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Let Us Compare Assad To Israel – Oped


By Tariq Alhomayed

When considering much of what is being repeated in our region, on all levels about Syria, one is struck by confusion, for one party justifies what is happening, whilst another casts doubt, and a third attempts to be clever. Therefore, you feel as if you are looking at a situation that is impossible to understand, namely an Arab case par excellence, which is a problem with no solutions, or in the desperate manner of Nabih Berri, a case where there is “no winners and no losers,” which is what I term a case of political fluidity.

This was something that we saw on the day that Saddam Hussein occupied Kuwait, as well as in Lebanon on the day that the most senior Hezbollah agents intentionally incited an unjustifiable war, in addition to the day that Hezbollah occupied Beirut and when they invented the concept of the one-third (parliamentary) blocking minority. This is also something that we saw in the actions of the Arab affiliates (of Hezbollah) who consider themselves to be elites. The same thing applies to Hamas, which carried out a coup d’état by force of arms, whilst people justified this and defended them, in the knowledge that we are facing a unique situation, namely an armed coup taking place under occupation! This is certainly an Arab case par excellence, a case devoid of logic and settlement. In Iraq, Nuri Al-Maliki lost the elections but remain in power, whilst in Lebanon, the member of a (political) trend slanders his own movement in order to gain power, and we are told that we are facing a case of “musical chairs.” This indeed represents a flaccid and defeated Arab case, led by the elites; therefore we are moving from bad to worse, from Jamal Abdel Nasser to Saddam Hussein, from Hassan Nasrallah to Bin Laden. This is not all, for our democracy is deformed, as are our republics, for they are neither true republics nor monarchies, and this is something that applies to the Assad regime, both the regime of the father and the son.

Let us pause here in front of this state of mad dictatorship, and compare it with what Israel has committed against us in recent times, and I say recent times as we are talking about the last five years, particularly the Lebanon and Gaza wars. The entire world rushes to stop Israel’s aggressions against Lebanon in 2006, and this war ended after approximately two months, claiming the lives of 1,200 Lebanese. The same thing applies to the Gaza war, which had approximately the same death toll. In both wars, the public opinion in the Arab world called for urgent action, whilst counterfeit “friends of Israel” lists were issued, masterminded by the Assad regime; indeed a number of Arab politicians attempted to exploit this tragedy, most prominently the Assad regime. However we did not hear anybody ask — even now — why did these wars happen? Whose interests did these wars, and more, serve? Who was responsible for this?

Today, in the case of Assad, we have seen the Syrian forces brutally killing their own people on our television screens over the past year — not two months — whilst the death toll stands at more than 8,000 and the tyrants of Damascus’ troops have destroyed mosques, tortured and assassinated children, as well as women and the elderly, simply in order to allow Assad to cling to power. Despite all this, we find some countries, politicians, media organizations and figures, who are procrastinating; it is as if we — as Arabs — are saying that if the killer is also an Arab, then this is something that we can accept, however, if he is an Israeli, then we must all move as one to put an end to this! This is a saddening and shameful state of affairs, particularly when somebody like Hassan Nasrallah shamelessly comes out to defend Assad!

Therefore, if we compare Assad to Israel we will discover the extent of the growing hypocrisy in our region, and one of the most important sources of this is the Assad regime, both the regime of the father and the son, which has survived on the lies of the resistance, and others. Therefore, one of the advantages of the departure of this tyrant will serve to root out hypocrisy in our region, as its most prominent symbol is the Assad regime.

— The author is editor in chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Write to him at [email protected]

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Arab News

Arab News is Saudi Arabia's first English-language newspaper. It was founded in 1975 by Hisham and Mohammed Ali Hafiz. Today, it is one of 29 publications produced by Saudi Research & Publishing Company (SRPC), a subsidiary of Saudi Research & Marketing Group (SRMG).

One thought on “Let Us Compare Assad To Israel – Oped

  • March 1, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    I thank you for the article . It gives a different perspective.
    I have 2 points:
    1- the impression that “Arab” problems are not logical or in-understandable is a form of lack of analysis of the international “musical chairs”, that funds different parties and individuals.
    2- we can’t compare 2 destructive forces and say which one is better as if justifying either. Both unacceptable and put in the same category.



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