Rick RozoffThe Syrian government news agency reports today on an event at the nation’s Damascus Opera House (Dar al-Assad for Culture and Arts) in which Syrian cultural figures and government officials commemorated Russia’s victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. Russian citizens residing in the nation were also in attendance.
The ceremony was sponsored by the Syrian Culture Ministry, the Russian Embassy and the Russian Cultural Center in Damascus. A speech was delivered by Assistant Foreign and Expatriates Minister Ayman Sosan, whose comments the Syrian Arab News Agency summarized as noting Syrians’ gratification at sharing with Russia its marking its historic victory of 76 years ago; applauding Russia having played the decisive role in defeating Nazism and fascism, ideologies “based on the colonial dominance and expansion”; and drawing a contemporary parallel by denouncing what has happened to his nation over the past decade because of “schemes aimed at dominance and arrogance,” designed to impose control over the Syrian people and to enforce conditions on them “according to their own interests.” He didn’t name the offenders in the Syrian Arab News Agency account of his address. Neither did he have to. The world knows that they are the U.S., Turkey, Britain, France and their allies.
The nation’s Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister, Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari, asserted “our celebration today with our Russian friends on this occasion comes as a recognition of the great role played by the Soviet Union at that time in the victory over Nazism and fascism.”
Eldar Gurbanov, the Russian chargé d’affaires in Damascus, thanked the Syrian ministers of culture and presidential affairs for organizing the ceremony, reminding the world that his nation suffered unparalleled death and destruction in the “deadliest and most ferocious [war] in history.”
Syria’s Minister of Culture, Lubanah Mshaweh, stressed the need to promote the culture of self-sacrifice and steadfastness in all aspects of public life.
The parallel established by the country’s foreign minister was echoed by Russian President Vladimir Putin today, whose comments on Victory Day in Moscow included these solemn and stern observations:
“The war brought about so many unbearable ordeals, grief and tears that this cannot be forgotten. And there is no forgiveness and excuse for those who are again nurturing aggressive plans.”
“History requires making conclusions and learning lessons but, regrettably, there are attempts to put much of the ideology of Nazis and those who were obsessed with the delusional theory of their exclusiveness into service again.”
“Today we observe a gathering of diehard castigators, their followers, attempts to rewrite history, justify traitors and criminals who have their hands soaked in the blood of hundreds of thousands of civilians.”