Assad Will Fail
to Put Freedom ‘Genie’ Back in its Bottle (Al-Raya, Qatar)
“President Bashar al-Assad should learn from the revolutions of the
Arab Spring. He should take the lesson that things will never go back to the
way they were. … This is a people that waited patiently for nearly four decades
under Assad rule. But finally they came out… in search of liberty. Yes, the
genie defiantly came out of its bottle, and won’t be put back until its demands
are met and it reaps the reward for its sacrifices: freedom and democracy.”
The Syrian regime missed the chance granted it by the Arab League
to accept its plan for resolving the violent crisis that has been raging there for
the past eight months, and sign the special protocol providing for Arab
observers to visit Syria.
[Editor’s Note: Between December 26, 2011 and January 28, 2012,
Arab League observers were permitted into the country. According to the
League, the observers were removed due to the “critical deterioration of the
situation” in the country. Currently, there are 291 unarmed United Nations
observers in the country].
Yes, Damascus ignored the request of the Arab Ministerial
Meeting on the Situation in Syria, and thus missed its chance. When the deadline
wasn’t extended yesterday [May 12] it continued its hobby of playing for time by
indulging in the shedding of the Syrian people’s precious blood and sticking to
its dangerous and incomprehensible position. This is a people that waited
patiently for nearly four decades under Assad rule. But finally they came out… in
search of liberty. Yes, the genie defiantly came out of its bottle, and won’t be
put back until its demands are met and it reaps the reward for its sacrifices: freedom
and democracy. And a process of democratization that leads the peaceful
transfer of power – apart from its first demand: namely the fall of the Assad regime
and the trial of the president.
President Bashar al-Assad should
learn from the revolutions of the Arab Spring. He should take the lesson that things
will never go back to the way they were before March of last year, and the
crowds won’t go home until their demands are met. His security solutions have
failed and have proven ineffective. He must now admit the reality before him:
the existence of a real crisis that must be wound down before it’s too late.
The question that arises is: Why doesn’t Damascus sign the Arab
Peace Plan and allow Arab observers to roam freely throughout Syria? There
seems to be nothing in the plan that would diminish Syrian sovereignty. And if
the reports of the observers were positive, the Syrian regime would confirm its
credibility. And if its hands really are clean of any crime, it will be all of
those gunmen and hidden hands that will be punished for their crimes against
Some media broadcasts report a Syrian official saying that
messages have been exchanged between Damascus and the Arab League about
allowing Arab observers to tour the country, but the official didn’t specify
what was in the correspondence, nor did he offer any clear outline of Damascus’
position regarding the Arab League deadline that expired last night [May 12], nor
did he respond to the League’s invitation to sign the Arab Peace Plan.
This stubbornness will lead to an ominous outcome, and then
there will be no use for remorse, the biting of fingers and the blaming others,
who have no interest other than those of our brothers the Syrian people, and an
end to the shedding of their blood.
The Syrian regime must realize that the language of threats won’t
work, and that attempts to use prevarication and fraud to circumvent Arab
efforts will not succeed in dissuading the Syrian people from claiming their
right to justice, even if that means the toppling of the regime.
So Damascus continues its approach, opposing the desires of its
people, the international community and its Arab brothers. This path will only
internationalize the crisis, as Prime and Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani warned in his
statement after Arab League meeting in Al Dawha on
Here, I feel it is my duty to draw the attention of Damascus
to inform it that the Russian and Chinese vetoes won’t last forever, and
evidence is piling up their attitudes are in flux. Their positions are governed
by interests and benefits, and I doubt the countries will long spoil their relations
and interests with the West for the sake of the Syrian regime and its
Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other brother nations, and
even neighboring countries like Turkey as well as countries around the world, are
demanding that the Syrian regime respond to the demands of its people. None of
these seek anything but to work for the interests of the Syrian people, the stability
of Syria and the maintenance of its territorial integrity. There is no Arab conspiracy
against Syria, as the regime and its organs continue to pretend. They are simply
looking after a brother country and a brother people who are governed by a regime
that tests its latest weapons of them and abuses their dignity and right to
life simply because they have demanded their rights.
The Syrian regime must know that the world’s position is
rising rapidly to challenge it and that little by little, the red line will be
reached, as was pointed out by Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani in his
remarks. The regime, if time allows, must move quickly now that it has failed
to squelch the revolt by force, reconcile with its people and win back the
confidence of the world. Because after the sacrifices and the heavy price paid
by the Syrian people and for the sake of extracting their freedom and rights, the
international community won’t back off.
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