتي متأخراً فعليك أن تأتي صادقاً.. لا أن تأتي مرة أخرى بشكل انتهازي وتركب موجة ترى بأن هذه السفينة لم تغرق وبالتالي فلنؤمن لأنفسنا موقعاً فيها.. أنت تتحدث الآن عن رفض العنف ورفض التسلح من كل الأطراف.. وهذا الكلام الذي يجتره البعض من وقت إلى آخر.. إذا كنت قد اعترفت بالسلاح وبالتسليح لماذا كنت ترفضه منذ عام.. هل ستأتي وتقول بكل وضوح بأنك كنت على خطأ أو بالحد الأقصى أنك كنت تكذب على الشعب.. لا نتوقع منه الثانية.. على الأقل الأولى.. ليقل بأنه لم يكن يعرف.. ليقل أنه أخطأ في التقدير ليقل أي شيء.. أما أن يأتي وكأن شيئاً ما لم يحصل فإن هذا الكلام مرفوض.. هذه انتهازية لا نقبلها.
وتابع الرئيس الأسد.. عندما يعتقد هؤلاء بأنهم لم يجدوا لأنفسهم موقعاً في السفينة الأخرى وأن السفينة الأخرى هي التي غرقت من خلال المجالس في الخارج ومن خلال اكتشاف الخارج لها بأن هذه المعارضة الانتهازية ليس لها موقع حقيقي في سورية.. ليس لها دور.. من خلال رهانهم على العمل العسكري المسلح الإرهابي وفشل هذا العمل المسلح الإرهابي في سورية مؤخراً في تحقيق نتائج حقيقية.. وبالعكس هو تراجع وتقلص وتقهقر.. عندها بدؤوا يتحولون وهذا الكلام غير مقبول بالنسبة لنا.. هذا من جانب ومن جانب آخر هناك مبادرات أخرى تظهر.
سياستنا مبدئية وما قلناه في بداية الأزمة نقوله اليوم
وأضاف الرئيس الأسد إننا نرفض التعامل بانتهازية وسياستنا مبدئية وما قلناه في بداية الأزمة نقوله اليوم.. لم نغير موقفنا نهائياً تجاه الأحداث وكل الظروف التي أحاطت بها.. فنحن نقول ان تعاملنا مع المبادرات أيضاً ينطلق من.. من هي الجهة التي تطرح المبادرة.. ما هي الأدوات التي تمتلكها.. ما هو وزنها داخل سورية.. إذا كانت دولاً.. كما يحصل الآن حيث نسمع عن مبادرة ستقوم بها إيران وأيدنا هذه المبادرة.. أولاً لدور إيران في المنطقة ولأهمية إيران ومبدئيتها وغيرها من الأسباب.. وأنها ستكون مع مجموعة دول أخرى ليس بالضرورة أن تكون بنفس المبدئية وبنفس الوزن ولكن تستطيع أن تلعب دوراً بشكل أو بآخر.
وقال الرئيس الأسد.. نحن نسأل كل جهة تقوم بمبادرة ما هو وزن هذه الجهة.. أتتنا مبادرات كثيرة من جهات مختلفة.. البعض منها يأتي من جمعيات أجنبية كالتي رعت مبادرة روما الأخيرة.. وأنا أستغرب أن ترعى جمعيات أجنبية مبادرة سورية وبأشخاص سوريين.. هذا شيء معيب بالنسبة لنا على المستوى الوطني.. وقد أهملنا الكثير من هذه المبادرات التي لا قيمة ولا وزن لها.. فالأزمة ليست مكاناً لكي يبحث بعض الأشخاص عن مواقع عبرها.. فهذا جزء من تجارة الأزمة.
هناك ارتباط وثيق بين سياسات الدولة وعقيدة الشعب
وحول بقاء سورية قوية وصامدة أمام كل ما تعرضت له حتى الآن قال الرئيس الأسد.. أولاً البعض أخطأ باعتقاده أن السفينة هي سفينة دولة أو مرة أخرى بين قوسين نظام ولكن السفينة هي كل الوطن.. إما أن تغرق سورية أو تنجو سورية.. يجب أن نكون واضحين حول هذه النقطة.. لا يمكن أن تغرق هذه الدولة ويبقى الوطن لسبب بسيط.. وهو أنه على الرغم من الأخطاء الكثيرة الموجودة فهناك ارتباط وثيق بين سياسات هذه الدولة وعقيدة هذا الشعب.. ولكن لو قلنا من الذي جعل هذا البلد يصمد.. الحقيقة هو الشعب بشكل عام.. والشعب بقاعدته العريضة وليس بنخبه.. لكي أكون واضحاً للتاريخ.. القاعدة العريضة التي ربما لا تهتم عادة بالسياسة.
وفيما اذا كان يشمل ذلك عامة الشعب قال الرئيس الأسد.. نعم.. عامة الشعب.. الذي ربما لا يهتم بالسياسة.. ربما لا يحمل شهادات.. لا يعيش هذه الأجواء ولكن لديه إحساس فطري عميق بحقيقة الأزمة.. بمضمونها.. بجوهرها.. ليست المرة الأولى التي أكتشف فيها هذا الشيء أو التي أرى فيها هذا المشهد.. رأيناه في عام 2003 بعد حرب العراق ونتائجها عندما تنطح البعض لانتقاد الموقف السوري بسبب عناده لدول كبرى ووقوفه مع العراق في ذلك الوقت.. وظهر بشكل أوضح بعد العام 2005 عندما تآمر علينا الغرب على خلفية اغتيال الحريري في لبنان والآن نراها بشكل أوضح.. فهي الصورة نفسها.. هذه القاعدة العريضة من الشعب هي التي تحمي البلد وليس النخب.. لكي نكون واضحين سواء أرضى هذا الكلام البعض أو أغضبه.. ولا شك أن أهم فئة من هذا الشعب التي جعلت هذا البلد يصمد.. هي القوات المسلحة.. هذا الجيش والقوات المسلحة بأمنها وشرطتها يقومون بأعمال بطولية بكل ما تعني الكلمة من معنى.. لديهم استعداد للتضحية كنا نسمع عنها سابقاً وكنا نعتقد بأنها حالات فردية.. وهي موجودة في أي جيش في العالم.. حالات فردية من البطولة.. ولكن المفاجئ هو الحالة الجماعية والحالة العامة من الاستعداد للتضحية والتي رأينا حالات منها مباشرة وبالنقل الحي على تلفزيون الدنيا والتلفزيون السوري خلال المعارك التي أظهرت مدى الشجاعة والنجاحات التي حققوها.. فلولا النجاحات التي حققها الجيش العربي السوري في هذه الظروف المعقدة لكان وضع البلد من دون أدنى شك في خطر.. واحتضان الشعب لهذا الجيش هو أساسي.. ونقول جيش الشعب.. فهذا الجيش هو ابن هذا الشعب.
وتابع الرئيس الأسد.. لو نظرنا إلى المجتمع كقطاعات من أطباء.. ومثقفين.. وجامعيين.. وحرفيين.. وفلاحين.. وعمال الخ.. ولو عدنا إلى بداية الأزمة.. فإن بداية الأزمة انطلقت أو استندت إلى الطرح الطائفي.. كانوا يريدون في البداية أن يخلقوا شرخاً طائفياً بين أبناء الشعب السوري لكي يفتح ثغرة كبيرة في سورية ويكون المرور بالنسبة لهذا المخطط سهلا جداً وسلسا وسريعا.. الطرح الطائفي هو خروج عن الدين.. وانحراف عن الدين.. لأن الأديان والدين الإسلامي بشكل خاص لا يمكن أن يكون ديناً طائفياً وديناً تفريقياً.. وهناك أدوات وأساليب كثيرة لمواجهة الحالة الطائفية ولكن أهم أداة لمواجهتها هي الدين الصحيح.. ولا يمكن لشريحة أن تقوم بهذا الدور مثل شريحة رجال الدين أو العلماء.. الحقيقة بأنه.. وللتاريخ.. في هذه الأزمة دور رجال الدين كان دوراً هاماً جداً وأساسياً.. والكثير من الناس لا يعرف أن عدداً من رجال الدين المحترمين عذب وسجن في الأقبية والبعض منهم تم اغتياله ودفع حياته ثمناً ليس لأنه وقف مع الدولة.. بل لأنه قال كلمة حق أو لأنه تحدث بالمبادئ الصحيحة للدين.
الشعب هو من حمى الوطن
وأضاف الرئيس الأسد.. ان جوهر الأزمة كان خلق فتنة طائفية بالدرجة الأولى وكان لرجال الدين دور أساسي في مواجهتها.. هنا أيضاً نتحدث عن دور الإعلام كما قلنا قبل قليل لو لم يكن دور الإعلام هاماً في سورية لما دفع الإعلاميون الثمن من حياتهم.. هناك عدد من الشرائح.. هناك أشخاص في مفاصل مختلفة.. أنا لا أستثني الشرائح.. كل الشرائح فيها أشخاص وطنيون وأشخاص دفعوا حياتهم ثمناً.. ولكن كان هناك تركيز من قبل الخصوم والأعداء على اتجاهات معينة.. وكان لا بد لهذه الشرائح أو القطاعات من الشعب أن تقوم بواجبها وقد قامت بواجبها.. بالمقابل طبعاً كان هناك رجال دين منحرفون ولعبوا دوراً سلبياً إما بسبب الجهل في العقيدة أو لأسباب كامنة سياسية استغلوا الدين من أجلها.. ولكن تم تطويقهم من قبل علماء الدين في سورية.. لذلك أعتقد أن هذه المرحلة هي مرحلة تسجل بالنسبة لكل هذه الفئات التي قامت بحماية الوطن.
وحول اغتيال الكثير من الفعاليات.. أطباء.. مهندسين.. أساتذة جامعيين علماء بكل الاتجاهات قال الرئيس الأسد.. هذا صحيح ولكن ربما المطلوب من كل شخص في هذه الشرائح كان محدوداً نسبة للعناوين الكبرى التي طرحت في بداية الأزمة.. مع ذلك أعود وأقول إن الكل ينتمي لهذا الشعب.. وعندما بدأت بكلمة أن الشعب هو من حمى هذا الوطن.. فهذا الشعب يشمل كل الشرائح.
وجوابا على سؤال حول إلى أين نحن ذاهبون وإلى أين سورية ذاهبة قال الرئيس الأسد.. نأخذ سورية إلى حيث نريد أن نأخذها كشعب سوري.. وليس إلى أي مكان آخر.. العامل الخارجي يؤثر.. يستطيع أن يسرع عملية ما أو يبطئها.. يستطيع أن ينحرف بها باتجاه معين.. ولكن نستطيع نحن أن نعيده.. كل ما يحصل في سورية لم يكن من الممكن أن يحصل لو لم يكن لدينا فئات معينة.. مجموعات محدودة ولكنها مؤثرة سارت مع المخطط الأجنبي سياسياً أو إجرامياً.. عندما لا يكون لدينا في سورية مثل هذه المجموعات والفئات فتأكد بأن مؤامرة يقودها كل العالم ضد سورية ويشارك فيها كل العالم ضد سورية غير قادرة على التأثير في المستقبل الذي نريد أن نرسمه لأنفسنا.. فالجواب بشكل مختصر للشعب السوري أن مصير سورية هو بيدك.. وليس بيد أي أحد اخر.. عندما نتخلص من الإرهاب لن يكون لدينا مشكلة.. حتى المتآمر سيعود ويتغير.. من ساهم بهذه المشكلة من السوريين هو الذي شجع المتآمرين على المزيد من التآمر.. هذه هي الحقيقة.. لذلك علينا أن نتعامل مع الوضع الداخلي.. وأؤكد بأن المؤامرة كبيرة ولكن كما قلت في كل خطاب وفي كل مقابلة.. الأساس هو في سورية.. عندما نتخلص من هؤلاء الإرهابيين ونعود لنبحث لاحقاً بسبب وجود هذا النوع من الإجرام الذي لم نكن نعتقد بأنه موجود في بلدنا.. هذه مسؤولية مجتمع.. مسؤولية وطن كامل.. نبحث في الأسباب الحقيقية ونعالجها.. عندها يجب أن نكون مطمئنين.. وعندها ستعود سورية التي كنا نعرفها قبل هذه الأزمة.. وأنا مطمئن لهذا الشيء بكل تأكيد.
وجوابا على سؤال حول الدور الذي تأخذه سورية الأم بالنسبة لأبنائها وإصدارها عفوا عن بعض الذين تورطوا وكذلك القول إن الدولة ليست في الوضع الذي يمكنها الآن من أن تكون هي القوية وبالتالي هي التي تعفو قال الرئيس الأسد.. حقيقة الجواب متضمن في السؤال.. ان العفو عند المقدرة وليس عند الضعف.. والعفو هو من دلائل القوة وليس من دلائل الضعف.. ومن دلائل الثقة.. الثقة بأنفسنا وبالشعب.. لأن الدولة تمثل الشعب وهي جزء من هذا الشعب.. فهي ثقة شاملة ليست ثقة المسؤول بنفسه.. هي ثقة بأن كثيراً من هؤلاء الناس غرر بهم.. طبعاً لنضع جانباً الأخطاء.. هناك أحياناً أشخاص ربما في ظروف العمل الأمني يتم اعتقالهم بشكل خاطئ ويفرج عنهم.. بشكل فردي أو بشكل جماعي.. ولكن هناك حالات من التورط.. التي يحددها القانون بشكل واضح كالجنح لا بد من أن تتبع معها منهج التسامح.. وفي كثير من حالات التسامح التي تمت خلال العام ونصف العام الماضي كان هناك نتائج إيجابية.
وأضاف الرئيس الأسد.. اذا كان هذا العفو يحقق نتائج إيجابية فلماذا لا نسير به.. فحل الأزمة ليس فقط من خلال القضاء على الإرهاب.. أو من خلال القوة.. هذا كلام أيضاً غير شامل ومحدود.. يجب أن تستخدم كل الأدوات الممكنة بما فيها التسامح.. لذلك قلت سابقاً سنستمر بهذه العملية ونحن فعلا مستمرون بها.
وردا على سؤال حول ما اذا كان ما زال هناك إيمان بالعروبة وبشيء اسمه العمل العربي بعد مواقف الجامعة العربية وتعليقها عضوية سورية أوضح الرئيس الأسد.. أكرر ما قلته في أحد الخطابات بأن سورية أولاً هذه من البديهيات.. كل وطن هو أولا وكل قرية ينتمي إليها الإنسان هي أولاً.. هذا شيء بديهي.. ولكن هذه الـ أولاً لا تتنافى مع الـ ثانيا.. وهو المدينة الأكبر والوطن الأكبر والوطن العربي أو القومية التي ننتمي إليها.. فهذا الكلام محدود.. وهذا الكلام هو كلام رد فعل.. عندما نقول سورية أولاً أو لا نريد أن ننتمي إلى العروبة.. فإذاً نحن نسلم العروبة لهؤلاء.. أنا أقول العكس.. أنا اليوم أكثر التزاماً بالعروبة.. وأكثر قناعة بها.. وأكثر اطمئناناً لها.. لانني عرفت بعد عقد ونيف من التعامل مع البعض.. لكي لا يقال الكل.. البعض من المسؤولين العرب في مستويات مختلفة والبعض منهم في قمة الدولة.. عرفت بأن هؤلاء لا ينتمون إلى العروبة.. فاطمأننت بأنهم لا ينتمون لنا ولا ننتمي إليهم.. فهذا يطمئن أكثر إلى أن العروبة هي صافية ولو حاول البعض أن يعكرها بوجوده.
الجامعة العربية ليست مقياس العروبة
وتابع الرئيس الأسد.. أما بالنسبة للجامعة العربية فهي ليست مقياس العروبة.. بمعنى أن العروبة ليست منظمة.. هي حالة حضارية.. هذه المنطقة ترتكز على عدد من الأشياء.. أكبرها شيئان.. العروبة والإسلام.. لا تستطيع أن تكون هذه المنطقة موجودة بشكلها الحالي من دون هاتين القاعدتين الكبيرتين.. إن لم نؤمن بوجود وبأساس وبأهمية هاتين القاعدتين فنحن لا نؤمن بشيء موجود على الواقع شئنا أم أبينا.. فليست القضية أن نؤمن أو لا نؤمن.. هذه حقيقة إذا لم تؤمن بها عليك أن تغيرها.. هل نستطيع أن نلغي العروبة هذا موضوع آخر… بالنسبة للجامعة العربية لنكن واقعيين.. أي على الأقل بالعشر سنوات الأخيرة أو منذ عام 2000 منذ اندلاع الانتفاضة أساساً بالتسعينيات لم تجتمع سوى مرة واحدة.. ولم يكن هناك سوى قمة عربية واحدة ولكن بشكل أساسي منذ الـ 2000 وحتى اليوم.. ما هو العمل الذي قامت به الجامعة العربية لصالح الأمة العربية.. الحقيقة من خلال وجودي في كل القمم العربية لم يكن لدينا.. كسورية.. طموح أن نحقق شيئاً.. كان لدينا طموح أقصى هو أن نخفف من الخسائر.. كنا نعرف بأنه في كل قمة عربية هناك قنابل توضع وأفخاخ وألغام علينا أن نفككها.. فلم يكن لدينا قناعة بأن هناك في الجامعة العربية عملا حقيقيا لصالح الامة العربية.. وكانت أصعب النشاطات السياسية التي أقوم بها هي الذهاب إلى القمة العربية لهذا السبب.. للمعارك التي تخوضها لكي تمنع هذه الالغام.. لم يكن هناك على الإطلاق إمكانية لتحقيق شيء لصالح الأمة العربية.. فالعروبة شيء والجامعة العربية شيء آخر.. أن ننتمي إلى الجامعة أو لا ننتمي فهذا موضوع آخر.
الإشاعة هي كفقاعة صابون سوف تنفجر بعد فترة
وحول رغبة وسائل الإعلام الخارجية بظهور رئيس الجمهورية كل يوم على شاشات التلفزيون حتى لا تخرج الشائعات عنه وأين يتواجد الرئيس الآن قال الرئيس الأسد.. أنا الآن معك في دمشق في القصر الجمهوري.. على كل الأحوال هذه الإشاعات ليست سلبية بشكل مطلق.. أنت تلاحظ بأننا لا نرد على هذه الإشاعات في معظم الحالات.. فهي من دون قيمة.. فالإشاعة هي كالفقاعة.. فقاعة صابون سوف تنفجر بعد فترة.. هذه الإشاعات ميزتها بأنها تظهر أكاذيبهم لأنها ستنكشف بعد فترة.. فهي شيء إيجابي يعزز موقفنا بأنهم يكذبون ويزورون.. لكن من جانب آخر.. هذه الاشاعات تشوش قليلاً بالنسبة للمواطن ولكنها تشوش أكثر بالنسبة لهم.. ولمقاتليهم الذين يحاولون رفع معنوياتهم بهذه الإشاعات.. رفع المعنويات من خلال الإشاعات يعني تقديم الوهم لأدواتك.. هذا يعني أن هذه الأدوات ستفشل قريباً.. وهذا شيء جيد.. لذلك علينا ألا ننزعج منها.. ولا نهتم بها.. أنا موجود على الواقع.. ولم يتمكنوا حتى الآن من إدخال الخوف ليس في قلبي وإنما في قلوب معظم السوريين.. الحقيقة الكل قلق على وطنه.. هذا قلق طبيعي ولكن أن يدخلوا الخوف بطريقة أو بأخرى.. فهذا الشيء لن يصلوا إليه على الإطلاق.
وختم الرئيس الأسد بالقول.. أتمنى أن تنقل تحياتي لكل العاملين في محطة الدنيا والذين يتعرضون لتهديدات بشكل مستمر ولكنهم ما زالوا مصرين على القيام بواجبهم الوطني في كشف الحقائق

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