Syria PBS Newshour Lessons SYRIA'S ROLE IN THE MIDDLE EAST October 2012
Since 1970, the Ba'ath Party has remained the sole authority in Syria, and Syrian citizens may only approve the President by referendum They do not hold elections! Hafez al-Assad died in 2000. He had ruled for 29 years. He was succeeded by his son Bashar Al-Assad. Hafez al-Assad, who had ruled with an iron hand for more than a quarter of a century and his son!
Bashar Assad sought to present himself as a youthful and forward-looking leader in a region, A man who might yet reform the repressive police state he inherited from his father, given time- but the reforms never came. State Media Police State No Elections Syria is not a democracy- political corruption & lack of freedoms is one reason for protests…
The Spark that started the revolutions in Syria! 15 Children under the age of 17 wrote anti- Assad graffiti and were arrested by Assad’s police. The children were brutalized by the police and the parent’s were told to forget they had children! Daraa, SyriaMarch, 2011
In the beginning the opposition was non-violent. Demonstrators went to the streets in emulation of what happened in Egypt and Libya and in response to the brutality against the Children in Daraa. Since protests broke out in March 2011, President Bashar has used force to seek to crush the unrest, killing more than 25,000 people and detaining tens of thousands more, according to the United Nations. In the beginning the opposition was non-violent… against Bashar al-Assad!
Another reason for the protests was poor economic conditions… Three main economic reasons : The first is the severe drought of the last five years,- The drought is estimated to have plunged 800,000 Syrians into extreme poverty The second factor is the rising price of food-foodstuffs increased in price by close to 20 percent in 2010, led by wheat, which increased by 30 percent! The third factor is increasing unemployment-between 22 and 30 percent.(2011)
Pres. Assad retaliated with brutality =Syrian Civil War Sunni, Muslims- Opposition- 75% of pop. Alawites Muslim, Supporters-12% of pop.
According to estimates from the United Nations, the conflict has left more than 10,000 dead, thousands more displaced and as many as 40,000 people may have been detained. The Red Crescent said in May 2012 that as many as 1.5 million people needed help getting food, water or shelter. The civil war has left thousands dead and destroying the country!
In April 2012, agreed to a six-point peace plan-for a cease-fire that does not involve the president leaving power. Syria agreed, but has failed to implement. Still, without a better alternative, the United Nations proposed sending 300 cease-fire observers In February 2012, the United Nations General Assembly approve resolution to condemn Assad, but China & Russia blocked all efforts for stronger Security Council action. International Response to Syrian Civil War?
Sovereigntyis the quality of having independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. A country is the “boss of their own turf”. No outside country or international organization can interfer in a countries “internal” affairs. China is a fan of protecting a countries Sovereignty!
In July, Pres. Obama abandoned efforts for diplomatic, and instead was increasing aid to the rebels • Officials insisted they will not provide arms to the rebel forces. • The United States, the European Union, the Arab League and Turkey are all enforcing sanctions against Bashar al-Assad's Syrian regime What has President Obama done?
Stop here Can continue with the history of imperialism and resentment towards the west.
Chemical Weapons & Threat from U.S. See the rest of the article. 1925 Geneva Convention to ban chemical weapons
Economic continued- decide if want to include… keep as notes if not included… A new form of crony capitalism, which has failed to provide jobs or economic security to the broad masses, has replaced socialism. Growth has been skewed in favor of the wealthy. The poor, particularly the rural poor, have been abandoned. This was the social sector that provided the original base of support for the Baath party, but it is now up in arms. The wealthy have remained quiet.
What Modern Day countries were part of the Ottoman Empire? How long did the Ottoman Empire last? How far back had Syrians tried to gain independence?
How might the implementation of the Sykes-Picot Agreement leave Arabs with a bitterness against the West? How has western and particularly U.S. support for Israel further aggravated their relationship with Syria and other Arab countries?
History & Timeline Ottoman Empire 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement This came to a disappointing end for Syrians when the allied victors, France and Britain squashed any hope for Arab unity with the division of the remains of the Ottoman Empire. Arab leaders believed the British were also honoring Arab nationalism and would grant independence once the war was over.
Arab Nationalism • Three forces worked against Arab nationalism: One was France which was determined to remain a power and influence in the Middle East. • The second was Britain, which wanted to keep Mesopotamia under control to counter Russian influence and protect oil interests. • The third was Zionism and the Jewish interest in Palestine. • Though the British promised Arabs an independent state or confederation that would control the area, the Sykes-Picot Agreement had also promised a national home in Palestine for Zionists.
Propaganda on both sides-BBC News Syrian state television has been preparing the way for the campaign, repeating gruesome footage of some of the dead bodies, interviewing wounded survivors and loyal citizens calling for army intervention, and declaring that there is a "popular consensus" behind a military crackdown. Activist internet sites, in counterbalance, have been carrying footage of night-time vigils and demonstrations in many towns and villages throughout the country, declaring solidarity with Jisr al-Shughour and calling for the overthrow of the regime.