المرصد السوري لحقوق الانسان
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

This is What Emerged Victorious with the Defeat of the Syrian Revolution

The Syrian Revolution was indeed defeated, but what won?
Events and implications that packed the news of the past few weeks, can be put under a broad title: the family. The family, today, is spitting out its achievements over the nation. This is the answer to the question above.Before going over what happened and continues to happen, there would be no harm in reminding ourselves of the family’s past and the place of kinships in the Syrian regime, in order to say that this is exactly the regime’s core characteristic; it is the regime.

While Hafez Assad and his brother Rifaat were fighting in the early eighties, after the illness of the former had opened the battle of succession, the prospect of civil war loomed over the whole of Syria. However, in those days, we were familiar with the names of Hafez, Rifaat and their third brother Jamil’s sons and daughters, and with their in-laws as well. We learnt a lot about the brothers and their offsprings, their preferences, predispositions, character and morals, as well as their relationships with one another, even their relationships with their in-laws. We became aware of the position each of them occupied in Hafez’s mother, Naisa’s ladder of approval, closeness and aloofness, then that of his wife, Anisa, and how their immediate relatives felt about each of them.

During the revolution, with the assassination of Asef Shawkat, the son in law, this kind of news came back once again to the forefront: who killed Shawkat (who remembers: who shot J. R.?) How is the relationship between Asma, the wife, and Bushra, sister? Is it going well between Anisa and each of them?

Rumors also circulated on a monthly basis regarding the brother Maher, on his being ‘injured’ or ‘killed’ or ‘prepared to inherit’ from his brother, and there was also talk of whom the family would side with him and vice versa.

On a smaller scale, this was repeated when the Assad and Tlass families took divergent positions on issues. Hafez’s relationship with Mustafa Tlass was almost one of kinship: in addition to being in the same party, colluding together in several conspiracies and being partners in power and wealth, their friendship was made an example of. The sons of “Mr. President” and “Mr. Minister of Defense” were not separated when they went out or in their homes and schools.

But, of course, since Hafez and Anisa paired up, the most famous and enduring story has been that of the relationship between the Assad and Makhlouf families. Their marriage was not just a marriage: the social ascension that the groom made by marrying someone of a much higher social standing was major, and the marriage had great implications for the relationship between the Baath Party (Assad) and the Syrian Nationalists (Makhlouf). Even values did not escape the marriage’s repercussions: for “loyalty” required repaying the debt to Muhammad Makhlouf, Anisa’s beloved brother. Muhammad became a millionaire.

This rot, not the defeat of American imperialism, is precisely what emerged victorious.

Today, the rot records a new victory, which was made public via two videotapes addressed to the paternal cousin Bashar, released by the maternal cousin, Rami, days after the news that the former bought his wife a 30-million-dollar painting came to light.

The media and social media platforms left no room for uncertainty concerning this “science” and its heroes and details. The content may not necessarily be accurate, but its description of the climate is. It was reported, for example, that Muhammad, Bashar’s uncle and Rami’s father, fled to Russia and that his son, Ihab, was removed from his posts. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 28 managers at Makhlouf’s companies were arrested. Rami’s brother, the heavy-handed intelligence officer Hafez Makhlouf, has not been heard from, but it will not be long before we hear his news.

It is also said that Asma, the wife, is the one supervising the curtailment of the Makhlouf family’s influence, and that she has nominated her cousin, Muhannad Dabbagh, to replace them (it appears that something from Jiang Qing, Mao Zedong’s wife, is hiding in Asma).

It is also repeated, in the analyses of the event’s seismic repercussions, that a planned marriage between Mohammed, Rami’s son and the daughter of the sister-in-law, Bushra, was thwarted. Some sources have also added that sons of Rifaat, known to be hostile to the Makhlouf family, being allowed to return and set up business projects in Syria (otherwise what will they do there?!)

The battle that will redistribute the shares is not devoid of heavy weaponry. Some say that Russia and Iran are involved, which suggests that each of the branches of the family, along with those close to them, are developing their ‘foreign and diplomatic’ relationships. However, the leaking is certainly out of control: someone leaked the news of the painting Bashar donated to his wife, and there is someone else, on the other side, who leaked the accusation that Rami tried to smuggle a shipment, seized by the Egyptian authorities, containing illicit substances packed into milk cartons of the “Milkman” company, which is owned by Makhlouf himself.

Meanwhile, other news became of interest: the ambiguity of Kim Jong Un’s health status and his potential heirs. As we know, the North Korean regime graced the Syrian regime with two lessons: it taught the regime republican succession after it had inspired the concept of “the vanguard of the Baath”.

However, by then, the first trial for war crimes in Syria was taking place. Two Syrian officers, one of whom worked under Hafez Makhlouf’s command, appeared before the Federal Court of Justice in Germany, as Israeli aircraft continued flying in Syrian airspace, undeterred by the coronavirus “armistice”.

Why should the revolution have won? The events of the past few weeks ought to have provided the answer to those who had not found one.

Hazem Saghieh

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views and editorial stance of the SOHR.

Source: This is What Emerged Victorious with the Defeat of the Syrian Revolution | Asharq AL-awsat

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