Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

The Veto has lost its repute | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The Byzantine and futile Baathist presentation, made by the al-Assad regime’s Ambassador to the UN General Assembly, was quite symbolic. The man vehemently denied the massacres, tragedies and devastating killings going on in his country. Sometimes he quoted the late Damascene poet Nizar Qabbani, who left his beloved Damascus and only returned to be buried there, after vowing never to return as long as the repressive regime was still in power.

Other times he quoted the great German philosopher and writer Goethe. The al-Assad regime’s Ambassador heaped accusations in every direction, upon the Arabs, the Arab League, the Turks, the Gulf States, the West, the US and Europe. His sharp tongue spared no one but the ancient Egyptians, the Mongols, the Tatars and the Hyksos!

Al-Jaafari, the al-Assad regime’s Ambassador to the UN, seemed to be giving a lecture in a Baathist forum, rather than addressing the entire world, in the wake of a massacre in the third-largest Syrian city of Homs, which left more than 350 innocent civilians dead. This event marks the 30th anniversary of the mother of all massacres committed by the regime during the rule of former President Hafez al-Assad, which took the lives of 45,000 people. The regime jumped for joy when both China and Russia vetoed the UN Security Council resolution condemning the Assad regime for crimes of genocide against its people.

The entire world has taken a unified stand against this bloodthirsty regime. No one now sides with it except China, Russia, Iran and Iraq. They keep supporting it and backing the mass killings of its own people. They persist in making excuses and justifications for this regime and defending it in an absurd and immoral manner. This was clear in the statements given by Russia’s Foreign Minister, who refused to consider what is happening as the work of an oppressive regime which has always played this role and passed it down from father to son in a systematic and continuous manner.

In a speech delivered by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, he said that the sedition in Syria would be extinguished by the regime. Yet all these comments cannot be read except in their actual context. For example, Russia is not supporting Bashar al-Assad and his regime in Syria because it is resistant, democratic, or supportive of human rights, but because it is the only foothold remaining for Russia in the entire Middle East region, having lost the whole of its geographic extension including Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Algeria and Egypt. The Russians are now defending the Assad regime out of “stubbornness” and “unreasonable contention” rather than out of principles or assets.

Russia regards Syria and its regime as a natural extension to Iran. It evaluates the whole matter according to economic considerations and assesses the “volume” of exchange, investment and Russian interest in both countries. These interests include nuclear reactors, weapons, aircraft and other major projects, alongside traditional trade and the military naval base on the shores of Syria’s Mediterranean coast.

The same goes for China. It wants to strengthen its presence in the Syrian market so as to match its growing presence in Iran. Of course, both Syria and Iran are repressive states par excellence, with highly controversial records in human rights violations. Neither of them wants to set a precedent by changing regimes through the United Nations, because that would open the gates of hell for its allies such as North Korea, Burma, Ukraine and Turkmenistan. All of the aforementioned countries are repressive states, whose records in political and human rights violations are known to everyone.

What matters here is that Syria, by virtue of this disgraceful and shameful veto, has gone down in history as the second-largest repressive regime in the world, after Israel. Both countries have received a “veto” from superpowers, granting them the right to continue with their repression and killings. But in the Syrian regime’s case, it has become plain to the entire world, especially its free and honorable majority, that this regime is adamant on committing atrocious crimes against its own people. This could only have one clear and frank meaning, that we are watching the final farewell scenes of a ruthless bloodthirsty regime which will not be missed. In fact, there will be millions rejoicing in its overthrow all over the world.

It was interesting that free Tunisia was the first budding blossom among the “Arab Spring” countries to announce the expulsion of Syria’s ambassador from its territory, thereby ending its recognition of the Syrian regime and recognizing the Syrian National Council (SNC) instead as the sole and genuine representative of the Syrian people. All countries across the world should have taken this step instantly. But we can’t ask them to be more Arab-like than the Arabs themselves. The real enemy of free Syria is its ruling regime. To help Syria get rid of this is an ethical obligation.