Speech by Prof. Bouthaina Shaaban Political and Media Advisor Syrian Presidency At the Shiller Institute Online Conference "World at a Crossroad: Two Months in the New US Administration" March 20-21, 2021

Good afternoon

I would like first to thank Helga LaRouche, and all of you for inviting me to speak to this very important conference, with which I found many points in common to talk about.
As our topic is: The Strategic Crisis Faces the Human Race, I would like to start with the Interim National Security Strategic Guidance that was put by President Biden in March 2021. First I want to clarify where this new American administration is going, and what are our expectations and how do we read this guidance as people who are always subject of American policies rather than participants in formulating world policy.

The strategy guidance, put by President Biden, starts form the concept of western supremacy. What President Biden stresses is the American alliance and partnership with Europe and with NATO, and what he tries to encourage is to invite countries in the world to have a world-NATO, instead of just a Trans-Atlantic NATO. Now, the issue here is that the strategic guidance considers this block of NATO's countries as the ones who promote democracy, who acknowledge human rights, and who should teach the world how to have similar system. Anyone or any country who doesn’t fit into this criteria is considered either an autocrat or an aggressor, including Russia and China; they are according to this guidance, autocratic systems, and they constitute a threat to this democracy. So here is the problem, that there is a number of countries who formulate an alliance, and who consider themselves to hold the superior value in the world by the way linked with interests. Always when they speak about values, they speak also about achieving American interests and promoting American values. So, those countries are the ones who possess these values, and anyone who joins them becomes part of this alliance and partnership, and anyone who has a different idea of governance or a different way of life is considered either an autocrat or an aggressor. The other threat that comes into the minds of this group of countries is technology, is the rise of China, which seems to be an obsession in this guidance, how to stop the rise of China? The problem I see here is that they are not looking, in this guidance, at the world as human community, they are looking at the white supremacy and other countries who should act as this white supremacy under the name of democracy and human rights, whatever you call it.

As a Syrian woman, who lived through ten years of war in Syria, I find this logic extremely dangerous. Particularly as I know and as we experienced, that the democracy they talk about is only to make our countries satellite states to their countries, which means there is no sense of equality or human brotherhood between their countries and our country. The logic I hear from China and Russia is the logic that says: Prosperity should prevail for all, we should fight poverty, for example, the Chinese say: we should fight poverty not only in China, but everywhere else because we live in one place, and we should share its resources, and we should act together for its prosperity. 

In the case of Syria, the western calls for democracy and freedom that really caused the entry of hundreds of thousands of terrorists into our country, that caused the destruction of our schools, of our infra structures, all these calls knocked our country a hundred years backwards. From my point of view as a Syrian woman who always lived on this land and will always live on this land, no matter what, I can tell you that the reason of this war on

Syria is that Syria has an independent political mind and independent political decision, and this is not welcomed at all by these circles who want the whole world to be a copy of what they think, of what they want, and no one has the right to have, for example, a different democracy, or a different way of life, or a different culture that leads to things that we probably appreciate here in Syria. So, the issue I found with this strategy is that it left no room to the variety of human nature, to the variety of human culture, to the variety of likings and dislikings. Syria, for example, in 2010 had the forth-developing economy in the world, and now they destroyed our economy, our schools, our way of life, they destroyed our identity through flood of terrorism that came through Turkey into our country. The issue is that the United States forces are in the north east of Syria in order to fight terrorism, now if they are here to fight terrorism, why cannot we join forces together to fight terrorism. I tell you, the United States and the allied forces with them in Syria are here to protect the terrorists. And this is what they have been doing; if it were not for the presence of the United States forces in the Tennif, and if it were not for their military attack against our forces, we would have liberated the entire Syrian soil from terrorism. The other objective of them is to prevent any relation between Iraq and Syria because the relation between Iraq and Syria is extremely vital for the Syrian people and for the Iraqi people.

So, what I would like to say is that the world today is facing a crisis that the new American administration is focusing on alliances and partnership in the face of China and Russia, and in the face of any country who dares to be different from their democratic way of life, who dares have their own democracy, who dares have their own independent resources. Otherwise, how on earth could the US justify looting our oil and our wheat and preventing our people from our natural resources. Here I come to the second problem in the guidance to this strategy, which is the difference between what is been coined in language and the practices on the ground. The Practices on the grounds are this western block, as Biden refers to it as partners and alliances, do not see us as people; they see our oil, our wheat, they see our geographic position, but they do not care at all what kind of life we live, what kind of problems we have.

My conclusion from this is that we need a different paradigm for the future of humanity. And I can see that China, Russia, Iran, Syria, and Venezuela, and Schiller Institute, and all of you who believe in the dignity of the human self and in the independence and in the sovereignty of every state in the world, big or small, are working for this brotherhood among all countries in the world with no superior and inferior, with no people that one size fits all, no one size does not fit all!. We come from a different culture, we have a different point of view, we like to build our future according to what we want, we enjoy, we appreciate. This is what would save the world, the acknowledgment that God created all of us in different places, with different cultures and different languages, but only to enjoy the differences, not to give a card blanch for those who believe they are superior to others as they did with indigenous civilizations, which were wiped out by them, and which caused a huge horrible loss to human history, and to human wealth, and to human education and to human civilization.

I hope we will join forces together, East and people in West, in order to create a world where people feel respected, and where people feel that their different culture are celebrated rather than something to be punished, or something to be eroded if they can.

I thank you for inviting me to this conference, and I truly hope that we could be active in joining partnership that will ensure a much better future for the world where no supremacy, no terrorism, no occupation exists.

Haifaa Mafalani

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