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The debate surrounding the ouster of the al-Assad regime - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Everyone has their own hopes or fears regarding the outcome of the ouster of a deeply rooted regime like the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria. Many people believe that the Syrian regime, like the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq and the Gaddafi regime in Libya, has played a destructive role in the region over the past 30 years. Therefore, the ouster of the al-Assad regime would liberate the entire region, not just the Syrian people, whilst also providing an opportunity for the return of stability, which is something that many have dreamt of over the past decades.

However, because the region is a puzzle made up of many different pieces, there are some who fear that the collapse of the al-Assad regime will transform the region into a multilateral war zone for the foreseeable future.

Which of these two views is correct?

We are not new to regional and international struggles, indeed the Middle East has long been the scene of such confrontations. South America is experiencing a period of stability, as is the majority of the African continent. Even the states of the former Soviet Union, which witnessed a phase of unrest and instability, are now – for the most part – experiencing stability Therefore, it is the Middle East that has suffered more than any other region of the world, and therefore is the most in need for stability.

If regimes that are based on chaos, such as the Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, and al-Assad regimes, were not toppled and ousted, then our region would continue burning. However now, the last of the evil Arab regimes is reeling, and may collapse at any time in the near future. I believe this will change the political dynamic of the Middle East for the better.

However, others believe that the collapse of the Syrian regime will lead to chaos and wars. Those who maintain this are not necessarily supporters of the al-Assad regime, rather their vision is based on the principle that the region is like a house of cards, and that if you remove one card, the entire edifice might collapse. They also speak about the regional ambitions of the Turks and the Iranians, amongst others, and compare the collapse of regimes to cracks in a dam, with the Middle East ultimately drowning in physical confrontations and battles, after decades of cold war.

However I don’t support this view. I believe that the Turks are preoccupied with their own internal situation, and so they have no expansionist ambitions. As for the Iranians, they are too weak today to launch any regional wars; rather they fear how the collapse of the al-Assad regime will affect their own internal situation.

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

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