So much was said and written about the Syrian revolution throughout its first year, which at times pushes you to repeat yourself, regurgitate your ideas, repeat what others have written, or start asking questions while attempting to answer them with whichever information is available due to the media blackout imposed by al-Assad’s authorities.
There are several accumulating questions which you hear and are asked about, including: Will international Envoy Kofi Annan succeed or fail in his mission? What will he do to face the lies of al-Assad’s regime and the pressures of the giants? Is Annan capable of managing such a critical stage in Syria’s history or will he be led to fall in the dark well of the regime? Will Annan make a difference or will the solutions elude him to Accra?
It seems that the answer is clear right from the start: He will not succeed!
What remains is the recurring question: Will the regime of Bashar al-Assad fall imminently or continue to burden, oppress, kill and torture the Syrians before the eyes of entire world, and crumble slowly?
Unfortunately, some who claim to be al-Assad’s friends and to know him believe he is a young educated president, but without telling us where his intelligence resides. Is the death and torture industry a sign of intelligence? Why not step down - if he enjoys an ounce of cleverness - as Hosni Mubarak and Ali Abdullah Saleh did, even in accordance with an initiative protecting him from legal and judicial pursuits, and then head to Moscow?
Last Friday, Turkey expected the arrival of around half a million Syrian refugees to it, in parallel to the continuation of the killing and oppression and the wish of the regime to annihilate the oppositionists. This requires it to consider the establishment of a buffer zone inside the Syrian territories to protect the civilians, seeing how the regime is implementing a scorched earth policy. This also requires the international community to adopt swift solutions and to implement them, instead of promoting initiatives that are giving the regime more time to eliminate its oppositionists via killing, crushing and torture!
When the first Arab spring uprisings erupted last year, Bashar al-Assad was saying in his interviews that the situation in his country was different, that his people loved him and that Syria could not be compared to Egypt or Tunisia, considering he was close to the people, understood the problems and handled them! He always reiterated his will to engage in reforms ever since he inherited power from his father. However, the situation in Syria only witnessed few changes throughout 12 years, as al-Assad Jr. managed to erect detention camps, develop the work of the intelligence spies with Iran, imprison the people and disregard freedoms and human rights. This was done by the educated president who is “gouging the eyes.” Still, there are mouthpieces defending him while claiming to be defending pan-Arabism and the resistance!
What is bad at this level is that the superpowers are fighting over the ways to oust al-Assad, while the Syrian people are being slaughtered. America is thus emerging with two pale faces, and Russia with the face of the thug, as it is defending the regime of the murderers and licensing the killing through the veto. France, on the other hand, is selling illusions with its arms crossed, while in the Arab countries, the positions of the Gulf states remain the strongest against al-Assad’s practices, and recently escalated their stand when they announced the closing of their embassies in Damascus after the regime perpetrated massacres. By doing so, they severed all the lines with al-Assad’s regime. As to the European Union, it is not far away from the stringency of the humanitarian and political Gulf positions, whereas the majority of the other Arab states are haunted and preoccupied by their own domestic arena and displaying alarming silence!
What is certain is that the closing of the embassies, the withdrawal of the ambassadors, the repatriation of the diplomats and the ousting of the ambassadors of the Syrian regime are good solutions, but they should be exceeded to reach more powerful solution to protect the people and allow the opposition to move forward. This could be done by arming the Syrian opposition while providing it with financial support, but also through the formation of an Arab force to help the Syrian national council under international cover and protect the civilians, in order to give the opposition the chance to carry out its confrontation and achieve progress. Nonetheless, the opposition must be sure that it cannot be respected and that its victory cannot be predicted if its positions are not unified, if it remains scattered and if doubts, accusations and questioning of the loyalties continue to prevail among its members. Therefore, it must unify its ranks and positions, form a strong front on the ground capable of undermining al-Assad’s regime, and activate Arab and international communication channels that enjoy charisma and are accepted by the people instead of the expired opposition.
There is no doubt that al-Assad’s days in power are numbered and that his obstinacy is increasing his weakness. I am thus surprised by those wondering about his stay in light of the bloodshed and massacres he is committing, and the mounting state of anger, retaliation and popular disgruntlement against his regime.
I believe that the next three months will break the back of al-Assad’s regime in light of clear evidence pointing in that direction, namely the overwhelming demonstrations roaming the Syrian cities, and the last of which was seen in al-Rekka last Friday.
al-Assad’s regime is currently witnessing an economic collapse and political confusion due to the continuation of the revolution and the international sanctions, but also the regime’s fear over the end with the increasing dissents within the army.
What is certain is that al-Assad’s regime is bound to collapse one way or the other, and will not persist for long following the first blow addressed to his authority in case members of the political elite, senior officers in the army or the security bodies or members of his family were to turn against him, or in case he is relinquished by some senior businessmen in Damascus or Aleppo. At that point, neither Russia’s and China’s vetoes nor Iran’s weapons will do this regime any good, and it will start to erode and slide toward domestic conflicts, liquidation of scores and accusations. This will prompt the increase of the major dissents and history will etch the end of an abhorrent bloody regime.
The writer is a columist and political commentator. This article first appeared in Dar Al Hayat on March 19, 2012