Thursday, August 18, 2011
Syria's Diplomatic Excuses Fail
By Randa Takieddine
One does not know whether to laugh or cry at the letter sent by the Syrian Foreign Minister to Ban Ki-moon, the secretary general of the United Nations on 8 August, commenting on the Security Council resolution condemning the Syrian regime's oppression of its people. In this letter, Syria's top diplomat says that "there are many exaggerations in how the current events in Syria are being portrayed, and what is taking place on the ground is being blown out of proportion, with the goal of incitement and causing fear, while clearly ignoring the magnitude of the losses and damage cause by armed gangs," as if official Syrian diplomacy is focusing on the excuses of past eras. It is ignoring the globalization of horrifying videos that everyone is receiving via modern technology, from mobile phones to the internet and Facebook.
The scene of the siege of Lattakia, by land and sea, and the military and intelligence attack on the people of brave Syrian cities, from Lattakia to Deir ez-Zor, Daraa, Hama and elsewhere, unfortunately reminds us of the siege of and strike against Gaza by the Israeli army, and the siege of eastern areas of Beirut in 1978. These scenes are intolerable, especially since an army of the people is being used by the regime against this people. What is the future of this regime, even if it manages to extinguish the revolution through murder and oppression? Hatred and the desire for vengeance as a result of this murder and oppression will increase, and the regime will never experience stability. The strategy of the Syrian regime to intensify the violence, to get through Ramadan safely, is also a policy of yesteryear, and of the Israelis. It will never succeed in securing stability and security in the country. The Syrian regime is killing its own people with the weapon of its army, and the Syrian regime is torturing brave dissidents, as confirmed by the testimony of activist Samar Yazbek and dissident Haitham Maleh, and many others. Their courage is unprecedented and benefits from no foreign assistance; people are leaving their homes despite the danger of being killed; they shout and express, before the world, their pain at the hands of the regime, which is laying siege to them. It is the same Syrian regime that took part in creating the Lebanese resistance against the Israeli enemy, but it is now applying a different, violent policy, one that is creating a brave popular resistance that needs no one's help to survive, and is demanding the sake of freedom and a dignified life, with no killing and torture.
The recent visit by the Turkish foreign minister to Damascus proved the following: the steadfastness of the Syrian people against this policy by the regime, as it expresses its intent to reform while liquidating its own people, is more important than any diplomatic act of giving a deadline of a few days, and opportunities, to a regime that is suited by such offers. As soon as the Turkish minister left, the Syrian regime intensified its operations against its people. If the Syrian wager was on prolonging the violence during the convening of United Nations sessions on a Palestinian state, with the world forgetting what Syria was doing, this is another example of short-sighted Syrian foreign policy, full of failed excuses. It is rather the case, as some people see it, that the protestors have not won, while the regime and army have not split. However, sooner or later, the regime will be only able to exit this battle defeated, before the determination of a brave people that is demanding the minimum level of dignified human rights. If the Syrian regime manages to play on the contradictions of the Lebanese people and use proxies on the Lebanese scene, this same policy will not succeed with its own people. An example of this is what happened in Lebanon, in the form of killing, liquidation, incitement and the use of armed groups, which Moallem is talking about today. The two leading Arab countries, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, expressed their view that the Syrian regime's violence against its people must stop, but Syrian officials have failed to catch this message. One should ask: How many victims of brave Syrian cities must fall before the bloodbath is stopped and the regime is held to account? The regime wants to ignore the scenes of Hosni Mubarak on trial, believing that such a possibility does not await it, and because it believes it succeeded in Lebanon and can succeed in Syria.
This commentary was published in al-Hayat on 17/08/2011