Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Al-Assad will drown you with the details! | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The al-Assad regime continues to manipulate the international community, and with it of course the Security Council, in the same manner it previously manipulated the Arab League. Before every deadline and initiative, it empties the proposals of their content, and continues its murder and destruction. Now we see al-Assad continuing to shell Homs, while negotiating the details for international observers to be sent to Syria.

All al-Assad will do with the Security Council’s decision to send observers is overwhelm the international community with the details, from the number of observers to their nationalities, their movements, their safety and so on. All al-Assad wants to do is buy time for his regime, and continue to kill in the hope of quelling the revolution, which in reality has proven to be far from coming to an end, as evidenced by the number of Syrians who came out to demonstrate last Friday. These demonstrations themselves were a message to the al-Assad regime and its inner circle rather than to the outside, the message being that there is no hope for al-Assad as the Syrian people are determined to end his harmful era, despite all the violence. This was the message given on the Friday dubbed “Our revolution is for all Syrians”, and everyone around al-Assad, or his remaining loyalists, received the message, especially as we saw over 800 demonstration points last Friday. These protests indicate that the Syrians are determined to eradicate the tyrannical regime from its roots.

The idea of sending international observers is not a bad one, but the number of observers is ill conceived. What can 30 observers, or even 250 do in Syria? At least 3,000 international observers ought to be sent in order to ensure greater protection for the Syrians, and then the international community may be able to turn the tables on al-Assad and his tricks, most prominently his attempts to drown everyone in the details. If the international community, and specifically the states active in the Syrian issue, are unwilling to intervene militarily, then they must now seek at the first opportunity to address the issue of al-Assad, rather than leaving him to preoccupy everyone with endless details while he continues to kill. This is especially as there is a belief in Washington and some Western capitals that al-Assad only accepted Kofi Annan’s ceasefire proposal in order to give his troops a rest, and to increase pressure on Russia. Thus, the question is: Why give al-Assad one chance after another without trying to clamp down on him, especially as his forces are relentless in their bombing of cities and killing of civilians?

As I said before al-Assad accepted Annan’s ceasefire proposal, the plan was “we’ll be back after these messages”. Today, the plan is for the regime to catch its breath and submerge everyone in the details, and therefore the duty of the international community, and specifically the states concerned, is to accelerate the process of arming the Syrian rebels, and to develop international resolutions with teeth and claws, so that they don’t merely grant al-Assad more opportunities, when his forces have not stopped killing for one moment. Of course, al-Assad’s trick of drowning everyone in the details is not a sign of strength or success, but it is evidence that al-Assad is in a hole and continues to dig. He is in a dilemma given his inevitable fall, but the only problem everyone else should be concerned with today is the Syrian bloodbath that shows no signs of abating, and therefore there must be genuine steps to stop this killing machine. The first step is not to provide al-Assad with any more opportunities to drown everyone in the details.