Is Syrian President Dr. Bashar al-Assad thinking of a political way out of the current crisis? I posed this question to an Arab politician who met President al-Assad recently, whom he knows quite well.
The image, as depicted by the Arab politician, was as follows: “The man (Bashar al-Assad) believes that what is happening in Syria is a complete conspiracy against the country and the ruling system there”, and that “Syria is paying the bill for regional revenge, most prominently the regional state of mobilization and the political sanctions that the United States, the European Union and Israel are inflicting upon Iran.” He added that “the attempts to undermine the Syrian regime are a major component of the larger project to undermine Iran and change the regional equation.” The Arab politician went on to say “Dr. Bashar firmly believes that all the Arabs who have condemned his regime are partners in a worldwide conspiracy against him, and he does not understand the reason why those leaders are siding with the opposition and the uprising Syrian masses.”
Of course, the Syrian President’s rhetoric reflects a serious shortcoming in his political awareness, and provides an alarming political explanation of the development of events. It would have been better if President Bashar's explanation had been: The regime decided to confront the street's mobility with violence, until the last solider and the last citizen. Although such an explanation is blatantly authoritarian, it remains logical and appropriate to the al-Assad regime’s rule.
Yet, what instills fear and arouses controversy is the fact that President al-Assad’s genuine interpretation, even whilst sitting in a remote room away from the tools of his media, is that what is going on is a “complete conspiracy.”
The faults of others, the conspiracies of others, and the responsibilities of others were all explanations that eventually led to Mussolini being killed at the hands of his people, Hitler committing suicide, Saddam Hussein being executed and Muammar Gaddafi being killed mercilessly. This is in addition to hundreds of other rulers throughout history who have lost their thrones and positions at the highest cost possible.
Such information, if it turns out to be true, indicates that the likelihood of Bashar al-Assad relinquishing power willingly, accepting a peaceful settlement, or agreeing to an offer of political asylum is quite low, or almost impossible.
The cost of overthrowing this regime is exorbitant, and the Syrian people will have to pay with their economy, army and security, as well as the blood of their innocent, unarmed citizens.
The writer is a prominent columnist. The article was published in Asharq Al Awsat on April. 9, 2012