The title of this video is actually what compelled me to watch it. I was intrigued by the fact that an international, independent journalist was speaking out on the lies about Syria, the lies that the regime continuously and shamelessly perpetuates.
I was surprised to find out that the testimony was, in fact, one that will undoubtedly be marked as a dark cloud that follows you throughout your entire career.
What is most ludicrous is that it was made at a time when the entire world was mourning the loss of the historical city of Aleppo and international organizations, including the UN were apologizing for the fact that their inaction had allowed the Assad regime to continue for this long. Yet you, a journalist from Canada, a country that values democracy, peace and freedom chose to speak out in a manner that insulted every Syrian citizen who has been standing up for their basic human rights and watching their country burn before their eyes, not to mention your colleagues in the international press that put their lives at risk in order to report on the reality of the situation.
So I feel an obligation to clarify a few things to give you some perspective.
In your press conference, you stated that you first started visiting Syria from 2014 onwards, 3 years after the revolution began. Hundreds of thousands of peaceful demonstrators took to the streets and spent 8 months peacefully asking for their innate rights. They danced and sang across the country in the name of freedom, calling on Bashar Al Assad to reform the regime that had spent 50 years oppressing Syrian people of all generations. Never once did the revolutionary chants show any signs of sectarianism, religious extremism or division. They spoke of hope, change and freedom.
Almost instantly, the regime decided that the movement needed to stop being peaceful and become armed. After all, this has always been Assad’s field of expertise. From day one, the regime’s rhetoric was strategically divisive and focused on sectarianism, religious extremism and terrorism. Assad was quick to suppress the demonstrations, not with water as most police forces would, but with weapons, pumping children with air so their skin explodes, breaking caricaturists’ fingers and gorging the throats of demonstration chanters.
During those 8 months, the Syrian people were still in Syria and tens of millions of them took to the streets. Those same people are now either displaced in Syria and its surrounding countries or dead – be it from airstrikes, or drowning in the sea as they tried to escape, or the freezing cold temperatures and diseases in the refugee camps.
The Syria that you visited in 2014 consisted of less than 50% of the people who had been living in the country before the revolution, and less than 30% of the population of Syrians in the world, taking into consideration that over 10 million educated Syrians, most of which were minorities, left the country over the course of the 50 years of the Assad regime because they refused to live in the oppression perpetuated by the totalitarian government.
So to accuse all your colleagues in the international media, among them some of the biggest, most well respected names in the field, of lying and falsely reporting all because they reported about the reality of the situation for the people remaining in Syria, living under siege, is despicable. The Syrians you are talking about are either scared for their well-being, part of the regime, or imported by the regime from other countries into the now vacant parts of Syria in order to change the demographics of the country. They do not represent the majority sentiment of those who have lost their homes, fought for their freedom and lost their loved ones.
The terrorist groups, most notably ISIS that we are now seeing are a direct product of the regime. Assad released their leaders from prison, armed them with the cooperation of his allies in Iraq, and financed them with the petrol reserves he withdrew from in their parts of the country. In fact, it may surprise you to know that a lot of the ISIS leaders are indeed registered, official members of the regime intelligence.
The real Syrian Revolution, the Free Syrian Revolution won in 2012. It was victorious on the day the regime decided to use chemical weapons to suppress the movement. The revolutionaries were able to get to only a few kilometers away from the presidential palace, cornering the regime to the point where it sacrificed the country’s sovereignty, allowing Russia, Hezbollah and Iran to have the upper hand in the country just to ensure that Assad would prevail.
Aleppo has not fallen. It is standing proudly with its ancient castle that dates back over 4000 years. What has fallen in its values is the rest of the world. The international structure that was implemented after the Second World War in order to ensure democracy, peace and freedom all over the world is what has fallen.
My advice to you would be to apologize to the colleagues that you insulted with your wildly inaccurate testimony, and most importantly to the Syrian people who believe in democracy and have suffered enough. Finally, I advise you to wash your hands well after shaking the hands of the murderers and savages that are running the Assad regime.