Approaching End |
Al Hayat - 20 July, 2012
Author: Hassan Haidar
The bombing yesterday that led to the death of a number of leaders of the Syrian regime means that the end of Bashar Al-Assad’s rule has become much nearer than some imagine it to be, especially in Moscow, where the statements of officials suggest that Russia will continue to support the Syrian regime even after it falls and flees Damascus.
The heir to the Syrian presidency has made poor use of his inheritance, squandering what his father had spent decades to impose through force and cunning, and turning all the opportunities that were afforded him since he took power in 2000 into disappointments at his performance, as well as gratuitous enmities.
Hafez Al-Assad considered time to be his ally. He mocked the preoccupation of Western leaders with their elections, and said that those who opposed his policies would not remain on the political scene long enough to see his plans and ambitions come to fruition. In this he based himself on his conviction that the security regime he had established would live forever, after he had turned all state institutions into instruments in the service of maintaining him in power and excluding those who opposed him by all means necessary, not least of which were imprisonment and abduction. At the same time, he had perfected the use of the slogan of “fighting Israel” as a pretext to seize upon all those who would think of alternation of power or object to power being restricted to his inner circle, just as he hid behind the same slogan in order to invade Lebanon and sow discord among its constituents, and in order to blackmail other Arab countries, forcing them to tolerate and overlook his policies.
Yet what his heir Bashar did not realize is that the concept of time changed after the factors surrounding it did. The father’s regime had in the past been able to make the confrontation take place between itself and the outside world, which objected to its practices, after having succeeded at subjugating the interior through the use of force. Today the confrontation is taking place between the regime and the Syrian people itself, which has succeeded at overcoming its fear. The revolution made of the regime’s attempt to buy time an act of suicide, rather than one that would represent a life preserver. Thus, the more it tried to delay meeting the demands of its people, the more the uprising spread and its momentum grew stronger. And what the opposition could have accepted 16 months ago, such as a transitional phase during which power would be handed over to the Vice President, is no longer acceptable today, and the sole purpose has become to topple the regime in its entirety. This is what the current battle taking place in Damascus means, and this is what yesterday’s bombing meant.
Even those in the opposition had been very hesitant to accept the “militarization” of the uprising, only to later find themselves faced with a de facto situation dictated by the fierceness of the response with which the regime confronted all those who opposed it, without making any distinctions.
At the time of the first Hama massacre, everything moved slowly and could be camouflaged. Attaining the truth was prevented by dangers and difficulties, and required time sufficient to conceal the traces of the crime. As for the massacres being perpetrated today in different places by the regime’s army, they are being broadcast instantly to the whole world, so that it may witness its horror, and through means which anyone might possess. Time has turned into the mere seconds its takes for mobile phones to take pictures of the crime and spread them everywhere. Murderers can no longer hide their crimes, and the world can no longer pretend not to know about them and remain silent.
As for the banner of “fighting Israel”, it no longer fools anyone. This is why the Hamas movement has left Damascus, and this is why Assad has withdrawn his troops from the occupied Golan Heights to send them to the cities and villages of the uprising – knowing that these troops have not fired a single bullet against “the enemy” since the end of the war of 1973. Even its ally Hezbollah did not hide its irritation when the regime stole its “victory” in the July War of 2006. And then came Iran to hijack its “national pride” and present itself as the primary threat to Israel. Bashar Al-Assad has demolished the temple over his own head.