Post-, post-Sochi

By Dr. Bassam Abu Abdullah   

 Let us first make it clear that Moscow has successfully managed to hold the Sochi Congress for Syrian National Dialogue,  surmounting thereby all  the disruptive efforts frantically  made by the US to undermine it and not to let it take place. Till the last moment,  the US was frantically  trying to torpedo the Congress seeking every possible avenue not to let it be convened.

Such disruptive attempts, whethermade  by the UN Special Peace Envoy Staffan de Mistura  or   the representatives of  some armed groups and other Istanbul-based  organizations coming from Turkey,  have been  skillfully surmounted by the Russian Foreign Ministry,  which managed to undo  all  the mines and overcome all the traps  placed in the way of the Congress. But,  in spite of all these  mines, the Congress  got  underway and  managed to endorse its final communique  and issue its relevant documents.

The Sochi manifesto is historical. And this document, whether  friends or foes  liked it or not, would be preserved as a part of the history in the making. The Sochi  document was the right  response to the silly  group  of five “non-paper”,  about  which a former UK Ambassador  had to say: Get your hands off Syria and try to busy  yourselves instead in  drafting a modern, enlightened and advanced  constitution for your partner, or better  say, your  Al Saud  Kingdom Company, which needs a new internal statute to administer  a peaceful  transition of  power  from Al Saud to Al Salman. This is where your interventions and works are needed.

In Syria, there is nothing left for you, neither a place, nor fingers nor any imprints, I suppose, he reportedly said.

That is why we have seen this hysteric US reaction. First came the  list of sanctions against  Top Russian officials, then shortly afterwards  came the statements  by some tails  such as the French Foreign Minister and  finally  came the  yellow-faced  fleas  of the so-called “opposition”  who  have been fraught with anger and dismay. The  very scene of such a large assembly of Syrians  have filled them with awe.

They can not say that all  of these personalities  taking part in this large assembly of Syrians do not represent anyone. Such a large representation has deprived them of the very possibility to go on with their fallacious claims about “who represents”  the Syrian people. With such a scene, how could they maintain their previous  claims and who is going to believe that   a bunch of  proxies affiliated to the Saudi, British or American Foreign Offices might  represent “the people”? Obviously, they realized  the fallacy of their own nonsense.

In Sochi, we are  witnessing a grand shift in the Syrian scene. The outdated Geneva dichotomy where the legitimate Syrian Arab Republic delegation would stand versus a delegation representing western intelligence services who had been able to disrupt, stall and constantly blackmail, is no longer  valid.Sochi gathering has managed to change this outdated and inconvenient dichotomy once and for all. What is most significant  about Sochi is that it has managed, for the first time in seven years, to present a new model and a new platform  allowing  for the largest  possible representation of all  shades of the Syrian people’s spectrum, as admitted by one of the opposition participants.

It has also opened  wide gates for the peaceful, constructive political opposition, who truly have the will and the desire to build partnerships with fellow national Syrian forces to join hands in charting out the key features of future Syria. Sochi has also propelled a new dynamism that is so vigorous for de Mistura to overlook or to ignore. The scene in the Congress room was suffice to show that the future of Syria would be determined by the Syrian people. It also manifested two distinct orientations: A broad rally of the Syrian people cherishing the tendency to look for “common grounds” and to consequently build upon  these common elements in order  to come up with sensible,  meaningful, realistic and fruitful solutions.

On the other hand, there was  an odd orientation the followers of which have unmasked their faces and showed their colors. This latter tendency was epitomized by the non-paper “document” proposed by the group of five represented by the United States, Britain, France, and their associate Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

The first orientation would move along the straightforward path towards the aspired for final solution step by step regardless of the hurdles placed in its way, while the second  would continue to sleep-walk into its doomed pre, pre-Sochi illusions and would continue to indulge in its criminal and subversive projects.  The majority of the Syrian people, together with the Syrian Arab Army and allies  have chosen to live in post, post-Sochi. (or Beyond, beyond-Sochi).

To those willing to know what Post-, Post-Sochi means, we say: The political process for an eventual political solution is now on track, despite all the disruptive attempts that we have seen and would continue to see.  Work on the battlefield would move on to crush terrorism on every step of the way. The political solution or the political  vision should fortify and support  the gains made by the Army on the ground. This is particularly significant as  the participants of the Congress  have  laid emphasis on two key points:

First, Sochi made it clear that  Syria is a democratic non-sectarian  country. This language starkly contradicts and runs at a logger-head collision with what some sections of the opposition used to regurgitate for years now.

Second, Sochi document laid special emphasis on the need to preserve Syria’s unity and territorial integrity. This would totally shred into tatters all  the separatist  projects  being promoted by the United States and its associates, as self-evidently exposed  in the wretched non-paper  of the group of five.

No doubt that there are so many points in the Sochi Final Statement that still require a lot of clarification and explanation. However, I think that the consensus nearing an almost  unanimous approval of the statement would oblige de Mistura  to show the card he tried to maneuver with for a long time now,  namely the “12 principles”. For some time now, he tried to circumvent this card and tried to promote instead a paper of  his own  outside his mandate.

We add to this another significant issue, namely the constitution. Sochi Congress  has clearly stated that  what is being tabled is “constitutional reforms”  of the already existing Constitution of the 2012. The Committee  in charge would merely present ideas. These  ideas would be  studied and scrutinized in Damascus and in Damascus exclusively.

The outcome would be the output of Syrian constitutional institutions. This is something completely different from what de Mistura and his supporters  were trying to do. They wanted to come up with a constitution made outside Syria by foreigners. And this is totally  unacceptable. After Sochi, this attempt was fully doomed and is no longer tabled.

What I can say is that we have been ushered into a totally new era. Sochi has heralded a new era that would put in motion some substantive dynamisms to catalyze the political  settlement process, which would steadily move on no matter of what obstacles, hurdles or disruptive attempts might be placed in its way. But none of their disruptive efforts would hinder the already-launched process. They frantically try to undo the substantive outcomes of the congress. They also try to its legitimacy and credibility in to question. And they try to cast doubts and skepticism about the true motives of our Russian friends.

But none of these efforts would stop the march forward. Such attempts  have already started. Two days ago, someone calling himself “spokesman of the Saudi Negotiations Committee” went on some TV  channels foaming and frothing. With a venomous countenance, he tried to say that Sochi was “not important at all and that  nothing of its output was of any value”. Really? So, does he want us to believe that his “Negotiations Committee”, which derives its “legitimacy”, if any, of the US vassals, has any value or that its outputs have any credit, though they could not manage  to rally  other than 120 individuals for their Riyadh 2 conference?  Similarly is the rhetoric churned out by the so-called “Coordination Committee”.

Anyway, these individuals are simply reciting the scripts given to them by the Saudis and the US. They do not realize that the time has overtaken them and that the battlefield is now somewhere else.

They are still sleep-walking in their illusions and do not realize that the list of  the 120 countries that used to support them has now been shortlisted to mere three  colonial countries and two small subordinates.

This shift in the landscape is largely due to the fact that many people began to see the truth. The false image they tried to promote for  years  through forgeries,  deceit, forgery and sheer  lies is now fully exposed. Together with their proxies and vassals, they lied and lied and lied until they themselves believed their own lies.

By all standards,  Sochi has been a great success. It has demonstrated a real image of the Syrian people. This image has shocked them and filled them with panic, because it  has exposed the falsified image  they have been trying to promote for  years now through a bunch of individuals who represent their bankrollers.

As for the Syrians now, they do not think about “Post-Sochi”. They think about the post, post-Sochi. They think about the foreseeable grand military and political victory. This the only goal ahead of us all and towards which we are marching step by step.

To be sure  that we are marching towards the grand victory, in spite of the difficulties and hurdles, just look at the hysteria of the enemies and you would be certain of the forthcoming victory.

Translated from Arabic by Syrianfacts. The article was published in the Syrian “Al-Watan” newspaper on February 1, 2018.



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