Defeat is inevitable for the Syrian regime
Yesterday marked the third anniversary of the onset of the Syrian revolution that is proving to be one of the bloodiest and costliest of all recent Arab revolutions.
The Saudi academic and columnist Khalid Al Dakheel wrote in the pan-Arab daily Al Hayat: “The Assad regime, in its classic brutality, made the people of Syria choose one of the two options: death or submission. Although dialogue and containment were options at its disposal, the regime’s history, nature and sectarian alignments made it impossible for it to take any other course of action.”
Since its inception in 1963, brutality has been the Assad regime’s modus operandi. Hence, it succeeded in turning the popular revolution into a destructive civil war and generating sectarian conflicts that Syria has never seen before.
More than 200,000 people have been killed and over 11 million were displaced within and outside Syria. Yet, president Bashar Al Assad continues to wreak havoc on his country.
All kinds of weapons, including explosive barrels and chemical arms, were used against the people. Communities were besieged and famished.
The regime has indulged in kidnapping, imprisonment, torture, execution and mass liquidation for many years. Some 55,000 pictures documenting the deaths of 11,000 Syrians in torture camps were leaked to the press to shed light on the extent of the Assad regime’s cruelty.
The Arab Syrian Army, once one of the Arab World’s most revered military institutions, was transformed into the strongest militia in the civil war. This army that once stood against colonialism is now diminished to that of a mere protector of a ruling family preaching sectarianism that extends from Tehran through Iraq, to Beirut’s southern suburbs. It has simply lost its national identity. More than 40 years ago, Syrians were told that this army had been awaiting the next confrontation with its enemy on the western border of the Golan. The Syrian regime is said to have originally been one of resistance. Reality differs.
The Arab Syrian Army has killed more Syrians than the number of Arabs who died throughout 60 years of war with Israel.
Unfortunately, Mr Al Assad was not taken seriously by the majority of the Syrians and Arab people.
Many who were more credible and nationalist than Mr Al Assad upheld the same discourse for many years. The actual “resistance” of the Syrian regime was left to Hizbollah fighters on Lebanon’s southern border. On the Syrian territory, the regime relies on sectarianism, intelligence and a close coalition with Iran to subdue the Syrian people.
This is not resistance, but a sanguinary political game for which Syrians are paying the price with their blood and future.
But “never in the history of the world did terrorism remain undefeated. Syria will be no exception to the rule”, concluded Al Dakheel.
Maliki can’t hide truth by accusing Saudi
Gulf countries strongly reacted to the remarks by Iraq’s prime minister, Nouri Al Maliki, accusing Saudi Arabia of supporting and financing terrorist organisations. Abdul Latif Al Zayani, the secretary general of the GCC, denounced the hostile and misleading allegations, highlighting that the Gulf states were the first affected by acts of terrorism.
Writing in Al Ittihad newspaper, the columnist Shemlan Youssef Al Issa asked: “Knowing that Saudi Arabia has just taken steps towards criminalising terrorist organisations, such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Al Nusra Front, Hizbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood, why would Maliki choose to accuse Gulf states of supporting terrorism at this specific time in history?
Mr Maliki, he wrote, made these accusations to justify his failure to secure solutions in Anbar.
Under Mr Maliki’s leadership, Iraq witnessed an increase in corruption, destruction, displacement, and terrorism in the name of sectarianism.
Mr Maliki, Al Issa wrote, is sectarian to the bone and insists on solely Shiite governance and leadership. He does not seem to understand that achieving national unity between various groups and communities is an element of strength.
“We hope Maliki learns lessons from the Arab world, where authoritarian regimes do not last long and where peoples no longer adhere to religious insignia, ” concluded Al Issa.
Gulf dispute is not just about Egypt
The dispute that caused Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain to recall their ambassadors to Qatar was not driven by a political disagreement over Egypt, nor was it an attempt to impose a certain foreign policy on Qatar, argued Sami Al Reyami in yesterday’s edition of the Dubai-based newspaper Al Emirat Al Youm.
Qatar’s reply to the withdrawal of ambassadors focused on the disagreement over Egypt so as to pass over long-standing disputes, the writer noted.
He said that it is not about foreign policy stances, as Doha has sought to convey. It is about an internal issue that threatens the stability of the GCC states, such as funding the Muslim Brotherhood and the Houthis in Yemen.
There are also shocking reports about leaked phone calls in the aftermath of the Qaddafi regime’s fall in Libya, Al Reyami wrote, in which Qatar’s former prime minister revealed his country’s plans against Saudi Arabia, which he described as an “aged” country. He said there would be no Saudi Arabia after 20 years, according to the writer.
These real phone calls are evidence of Qatar’s intentions towards a brotherly state, he commented. In fact, Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim, did not deny them at a meeting of GCC foreign ministers, saying that they were made under a previous government.
* Digest compiled by Translation Desk
Updated: March 16, 2014 04:00 AM