The Killing Has Sealed Off the Exits |
Al Hayat - 29 July, 2012
Author: Jihad Al Khazen
Last year, I bet two colleagues that Bashar al-Assad would not fall before or during the summer. Today, we are in the middle of a second summer, and I will bet no one, as the Syrian regime seems to have chosen the path of political suicide. It has committed – and continues to commit- unjustifiable massacres, mistakes and sins. Now, I am reading about the ‘beginning of the end’ or that ‘the end is nigh’, a phrase usually used to mean the near end of the world. Indeed, Washington is already preparing for the ‘post-Bashar’ period.
The Syrian people alone decide whether the regime should stay or leave. It is clear that a large majority of this people are opposed to the regime, and willing to die for the sake of change. The Syrian people alone decide, while the Western countries only engage in lies, hypocrisy and shameless duplicity to confuse things and delay conclusions, and we have seen but an example of this bad acting in the UN Security Council last week.
I want to be absolutely clear in that I support the draft resolution that would have threatened the Syrian regime with further sanctions, with the killing machine continuing unchecked; however, the resolution was vetoed by Russia and China.
After the resolution failed, the envoys of the U.S., UK and France spoke. The U.S. envoy to the UN Susan Rice was the most objective among them, perhaps because she is of the same political school as President Barack Obama. She thus refused the false claims that the resolution would have paved the way to foreign military intervention.
However, the British envoy Mark Lyall Grant said that he was appalled and shocked by the veto, and the same sentiment was expressed by his boss Foreign Secretary William Hague, who also said that Moscow and Beijing had turned their backs on the Syrian people in their darkest hour. I say that yes, they did, but I do not remember that Hague has ever supported any Arab cause, including the issue of thousands of Palestinian prisoners – who comprise women and children – in Israeli prisons. Instead, he has espoused stances that are reminiscent of the policies of the American neoconservatives.
Gérard Araud, the French envoy to the UN, was no better. He said that it is clear that Russia only aims to give more time to the Syrian regime to crush the opposition. He also claimed that refusing Annan the means of pressure that he asked for is to threaten his mission.
But I want to ask the foreign ministries of Britain and France this: Why did their countries intervene along with NATO against the Libyan regime, but only rubbed their hands and expressed shock and regret over the Syrian crisis? Do I even need to ask this when we know that Libya’s oil is why they had intervened – and not the interests of the Libyan people?
Despite Western prevarication and the Arabs’ helplessness with respect to supporting the Syrian people in a manner that would settle the conflict, it seems that there is a consensus that the Syrian regime has exhausted all military means available to it, and that the likelihood of its collapse is now much stronger than the likelihood of its survival. This is despite the fact that I heard experts familiar with the issue say that the claims that the endgame is near represent wishful thinking by the regime’s opponents, as there is escalation every day, and we recently saw Syrian cities being bombarded by Syrian warplanes.
I noticed with the talk about the beginning of the end, that the supporters of the Syrian regime have warned against a war – or wars – that would sweep the Middle East, if the regime were to fall. I wrote more than once that all of Syria’s neighboring countries will be affected, but I cannot say for certain that there will be wars. Instead, I believe that speaking of the possibility of such wars is only an attempt to scare Arab and Western countries of the alternative to the regime.
But the alternative will be that the Sunnis will rule the country. Indeed, they represent 75 % of the Syrian people, i.e. they are an overwhelming majority, and therefore, it is their right to rule. Here, there is scaremongering of a different kind, this time about the Muslim Brotherhood in the Syrian opposition, and their stance on Israel should they reach or participate in power.
My personal opinion, and it is the reader’s right to reject it, is that I do not want any religious party to be in power in any Arab country. However, I find solace, with the Muslim Brotherhood victory in Egypt and possible rise in Syria in the future, in the fact that they strongly oppose Israel, and would not sell their principles for any temptation.
At any rate, if the scaremongering about the war or wars, or the Muslim Brotherhood ruling Syria, does not work, then there is always the issue of the Syrian chemical weapons. While no one is saying that the regime will use them, except what was said in a statement by the British Foreign Office, the scaremongering here involves the possibility of these weapons falling into the hands of terrorist groups like Hezbollah or al-Qaeda. I say that al-Qaeda is a terrorist and criminal organization, yes, but that Hezbollah is a national liberation movement against Israeli terrorism. Meanwhile, the Syria government announced that it will never use chemical weapons inside the country, but only in external wars.
I have condemned the killing of people, from day one all the way to today. However, I used to believe in the first months of the uprising that the regime would find a way out other than the military solution, which failed in everything except in killing more people. But what happened was that the insistence on the killing sealed off all the exits, one after the other, and all that remains now is change.