How is the Syrian government combating endemic corruption? How can a nation with a poor economy afford to fight corruption? Many people are wondering exactly what the answer to these questions will be. It is an unfortunate reality that there are no quick solutions, and that corruption will persist as long as there is a functioning government in Syria. A government which lacks legitimacy cannot protect its people effectively, and therefore it can only resort to suppression and brutality.
The first line of defense in dealing with corruption within Syria is putting an end to its sources. There have been reports that many of these sources come from Syria’s close proximity, particularly from its close ally, Iran. The Gulf States and Turkey have been known to support some rebels fighting against the Assad Regime in Syria, yet they continue to supply weapons to them.
One major challenge that the Assad regime faces is the high unemployment rate. Many of the citizens of Syria are either unemployed or have never worked before. These individuals are losing hope and are taking their chances on life at the very beginning of the crisis. As the unemployment rate continues to rise in Syria, and with no additional economic stimulus measures in place, this trend is only going to grow worse. Only by addressing the root cause of this crisis, and eliminating the root causes of a country’s economy, can a country hope to return to stability.
This is why the recent reports of the high number of Syrian officials who have fled to join the various rebel groups fighting the government are absolutely true. This is because the US and other Western powers have been supplying weapons and money to these groups, and without a strong hold over the population they are unable to stay in power. Additionally, the fact that the United Nations and the Arab League have little to no influence over the externally funded rebels is what makes the corruption within Syria so alarming. This is because there are many wealthy rebel leaders who have received millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks from the various arms dealers and high end oil companies that have supplied them with weapons. Furthermore, there are many of these same companies that will not only continue to supply weapons and money to the rebels, but who will also be looked upon to pick up the tab if there is ever a future peace conference between the government and the opposition.
The lack of faith in the government and the lack of confidence in the Syrian people all point to a deep corruption issue that has permeated every level of society in the country. This is why the recent uprising against the Assad Regime has prompted the formation of various patriotic and far-right groups that are fighting the battle for Syria’s soul. These groups, along with smaller citizens, have taken up arms and are fighting against both the regime and the foreign terrorists who support the regime. With this influx of new fighters came a flood of corruption that has unfortunately spread throughout the opposition ranks. This, therefore, raises the question as to whether or not the people of Syria truly want to live in a nation run by high-ranking politicians and crooked businessmen.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to tell how the conflict in Syria will evolve. What is clear is that the growing frustration and lack of trust in the Syrian government and its high ranking officials have reached a boiling point. As the war continues to rage on and the international community embarks on one more failed mission to try and bring peace to the war torn country, the people of Syria will have to choose between living with corruption and joining the revolution. If the government fails to provide its people with basic services, then perhaps they will begin to look towards other places to live. Many have already begun to do so while others fear that the situation will reach a point where the people simply won’t have any options left.