This commentary was published in The Arab Times on 25/05/2011
The Syrian regime has fallen, or rather it has paved the way for its own collapse through the first gunshot fired by a security officer at protesters demanding for reform. All cards to remain in power had been played by the ruling Ba’ath Party, signaling the start of the most beautiful Spring in the history of Syria and the fall of its dictatorial regime.
The regime has been stripped naked. It has lost legitimacy with its people, while regional relations with Turkey and other Arab allies have started to weaken. The regime has been isolated from the international community, which has taken a firm stand against it. This is what President Bashar Al-Assad - an ophthalmologist - must understand. He should treat the eyes of his government for it to clearly see the demands of his people, if he is really serious in saving the country from an impasse.
The regime drives a nail into its own coffin with every bullet fired by the securitymen at the chests of protesters. No amount of justification will stop the people from expressing their demands, in the same manner that official statements will not douse the rage fuelled by the daily flow of blood in most Syrian cities and towns. What sort of conspiracy is this, when millions of unarmed civilians in more than 20 cities and towns call for freedom and an end to humiliation simultaneously? If it is true that a majority of the citizens have been conspiring, it only means the government has long been serving the conspirators through its repressive acts, in addition to institutionalizing corruption and the imprisonment of those who had the audacity to express their opinions.
The Syrian president has not paid attention to the pieces of advice offered to him over the last weeks, prompting many of his people to abandon him. He is now at the mercy of a group of self-serving corrupt individuals, who will never hesitate in taking even the most atrocious step just to serve their interests. Everybody sees the signs that the Syrian regime is quickly losing its defenses. Its closest allies have deserted the regime, while its political tool in Lebanon has shown uneasiness towards it, and the media has highlighted its empty promises.
Although the regime fell with the first gunshot, there is still ample time to prevent the total collapse of Syria and a civil war, similar to what Libyan President Muammar Al-Gaddafi, a strong ally of Al-Assad, has brought into his country. This is unacceptable to everyone, except the dreadful security clique, which has been trying to prevent any attempt to hold it accountable.
Al-Assad can still free himself from the shackles of murderers around him and repair everything destroyed by the repressive intelligence agents. He can do this by coming out clean with his people. He should tell them the truth and speak to them directly without intermediaries. He must stop hiding behind the wall, as if the daily massacres are not happening in Syria. These steps will drastically lessen the number of corpses displayed on our television screens everyday and preserve whatever is left in the hands of the people.
This will also end its isolation from the Arab world, so it can return to the safer and warmer fold of the region, which is better than the bosom of a Persian ally. It will no longer need the help of the Revolutionary Guard in silencing its own people. The Arab world can then take its hands into the fold of the international community.
If Al-Assad takes these measures, he will realize that his people are loving and supportive, away from the alleged conspiracies. The situation in Syria will continue to deteriorate, as long as it is enmeshed in corruption, senseless killings, repression and torture.