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Indeed You Have Misunderstood Assad! – OpEd

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By Tariq Alhomayed

The Assad regime’s Foreign Ministry was completely right when it announced yesterday that the tyrant of Damascus would not withdraw his forces from cities in accordance with UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan’s deadline on the 10th of April, and that the process of withdrawing troops was fundamentally a “misunderstanding”, as the Foreign Ministry statement said.

When I say that the Assad regime is right when it says that the world may have misunderstood, this is for one simple reason, namely that merely believing that the Assad regime would accept Annan’s mission was a grave and absurd mistake. The international community is fully aware that the Assad regime has never fulfilled a promise it has made. If the Assad regime was a customer seeking to borrow from a bank, then regimes, like individuals, have a track record of their positions and reputation, and the reputation of the Assad regime is one of manipulation and fraud. Thus, the regime was right to say that the world has misunderstood, because this regime fundamentally manipulates everyone, and it was assumed that everyone already knew that.

It is interesting that Kofi Annan said that he is “shocked” by the level of violence in Syria, and the truth is that no one knows what to say. If Annan is “shocked”, then what would the Syrians say who are being killed every day in cold blood by Assad’s forces?

It is puzzling that the international community finds solace in silence as it waits for Annan’s pending deadline, while Assad’s forces continue to commit massacres and ethnic cleansing in Homs, which makes one wonder: Is this blood not of any value? Who will bear the consequences of these crimes, committed throughout a whole year of the Syrian revolution? Who will punish Assad for his crimes? Therefore we can say that the international community has not only misunderstood Assad, but it has also been complicit with the regime by granting it one deadline after another so that it can commit massacres against the Syrians.

All the facts and the reality say that Assad and his killing machine only understand the language of force, not the language of diplomacy and international laws, and any attempt to stop the crimes of this regime with diplomatic initiatives, along the lines of Annan’s initiative or otherwise, certainly “misunderstand” the nature of the tyrant of Damascus’ regime. Assad has haggled with the international community in the name of Annan’s initiative, which his regime says today it will not implement, and that it had been fundamentally misunderstood in the first place.

Assad does what he does because he cannot see any genuine moves against him on the ground, all he sees are empty threats, such as from Turkey, or the silence emanating from President Obama, who these days only cares about preparing for his re-election campaign, rather than the numbers killed at the hands of the Assad regime, which now exceed ten thousand.

Therefore, the Assad regime’s Foreign Ministry was entirely right to say that believing it would withdraw its troops was wrong, because assuming that the Assad regime could possibly have good intentions is a fundamental mistake. Assad and his regime only understand the language of force, and using such tactics today has become a duty not only to ensure his overthrow, but to stop the Syrian bloodshed. In addition to this, All Bashar Assad is currently doing is wasting time, and by failing to act the world is effectively conspiring with the Damascus criminal.

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

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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 “Indeed You Have Misunderstood Assad! – OpEd

  • April 9, 2012 at 12:42 am
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    This is absolutely correct. However, I would say they all know damn well that he will not stop killing people. They are also buying time and trying to avoid military intervention. Perhaps if Obama gets re-elected he will finally take a stand.

    Reply

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