Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Syria and the Arab deadline | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Nothing new came of the Arab League Ministerial Committee’s meeting in Doha to discuss the Syrian issue except that a new Arab deadline was granted to Bashar al-Assad’s regime for it to sign the Arab protocol for sending observers to Syria. A new deadline, despite the fact that the killing machine has not stopped for even one day since the Arabs first mobilized!

Despite all the historic decisions taken by the Arabs against the al-Assad regime, which cannot be underestimated, the problem lies in the fact that the killing machine has not stopped, and continues to intimidate the Syrians, which in turn necessitates the following question: Do the Arabs still expect the al-Assad regime to carry out any of its pledges, or even respect the Arab initiative and sign the observers protocol? The Arabs do not need to send observers to Syria in order to verify that the al-Assad regime’s killing machine and armed fronts have not stopped suppressing the Syrians; the Arabs can watch satellite television broadcasts on Syria, or observe what is posted on “YouTube” from within the country [to confirm this]. The Arabs also do not need to ascertain the precise magnitude of the al-Assad regime’s crimes, particularly as the United Nations [UN] has said that what the regime is doing against the Syrians has reached the level of crimes against humanity. It is interesting that we Arabs were among those to vote in favor of the UN resolution on human rights, so what is preventing the Arabs from transferring the Syrian file to the UN Security Council, and engaging in a long overdue battle with Russia and others, instead of wasting time with pointless meetings? Particularly as the Arabs are aware that even if the al-Assad regime does sign the protocol to send Arab observers to Syria, it will fail to abide by this and drag its feet, and this is a certainty.

The problem is that the Arabs do not seem to care that the killing machine has not stopped. Every day more innocent Syrians die, while the Arabs are preoccupied with the explanations being put forward by the al-Assad regime, and this is sad and depressing. True, some will say that politics does not deal in the language of emotions, but stopping the bloodshed is in fact a religious, moral and finally political duty, otherwise we are simply consenting to the law of the jungle. The reality on the ground in Syria shows that the al-Assad regime is now solely speaking in the language of murder and torture, whilst the sheer volume of demonstrations against Bashar al-Assad confirms that we are past the point of no return. On Friday alone, there were nearly 240 incidents of protest against al-Assad, including the burning of pictures of [Hezbollah chief] Hassan Nasrallah in the heart of the capital, Damascus. This is in addition to the growing divisions within the Syrian army. Indeed, the Syrian demonstrators have outstripped the Arab League’s deliberations on Syria, with Syrian demonstrations last Friday calling for the imposition of a buffer zone.

All of this represents a clear message to the Arabs that their waiting [for the Syrian regime to respond] is unjustified, as is the new deadline granted to the al-Assad regime. The Arabs must take the battle to the UN Security Council in order to protect the Syrian people from the killing machine that has not stopped for one moment over a period of approximately 8 months of the Syrian revolution.