Almost every country worldwide has remarkable landmarks, glorious transitional turning points and charismatic leaders to be proud of. On November 16th, 1970, Syria was on a vigil waiting for the man who was able to rescue her from bloody coups, chaos, unrest, a man to wash away the humiliation of June, 1967, a man to restore elegance and civilization role to a country, plagued with long thorny years of occupation, colonialism and all-related aspects of darkness and backwardness. There he came, the late President Hafez Al-Assad.
Armed with strong and sincere Arab National commitment to every Arab citizen in general, and to every Syrian in particular, Al-Assad initiated the transitional landmark of Correction March. The voice of the once unheard poor, weak, suppressed majority of all walks of life started to be heard in every house, corner, school village and factory. The Syrians woke up to the resurrection of a new dawn, a new chapter of glory, correction and building. On this very day, 46 years back, a statement by the Baath Arab Socialist Party (BASP) temporary Regional Leadership topped ‘ the will and interest of the people as the second to none priority’’ As the President pointed out later to a Damascus crowded rally, ‘ The cornerstone for such a building is the freedom of the Syrian civilian and his/ her dignity, the most expensive of what Man possesses,’’.
The BASP Correction Statement cited the standing challenges including the insistence of imperial powers to liquidate the great cause of Palestine, consecrate the Israeli occupation, disperse and exploit Arabs resources. The Statement cited too: the massing up of the potentialities at the service of struggle and liberation, formation of people’s Assembly, the implementation of economic growth plans, the building of a united popular socialist society, bolstering of popular democracy, continuation of the building up of armed forces, local administration law issuance, and the protection of the citizen freedom and dignity.
As the late President, the Leader of the Correction, stated clearly in the 70's, through the correction Movement, " we have emerged out of chaos, ended the isolation between the masses and leadership,…. put an end to the spoiling of the country economy, as well as to the exploitation and wasting of the civilians means of living,’’
The March of Correction started with a strong belief in God as well as in the masses as to correct and rebuild what others in rubbles had left. The leadership was no more isolated from masses The process of Correction aimed at bettering the life and every condition of the Syrian Man; be it health, educational, political, social, psychological, a new constitution was worded, National Front for Syria’s parties and popular organizations founded, more of hospitals, schools, infrastructure facilities, roads, dams and universities erected. Very noble the aims were as to achieve balance between expenditure and resources, solve economic crises and achieve speedy social and economic growth, set up popular democratic institutions and union organizations, broaden an enlarge the popular participation of masses in the shaping and making of their country politics and life, increase standards of living, democratization of education, strategic balance realization, and as to secure the social emancipation and bolster women role.
The Correction addressed the daily needs of the majority; man became the means and end of Correction. The Late Leader of the March, whose words were his very deeds, amazingly led the national liberation movement for social progress, prosperity, justice and peace, with respect to our country peculiarities and characteristics, never tailored a dress out of shape for Syrian masses size. In his March 8, 1978 speech, the late president declared that "Growth, with all its economic, social and cultural aspects, is a national urgent need, and should continue accelerated’’ ‘we want to make of our country a prosperous one like developed countries,’’ Three years later, March 1980, the late President stated "We established constitutional establishments, the necessary formula to practice freedom’’ A year later in March 1981, the leader addressed the masses that the "freedom of the citizen and the safeguarding of his/her dignity, freedom with all of its forms " freedom of organizations, freedom of peasants’ through the cementing of national unity, boosting of public sector, end of exploitation, ‘’ redouble efforts in using our resources as to increase production, and just distribution of resources’’ Popular Auditing and self- objective criticism " criticism should be a continued practice hence it is very important. It forms treatment and prevention at the same time,’’.
‘ We are fully ready to offer every sacrifice so that right and principles would win, so that just peace would prevail’’ " we are peace advocates, work for peace for our people and for every world people; we defend today as to live in peace.’’ October 6, 1973. This is the same peace, which Syria negotiated with the other side as to accomplish a full Israeli withdrawal to June 4, 1967 lines. The lessons of October liberation would ever remain a testimony of the power of the Syrian people as to restore rights back and shatter every myth of invincibility. The power of right is indeed the strongest of every destructive means of killing. It isn’t only the power of weapons which achieves victory, but rather the power of right and of those who use the weapon in defense of dignity, existence, and honor. The portion of the liberated territories was less than what all Syrians aspired to and aimed at; yet, it was Arabs first victory in Modern history; a new Arab man was reborn, a man with no slightest feeling of fear, weakness and humiliation.
Syria’s wise and strategic national role was bolstered worldwide. The country was destined to face yet further hard times. Teased by Syria’s unique steadfastness and increasingly more active master-key role, some forces, for different silly and selfish cheap interests and greed, sowed the seeds of instability, disharmony and extremism. Consequently, every Syrian steadfastly stood up to the challenge posed by few outlawed extremists. Thanks to the brave Syrian masses and hero Army; Syria was able to survive others organized terrorism; remove the cancerous cell of hatred, blind extremism and rotten evil. As the late president outlined "Islam shouldn’t be the means" by which the enemies of people ‘use it as to kill and exploit people’’ nor as to hatch plots against the masses. United with their late president, the Syrian masses were able to defeat extremist terrorism, which causes us heavy prices and painful losses. Though the elite of the Syrians, not to mention the hundreds of innocent children, women and elderly, were martyred and gunned down, the Syrians became even stronger, more steadfast and united.
The Syrians today stand shoulder to shoulder with their brave Army encountering the ongoing foreign-backed terrorism and Takfiri trends.
Today, the world, given the mushroomed terrorism worldwide, has started to regret its disregard of the Late President's repeated calls and dispatched delegations as to hold an international conference on terrorism.
Gradually, the Correction march made of Syria ‘the beating heart of Arabs’ and the staunch defender of Arab and international movements of liberation. The BASP Unity, Freedom and Socialism sublime goals swept many corners. The Correction, as a revolutionary reaction to deterioration and fragmentation, aimed at enhancing the Arabs solidarity, unfortunately weaken or missing nowadays, as the ‘national necessity" and joint actions setting up an effective economic bloc and the like of the aspired for Arabs joint actions.
The Correction raised the pan Arab national spirit not to mention the principled stances by big powers and international liberation movements by Arabs and Syria’s just causes stances. "We in Syria move out of a national vision, though of trouble caused for us because of this,; such troubles even vanish if we were to move out of a regional vision’’ the Late president, May, 7, 1978.
The historic role by the president made the issue of Palestine the core of international struggle and strife, as it is the compass nowadays of president Bashar Al-Assad's policy,. "What binds us to the Cause of Palestine is deeper than mere solidarity, it is the bondage of one destiny, hence Palestine is but part of our Arab Homeland and so is its people’’ the late president, November, 28, 1980. Relations with different friendly and foreign countries were strengthened and expanded. " The enemies would fail to divert Syria away from her national approach, their bets are doomed lost, hence our people are stronger than pressures and threats,’’ said the late president addressing Syrian workers in May, 1986. "The imperialists would fail today and tomorrow to bring the Arab Homeland neither back neither to the colonial hegemony nor to a surrender and submission to Israel,’’
Unceasingly the challenges grew larger, became more tough and difficult. Of no less challenges and setbacks were the neighboring and international conditions. The Nation resources and capabilities were wasted in others fool, unjust, and crazy gambles. Such a fool losing gamble is unfortunately continued today with the spending of millions of petrodollars by Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and other countries like Turkey's Erdogan as to burn the Syrians inside their beloved Syria. The Late president’s calls for the application of reason and wisdom principles were once more unheeded for! Indeed, great the losses were! The colonial ‘divide and rule’ did bring one of the richest nations into heels.
Syria’s strategic option was, however, to continue the March of Correction. Racing against the tide of time, the then sleepless president continued to play the master strategist and policy maker role. He was sincerely committed to the liberation of every single span of the land to June 4, 1967 line. The other side, once more, maneuvered, prolonged talks, as promised in Shamir’s Madrid Conference statements, escalated tensions and threats and consequently, killed every chance for just and comprehensive peace realization, the very peace which this very region has ever badly been in need for. When others fell into the trap of separate and deformed deals, which they now reap their rotten fruits, Syria insisted on an all-out comprehensive peace ceding no grain of the occupied honor-land.
A staunch defender of just peace, the president was largely and increasingly viewed worldwide. He led the battle of peace with no less steadfastness of that of the Arab glorious liberation. He became part and parcel of his people and of his country. A man became the country, the country became a man; ‘Where are you from?’ one day asked a foreigner, ‘from Syria’, I replied. ‘Syria Assad’, you have a great man’ the answer expectedly came. Overseas this very country was a real example of what genius leaders can make out of their countries. And this is why Syria is being exposed nowadays to a fierce world war by forces of darkness.
‘If we weren’t able to achieve victory, let us spare our generations to come defeat,’’ Yes, your Excellency, you did spare us the many of unbearable defeats. Actually, the ongoing fierce attack by the new-colonialists and ewes was long expected by the late far-sighted President; thus, many of our steadfastness factors in the face of these attacks were strongly made by the late President and well-safeguarded and developed by H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad. The Syrian Lion untimely departed, and only in body, to afterlife. His last words, in a telephone conversation with former Lebanese President Emile Lahoud , so that we would ‘ inherit better than they did’ do always echo deep in the Syrians’ heart and conscience and mind. Indeed, we have inherited the modern Syria of today, the legacy and national and steadfastness stances of the most beloved like-father president so far.
This very inheritance has so far enabled us to encounter and foil many of the most evil conspiracies in modern history against us.
The Syrian masses, believing not what their eyes saw upon then untimely demise of the late president, poured into the streets of every village and city on that catastrophic smearing-hot burning day of June, 2000, a further unbearable June blow; the masses unconsciously flooded in all directions to bury a piece of the late flesh deep in their soul and conscience. The principles, doctrines, guidelines thoughts were, however, never to be anywhere buried. The Great never pass away; indeed, their ideas and principles are never to pass away. They even have proved to be the most right as consequent events in the aftermath of the untimely demise have proved The Syrians almost unanimously made their determined decision to vote in the man, whom they pinned hope on as not for a single day to let them down. Thus, President Bashar was called on to lead the March of Correction. Open, transparent, frank and straight to the point, President Bashar promised the masses in his first landmark inauguration speech in the year 2000, to honestly pursue the March of Correction, to naturally modernize the inherited as to keep pace with up-to-dates: " because the great leader, Hafez al-Assad has prepared for us a firm ground, solid basis and a great heritage of values and principles which he defended and adhered to, till he parted with us and moved to the afterlife. Added to this the infrastructure and the great achievements in all fields and throughout the country that will enable us to launch our work strongly and confidently towards a future we all desire. Yet, these tasks are difficult because the approach of the great leader, Hafez al-Assad, was a very special and unique approach and therefore it is not easy to emulate it especially as we remember that we are required not just to maintain it but to develop it as well. This undoubtedly requires great efforts and work at all levels with the aim of building on the basis of what has been achieved in the glorious period of Assad to continue with what has been achieved and to multiply the steps determined to overcome the difficulties and cope with the challenges without giving up our national principles ordained in our hearts and minds."
It has so far been a gradual well-studied reform as to tailor the expensive inherited to meet the rapidly changing matters and reality of facts and life. Till the hoisting of the Syrian Flag at the Eastern shore of Tiberius, we remain committed to the late president’s statement on June 26, 1974, upon the hoisting of the Syrian flag in the liberated Quneitra, ‘I am optimistic over victory as well as over the future; and confident that no power on this earth whatsoever could deter us from the restoration of our rights in full.’’
The March of Correction is unabated under the leadership of President Bashar Al-Assad where Syria has developed 'national resources' , in a way that guarantees the independence of its decision and sovereignty, 'developed and modernized the laws and legislations which regulate the political, economic and social life, which was represented through the amending of the constitution, the Local Administration law, Media law, electoral and parties' laws.
The Syrians are indeed thankful to their true allies, brothers and friends , who have been fighting the foreign-backed terrorism, as to cleanse Syria, the region, if not the entire world from Al-Qaeda affiliates. The Syrians are indeed " fully aware of the dimensions of the conspiracy '' as well as of " the targets of the countries involved in this conspiracy trying to pass the US-backed Israeli project in the Arab region''. The Syrians are determined to cleanse their Syria from all of the takfiri, wahabi, and al-Qaeda affiliates and as to continue their model of life, reform, building, the very model tailored to them by their hero guardian President, Bashar Hafez Al-Assad.
Dr. Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim