By Arab News
By Abdulrahman Al-Rashed
WE do not know what UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi is doing to stop the war in Syria. He is the only person who represents the last hope to end the killing and destruction. He has been appointed to resolve the most important issue of concern in the Middle East and its outcome will also affect the rest of the world.
With his silence and the lack of information it is quite natural to worry about what is attributed to him, though he denied stories attributed to him more than once. This time it is being said that he is doing the rounds in several capitals for marketing a new project that will remove Assad from power after more than a year and the failure of the government would allow other forces to compete in various elections under international supervision.
Because of Brahimi’s continued silence, we have been forced to consider one of several potential solutions, particularly as it bears his mark and we know his conciliatory style: Looking for a compromise acceptable to all parties. Here we have to wonder, is the idea of Assad’s resignation and the holding of elections a good way to end the crisis, or does the draft complicate the crisis issue and does not solve it?
Such a discourse will be a failure and doomed for rejection in advance. First, because it could not be implemented and could dangerously lead Syria into a wider civil war. Syria is not Lebanon or Afghanistan, the two countries where Brahimi worked on peace projects. The revolution in Syria is between the palace and the street and not a struggle between local forces.
Therefore, Brahimi must not be the horse for Assad and the Iranians to jump over the heads of the rebels. The delivery of the Syrian revolution into a multilateral engagement equation would give Assad a chance to be part of the solution when he was the cause of the problem.
This is a popular revolution against a regime that is fighting a losing battle. Now that the rebel forces have defeated the regime on the outskirts of Damascus and therefore it is not reasonable to give Assad a chance to stay in power in 2014.
The additional year is a gift that would mean more bloodshed, destruction and perpetual sabotage of the country. If Brahimi thought he was capable of protecting the system to the end of next year, he is gravely mistaken. The Assad regime is in the ICU and it is impossible for it to return to political life.
If Brahimi wanted to save Syria he has to persuade Assad or at least convince the Russians that Assad, who is immersed up to his knees in blood, should take his one suitcase, leave quickly and hand over power to the opposition to stop the bloodshed. A temporary solution will not be viable when the rebels encircle the palaces of power in Damascus.
Now, Brahimi can submit a draft to transfer power to the real opposition, not the counterfeit opposition dispatched by the system a few days ago for a conference in Iran. The solution is in the immediate ousting of Assad and the transfer of power to the Syrian opposition, also in the holding of internationally sponsored free elections for the Syrians to choose whom they want as president.
We know that Brahimi will respond sarcastically: If things were that easy, you would not need me! We say that the Syrians do not need him to put a political project that prolongs the crisis and legitimizes the remaining time for Assad who would then warmly say adieu to the war criminal. No one would welcome Brahimi’s solution if it is like this.
If the UN envoy is unable to reach a solution that satisfies the Syrian people and he is unable to see the crimes committed by Assad every day, and unable to urge members of the Security Council to stop the genocide committed by the regime, then he has to return to his home and should not be a partner in covering up what is happening.
We know and appreciate his repeated warnings that the Syrian crisis will reach the rest of the countries in the region if we did not cooperate with him in finding a solution. We want to tell him it is not true that countries in the region are behind the revolution in Syria and does not have the authority to stop them. Seriously, no one can dictate to the rebels what they do not want especially now that they are closer to victory.