SINCE the beginning of the conflict in Syria, the administration of US President Barack Obama has offered nothing to help the Syrians except pledges of support.
We hear fiery statements during the day but by night these statements lose their glow. This has become a habit for the White House to pull wool over people’s eyes.
To the contrary Kremlin has proved that it remains loyal to its allies. Russia has translated its words into actions with firepower from the ground and from the air. Even at the UN Security Council Russia has not shied away from casting its veto to protect the Syrian regime.
As we become more and more familiar with the statements of US officials who obviously look hesitant and often have shown their inability to honor their pledges made to their allies, Russia has been very practical in the face of US indecision.
That is exactly what happened recently when America suggested launching air strikes against the Assad regime. Russia responded by putting in place S-300 air defense system in Tartous to protect the Syrian regime from these strikes.
Three years ago Barack Obama declared the use of chemical weapons in Syria was a red line that cannot go unpunished. When some areas of Syria were hit by chemical weapons the US looked more like a spectator. To add insult to injury, the US made haste to sign the nuclear pact with Iran and turned its back on its historical allies in the region.
On one hand the US continued making concessions to Russia and on the other it pulled out the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) from the hat of a Cowboy magician in the Congress which undoubtedly targeted its historical allies in the region — the GCC countries in general and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in particular.
It looks like the US policy in the Middle East is no different from a tightrope circus act to protect Israel. The fierce competition for supremacy between Russia and the US gives the Syrians no other option but to decide their own future.
This is not the time to wait for the ‘Good Samaritan’ to come by. The conflict of interests between Moscow and Washington has put Syria in catastrophic situation. This scenario means only one thing — to turn Syria into a weapons laboratory to test new weapons.
Moreover, the current scenario in Syria gives Iran a platform to show its power whether directly or indirectly through Hezbollah, DAESH, the Al Nusra Front and other similar terrorist groups.
Unquestionably this is not what the Syrians had desired for. If the call for freedom was a genuine people’s quest at the beginning of the crisis, today the need for security has become urgent.
Of course if the Syrians opt for a referendum after five-and-a-half years of war and devastation it will show they prefer to go back to Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, Idlib, Deraa and other cities and villages to put an end to their suffering for which there seems to be no end.
It is time for the entire world to let the Syrians choose their ruler and decide their future. It is only the Syrians who can decide their destiny without the need for US guardianship or the hazardous Russians who have taken the opportunity to test their weapons on Arab land or the regime of the Mullahs which is lying in wait to give shape to its expansionist project at the expense of Arab flesh and blood.
The Syrians alone will decide what is best for them. There is no doubt they will ever allow anyone, under any pretext, to make their country the backyard to test weapons.
This is what any Arab or Muslim can never approve. Any human being who has the least respect for a fellow human will ever approve murder, starvation and displacement.
So leave Syria to the Syrians because they are aware of what is going on and because they know what is best for them than anyone else.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times