Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

The Dervish Dance is over | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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At last, “The final word is out”. The final word here has come from America. It has dashed the hopes of the al-Assad regime, namely that the world would think twice before taking any action against it, out of fear and necessity. Expectations and analyses within the ranks of the Syrian revolutionaries concluded that a deal was being struck in secret between the international community led by the US, the regional bloc led by Turkey and major Arab countries, and the autocratic al-Assad regime. Now the truth has come out. The snow has thawed and the fields have bloomed. It has become plain for everyone to see that the regime’s hourglass is about to run out of sand, and that the al-Assad ripe crops will be reaped very soon.

Five long months have elapsed since the regime’s killing machine started tearing flesh and spilling the blood of the Syrian people. Everyone advised Bashar al-Assad, and exercised great patience with him. Everyone became enraged by his unique obstinacy and his insane persistence, trying to force the entire world to play dumb by believing the incredible exaggerations of his media in Syria or, at an earlier stage, his Lebanese propaganda trumpets which claimed that the regime had been encountering a group of radical armed militias, or something of the sort, which was firmly under control. The regime went to the very extremes of lying when Walid al-Muallem, the Syrian Foreign Minister and something of a “Sheikh” to the relatively young president, said that “The crisis is all water under the bridge now”. This attitude evokes the failures of the famous Iraqi diplomat Tariq Aziz, who desperately tried to beautify the ugly face of the Iraqi regime. But not even the beautician could cover what time has marred.

The remaining time left for the al-Assad regime will be full of misery. The President will take his stubborn nature too far and take irrational decisions along the lines of the “all or nothing” approach. Saddam Hussein did that before, and Bashar al-Assad is less powerful than Saddam Hussein in terms of his chemical and oil reserves. More importantly, Saddam was far more popular across the Arab World. Nevertheless, his vociferations went unheeded.

Isolating al-Assad and demanding him to step down will cause a security and media headache in the region. Iran might try and save its ally in Damascus by stoking sectarian or security issues here or there, especially in Gulf countries, which will have to endure this headache for a while. This is the price of getting rid of the chronic political disease inflicted by the al-Assad regime through its inexplicable positions and alliances.

What we are seeing now is the beginning of the surgical process, rather than the end. There is no other way out of this crisis. In fact, Bashar al-Assad and his regime have done a great deal of goodness to the Syrian people and the entire region without being aware of it. On account of al-Assad’s obstinacy and arrogance, or lets say his intransigence, everyone had no choice but to walk away from him and his regime, which has the blood of innocent people on its hands. Many feared that Assad would demonstrate a measure of political nous, thereby delaying the decisive moment by executing a maneuver here or there. However, Bashar has lived up to the expectations of analysts, and has continued to walk, like all dogmatic politicians, down a one-way road leading to a bottomless abyss.

Now that all its leaves have fallen out, there is nothing left of al-Assad’s autocratic tree, except a carious, dried-up trunk. False illusions of resistance and opposition have been shattered. By virtue of those false illusions, the al-Assad regime in Syria, along with Hezbollah in Lebanon and Iran, the mistress of the house, deemed everything lawful. The word “resistance” became the magical key to the Ali Baba’s cave! Thanks to the magic attached to this word, scores of media personalities and Arab intellectuals have performed the Dervish dance [a ritual in Sufi Islam performed in order to reach religious enlightenment] throughout the past decade.