ملخص أحداث الثورة السورية الثلاثاء، ٢٤ أيار/مايو ٢٠١١
Syrian Revolution News Round-up
Day 71: Tuesday, 24 May 2011
ملخص أحداث الثورة السورية
اليوم ٧١: الثلاثاء، ٢٤ أيار/مايو ٢٠١١
Could the U.S. waste another historic opportunity in the Middle East! Over the last few weeks, protesters have increasingly adopted an anti-Iranian and anti-Hizbollah line, the question is why western leaders are ignoring the opportunity at hand?
Human rights group in Syria put the official death toll at 1,100. The list includes the names of 25 children and teenagers. Groups also noted that the number of those detained since the revolution started is in excess of 10,000.
The Turkish city of Antioch received 30 wounded protesters from Idlib Governorate who came seeking treatment at the local hospitals, in order to avoid getting arrested should they seek treatment in Syrian hospitals.
Two points U.S. and European policymakers need to understand: the reason why army general and members of the commercial elites in Damascus and Aleppo have so far stood by the regime is connected in great part to the fact that the entire community continues to treat Bashar Al-Assad as the legitimate ruler of Syria, even as they impose sanctions on him. To the necessarily paranoid minds of our generals and merchants, whose suspicion of American and European policymakers run pretty deep to begin with, this reluctance on part of the international community, nay, the insistence by world leaders on avoiding making direct appeals for Assad’s departure of ouster, indicates that the only thing these leaders are interested in is pulling Syria out of its alliance with Iran while preserving Assad rule to keep the Golan front quiet. As such, there is simply no serious incentive for these people to break ranks. They clearly believe that, without international support, the protesters cannot accomplish the job of regime change on their own, even if things turned violent.
Meanwhile, by burning the Iranian, Chinese and Russian flags, chanting against Hezbollah, praising Turkey (a NATO ally) and appealing for UN, U.S. and European support, the protesters are in a sense rejecting the foreign policies of the Assads and sending a clear message to the international community as to the nature or the geopolitical realignment that will take place once the Assads are gone. The troubling alliance will surely come to an end, and Iran’s regional influence will be severely weakened.
This being the case, the reluctance of world leaders to endorse the Syrian Revolution, call for Asasd’s ouster and embarking on a serious effort meant to facilitate transition in the country is mind-boggling. Here is an opportunity to transform Syria, the main Arab center of anti-Western sentiments for over 5 decades, into a potential ally, and what are Western leaders doing? They’re hedging their bet on their avowed enemy. Go figure!
Whatever the case may be, one thing clear, like all historic opportunities in the Middle East, this one comes with an expiration date. But rather than worry about figuring how long we have before the expiration date is upon us, it’s better to focus on not wasting the opportunity. It’s time world leaders called on Assad to go.