The roots of the Syrian crisis
And the economic pillars of the North Syrian Federalism
The facts have shown that the Syrian crisis, which began to clear its lines at the dawn of March 2011, is not the crisis of the poor of the society, nor the crisis of a people who feel the absolute oppression of the practices of a regime that has been dominated for decades. It is the father Al-Asad dominating on the reins of government in the country, a conflict that shortened the tribal nervousness of the country’s components, which was clear in the conflict of the city and the countryside. The first was the and culturally diverse civil seed of the majority, In the Arab Countries. While, the latter are diverse in their sectarian affiliations and dispersed in front of the power of the city, remains in a marginal state, and at best is only a weak follower of the city, or an additional power component managed by the city through its agents of owners and influential, so the city remained the source of power and legislation and power, Pride in front of the countryside characterized by poverty and underdevelopment.
This city perspective of the Syrian reality, which has made the city the center of polarization of every movement within the country, and make them the safety valve of the forces stationed in them to continue the permanence of their domination of the entire Syrian geography. Despite all the policies of the city in the work of drawing loyalties, it fell victim to a sectarian minority through a political gate after a brief victory in a face of a rural force coming from the south of the Mediterranean and a deterioration of the structures of political, economic and social institutions, as well absolute control over the military. It was claimed that it was the majority carrying an Arab Renaissance project from the ocean to the Gulf, and eventually saw itself taking the force against its will, and all attempts to return the water to its channels failed.
This conflict between the two parties (the city – the countryside) and the growing role of the countryside and its control partly on the front of the political work in the country through a sect created the case of Syria characterized by hypocrisy by raising slogans that glorify national unity through special means, without achieving on the ground and without thinking about their application, which led the country to be the subject of collapse as a political system, economic, social, cultural and even moral because of the growing moral collapse in the unfair equation of geopolitics in the country. As well the country, with all its geography to transformed into inflatable balloons that in its apparent appearance, reveal the beauty of the situation, while hiding in its midst the danger of explosion under any pressure. This is what has happened and it has been proven that Syria is carrying the banner of Arabism, as well as the slogans of unity, freedom and socialism in all forums is nothing more than a mock section in a fictitious play that realized by its heroes, but they perform their roles successfully.
As a result, the prevailing system collapsed despite the existence of the structures. The collapse process confirmed the validity of the views that Syria considered the political and social system as a disjointed state in view of the blurring of many of the identities that constitute an essential part of the Syrian mosaic. The facts we are witnessing on the ground have confirmed the enormity of the accumulation in the legacy of hostility among the parties for decades.
There were many proposals that appeared on the ground in Syria to deal with the crisis, and some of these theses were only the spirit and form of the crisis; no work was done in the Syrian cause, since all the Islamic and scientific ideas were focused on Syria, putting the concept of state Islamism, neglecting the importance and role of other components, of course the concept of Arabism of the state does not alienate any of the actors and non-actors in this moral crisis before being political.
It is natural that these comprehensive proposals will face the rejection of the Syrian components, which fear a more rigid political and moral system than that of the city, which is also characterized by its totalitarianism. The forces that have worked under the current Syrian crisis have only managed to highlight the sectarian tendencies towards religious and sectarian totalitarianism and to diminish the role of the state by producing lifelong approaches to the conflicts that followed the reign of Muhammad directly fourteen centuries ago.
The introduction of federalism is an expression of political rationalism
At the same time that the views on the impossibility of co-existence have become dominant in Syria’s political and social positions in general, the power of the solution is emerging in the Syrian north, which has presented the concept of federalism as the best solution to the most complex issue in the Middle East. There is no doubt that the party that raises this project holds the values of democracy and co-existence among the components through the mutual recognition of these components in the rights of each other within the framework of a comprehensive national geography for all by embracing the umbrella of a modern intellectual system, an alternative to the intellectual systems of authoritarian regimes inherited from the emergence of class societies and controlling the will of the peoples of the region generally. In the context of this proposition, a series of questions are strongly asked to understand the merits of this comprehensive project for the Syrians, and to undermine the unilateral trends in the country. Perhaps the most important of these questions are:
Was federalism introduced in the history of contemporary Syria before the introduction of the Northern Syrian Federalism? Or is the Northern Syria Federalism the first experiment on the model of a composite state in Syria?
? 1-What are the pillars adopted by the entrepreneur
? 2-What are the economic pillars of this project
? 3-Can this project be circulated throughout Syria
The federalism is the first political project put forward to the management of contemporary Syria
Some studies in contemporary Syrian history confirm that the system of federalism is the first system to be introduced in Syria after being subject to the French mandate directly. French policy at the time was based on the repercussions of the Treaty of Sever 1920 to draw the map the region to impose its control. The appropriate form of control was the form of the composite state, which gives the political role of regional leaders, and thus achieve the loyalty of these leaders to extend their influence in various areas. Under the French project, Syria was divided into three areas, including Syria, Lebanon, parts of Jordan and the Iskenderun Liwaa. Then, a new French project was presented by French President “Melran” at the time, in a confidential letter addressed to the French High Commissioner in Syria, indicating that the system, which responds to the interests of Syria and our interests also is a series of independent states Republic form, commensurate with the diversity of races, religions and civilizations, Under the supreme authority of the High Commissioner.
It was planned for the French to divide Syria into eight cantons, but General “Guru” replaced it with the introduction of four states, taking into account some sectarian differentiation by offering a state to (Al-Awites) in the Sahel and (Druz) state in Suwayda.
Therefore, the federalism model that has been put forward in the northern Syrian by the Kurds is not the first federalism model presented in Syria to achieve co-existence among its components, but it is distinguished from the first model as an existing project by the components of northern Syria to build a political, economic and social model based on local will-power to the components of the North to achieve co-existence based on the contribution of all those components in the process of establishing an ecologically democratic society. Only thus can the political and moral regression, resulting from the empty rhetorical labyrinth in the politicized life of Takkar from the moment of the domination of religious and national totalitarianism to the reins of government to this day.
As for the pillars adopted by the entrepreneur to build federalism model distinguished from the universally accepted models, it is the intellectual foundation that sees adopting the concept of the democratic nation as a solution to the issues of the peoples of the Middle East in general. As an alternative to the existing system of authoritarianism, and in adopting this approach depends on building a distinct form of institutions. The society is essentially a decision maker by transforming the decision-making mechanism from the central authorities to the community institutions established through popularly elected councils, even at the lowest levels of population.
The first steps of this administrative model began with the implementation of the elections in 22 September 2017 to select the co-presidencies of more than three thousand and five hundred commons in the provinces of Roj-Ava; the cradle of the northern Syrian federalism.
All of the above is a clear translation of the intellectual background of the party that adopted the federalism project and managed to attract public opinion in the north of Syria. However, despite all the intellectual power to move the people towards consensus, there are pillars of great importance for the success of this project. This intellectual system and its practical applications in various fields by material force to put the peoples of the northern Syria in the path of advancement through the development of the network of economic and social relations between all components in a way that establishes the unification of visions or convergence on the various issues facing those components.
Syria Crisis, successive collapses
To understand the reality of the economic fundamentals of the North Syrian federalism, we must understand the Syrian economic reality in light of this crisis which has hit the country and led to the collapse of the infrastructure in general. The Syrian economy has been severely damaged by a number of factors,
1-The systematic destruction of economic facilities and infrastructure, such as the industrial city of Aleppo, as well as the destruction of most transportation and educational institutions
2-International sanctions imposed on the regime since the beginning of the crisis
3-Inefficiency in the management of economic policies in general from various parties controlling Syrian geography, and the absence of economic projects under the control of the destructive war machine for all components of economic construction.
The result was disastrous for Syria, the country and the citizen, where the Syrian citizen faced a collapse of the value of the Syrian pound, which increased the cost of living burden on most citizens and the population below the poverty line for the first time in the history of modern Syria. The factors of the Syrian economic collapse have emerged through the exchange rate of the Syrian pound, which witnessed a collapse of 660% from June 2010 to June 2016, and unemployment rates that exceeded 60%
The north did not face an economic collapse
The geography of northern Syria occupies a vital position in Syria’s economic calculations because it is characterized by geological characteristics that are almost nonexistent in other Syrian regions and makes it the most important source of internal and surface wealth. This gives the powers that it controls an important bargaining position to secure the rights of its components and to shape the future map of Syria. The Kurdish administration of the Roj-Ava regions managed to maintain relatively the majority of the components of the building and economic development, as it preserved it from destruction and destruction, although some of the production process during the war years, and the institutions that have been maintained are strong pillars of the federalism system announced, which will come into force after the end of the elections of the People’s Conference of the Federalism of northern Syria on 19 January 2018.
The economic pillars of the North Syrian federalism can be divided into two types of pillars: one is the natural pillars and the other is the institutional and human pillars.
First: Natural Pillars
1-The agricultural land: The area under the control of the Syrian Democratic Forces (44) thousand km2 in September this year, in the three eastern provinces (Hasaka, Deir Al-Zour, Raqqa), mostly land suitable for agriculture, (1579) thousand hectares, equivalent to (27.7%) of the total arable area in Syria (5697) thousand hectares. The amount of arable land in the control areas of the Syrian Democratic Forces is 2080 thousand hectares, if half of the arable land in the provinces of Raqqa and Deir Al-Zour is added to the arable area of Al-Hasakah. Thus, In Syria (36.5%). These areas are known for being an important source of grain and cotton production. Al-Hasakah alone produces 37% of Syria’s grain production, 39% production of cotton is therefore the source of food security in the country, as well as being a strong infrastructure for agricultural industries..
2-The diversity of water sources: The northern regions of Syria are one of the richest Syrian regions with water at the level of Syria. On the other hand, eight rivers, mainly the Euphrates and the Tigris rivers, are on the one hand. A series of dams have been established on these rivers as well as surface dams stored for surface water. The dams located in the northern regions of Syria, which are located in Raqqa, Hasakah and Afrin provinces have sixteen dams with storage capacity exceeding 300 billion cubic meters of water. The dams of the Euphrates, Tishreen and Meidanki are among the most important dams.
3- Oil and natural gas: The Northern Syrian Federalism occupy more than 70% of the oil reserves discovered in Syria. It controls the oil fields in Al-Hasakah province and began to expand its control over the fields and wells to the north and east of the Euphrates River in Deir Al-Zour, where some statistical figures indicate that Syria’s production of oil in 2010 amounted to 385 thousand barrels per day, and the distribution of oil production in Syria in three major regions.
Second: Institutional Pillars
Most economic studies confirm that the availability of natural resources is not sufficient to achieve economic well-being if it is not accompanied by the availability of the most important element in any development process, the human element that emerges through institutional building. This is evident in many international experiences, such as the Japanese experience, which lacks natural resources, and has begun to build up human beings and the institutions that organize their work to cover the empty left by the loss of natural resources.
Recognizing the importance of the institutional building aspect in the federalism regions of northern Syria, the Democratic Self-Administration that administers the three provinces of Roj-Ava has given great importance to the building of institutions that ensure the participation of the community in general in decisions affecting all components within their areas of control. There is no doubt that the situation, which is considered administrative excellence in the history of the Middle East, aims to stop the work of administrative concepts that lead to the exclusion of the people from taking various decisions, especially those relating to economic aspects, and the role of the people through the economic committees in institutions that are popular in guaranteeing the effective participation of the people and away on monopoly in any economic field.
This is in addition to the economic factors of the North Syrian federalism, the economic collapse of the institutions of the ruling regime in Damascus, and the failure of the military forces that opposed the regime and aimed at dropping it in all its military and civilian projects under the influence of various factors. A question arises: Will the Northern Syrian Federalism manage the economic wheel in its areas in the near future, or will it lose its economic experience as the other two parties?
Economic issues are one of the most complex issues in the world, so the success of economic policies is evidence of the ability of administrative systems to absorb the concepts of political, economic, and social concepts, because of the mutual influence of these aspects. The second factor is the creation of appropriate mechanisms for the application of economic theory, taking into account the influence factors in the local and global environments. Everything else would only be a fantasy in a world that needed to understand reality and understand its merits.
Dr. Ahmed Youssef