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Horror is hereditary in Syria | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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How right the French Ambassador to the United Nations was when he said: “Horror is hereditary in Damascus”. Ambassador Gerard Araud said: “The father killed en masse, the son is doing the same”. But the question here is: Will the Arabs be silent about the crimes of Bashar al-Assad, as they were with the crimes of his father?

The strength of the al-Assad regime, for both father and son, does not stem from its capabilities, but rather from growing accustomed to impunity from punishments and consequences. The al-Assad leaders, both father and son, have not paid one serious price during their reign, whether in Lebanon, past and present, or even in Iraq. The al-Assad regime has not just harmed Syria alone, but rather the entire region over forty years, sometimes through sectarianism, other times through intimidation, not to mention its violence and extortion. Yesterday, the British newspaper “The Sunday Telegraph” revealed that in the past week, the Bashar al-Assad regime has released the prisoner Abu Musab al-Suri, the “mastermind” behind the July 7th London bombings. This means, simply, that the al-Assad regime is returning to the game it knows well; using terrorism and terrorists!

The al-Assad regime is used to exploiting the ethics of its opponents, sometimes even appearing to defend their rights or aid the oppressed. However, with the occurrence of thousands of dead Syrians, and the process of systematic intimidation carried out by al-Assad’s forces, and the tyrant’s lawyers resorting to the Security Council, imploring Russia and China to use their veto power, the Arabs today must stay away from the usual jaded Arab recipes, especially as it has been proven that the al-Assad regime is dishonest and beyond repair. Merely talking about reform today is a waste of time; therefore the Arabs must now work towards ensuring the success of the new French initiative, announced by the French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Saturday evening, when he said: “France is not giving up”. He revealed that Paris “was in touch with Arab and European partners to create a “Friends of the Syrian People Group” that would marshal international support to implement the Arab League plan”.

But this step alone is insufficient, although it is something we have called for again and again. The first task of the “Friends of the Syrian People Group” should be to recognize the Syrian National Council, and provide it with all kinds of support. It should also be its mission to provide safe corridors for citizens and a weapons-free zone, which can be achieved by forming a so-called “coalition of willing Arab countries”, along with the international community; Europe and America. These countries, especially the Arab ones, must seek to expel the tyrant of Damascus’s ambassadors from their territory, a move which is long overdue and is more important now than ever. The al-Assad regime is beyond hope, whatever Moscow says, and even if Russia sent its Minister of Foreign Affairs and Head of Intelligence to convince al-Assad of the need to reform.

I will summarize by saying: support for the French initiative – and specifically for the Friends of the Syrian People Group – is now inevitable, especially as it has been proven that horror is hereditary in Damascus.