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ISN’T the current incident in Syria similar to what happened in Palestine in 1948 when the Arab armies promised to return Palestinians to their homes within two or three weeks and they will throw the Jews into the sea? What happened 67 years after the Palestinian plight?
If Arabs ignored, at the time, the fact that the winning force of the Second World War paved way for the establishment of the Zionist State, haven’t they realized why the West seems to be procrastinating in solving the Syrian conflict?
Have they failed to realize that what the western forces promised the people of Syria five years ago, the Arab countries also promised — to topple Bashar Al-Assad’s regime in two weeks but it extended to three months. It is now the 57th month, but Al-Assad is still in power while the Syrians are displaced everywhere on the globe?
Will these defeated people wait for 67 years before the crisis is resolved, like the Palestinians, for the Arabs realized that their promises have yet to bear fruits?
All Arabs need to acknowledge these facts: The Syrian Army, security agencies and the Syrians did not change their position towards Al-Assad’s regime. In addition, Hezbollah and the Iraqi militias are fighting beside the regime while Iran supports all of them.
Iran’s support for the Al-Assad regime has reached the extent that Revolutionary Guard members are fighting on various fronts. Add to this the air power of Russia and its ballistic missiles — as well as the political support from China, India and several countries which, under the worst conditions, will take a neutral position in this conflict.
Unfortunately, the antagonists of the Syrian regime have ignored the fact that the Army and security forces are ‘tools of chance’ in any revolution. Without the support of the Army, such a revolution is doomed to failure.
This is what happened in Iran in 2009 when the security forces did not stand with the Green Revolution against Iran’s Mullah regime, which is contrary to what transpired in 1979 during Khomeni’s revolution against the Shah. Despite thousands of protesters marching on the street, the revolution succeeded only when the Army let go of the Shah.
The same scenario was repeated in Egypt in January 2011 when the Army took a neutral position at first and then went to the side of the protesters in Tahrir Square. After a year or so, the protesters went back to the streets to demonstrate against the Brotherhood regime which wanted to drag Egypt into destruction. The protest of more than 35 million Egyptians would not have been successful if the Army did not support the majority of the Egyptians.
Perhaps, the current situation in Syria is more complicated than before. There are hundreds of armed groups in Syria and all of them are seeking power. Each of these groups has support from outside, yet they have not succeeded in terms of dealing with the regime.
The issue became more difficult due to the expansion of Iran’s military intervention, whereas the ally — Russia — is preparing to engage in a long term war. Perhaps, it is better to remember that unlike other allies — such as Washington, London and Paris — Moscow does not let go of its ally and it does not delay in standing by its ally although it delays taking a stand on the Syrian conflict.
Indeed, Russia strives to protect its interests. Regardless of what some parties assume in terms of its size, Russia’s interest in Syria is not as dangerous as Iran’s objectives. Unfortunately, inflexibility is giving way for positions taken by the Mullah regime to actualize its objectives.
If Russia’s objectives include the military base and economic interests, which do not differ from US interests in the Arab Peninsula, North and East Asia and Europe, the objective of Iran is to dominate Syria by changing its culture and transforming it into a Shiite society.
In order to foil this objective, solving the Syrian crisis should start with a political resolution, with or without Bashar Al-Assad. Regardless of the outcome, the rule will remain an Arab to its core. Even if the current regime seeks assistance from Iran to combat the revolution, it will never surrender to them once the crisis ends. This is what everyone should realize if they really want to end the crisis that has been going on for five years.
Everyone should realize that the phrase, “No solution will be reached as long as Al-Assad is in power, especially at the current stage,” simply means the war will continue for another five years. Syria might be lost like Palestine and its displaced people will continue to demand for liberation of the country which was lost due to ‘promises’.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times