Hazem Saghiyeh

Is it a massacre or politics?

The Syrian people did all they could in order to request some kind of intervention. They even held one of their Friday protests under this slogan and called for an “immediate” intervention.

However, this does not seem to be an option for the world at the present time. The latest Security Council presidential statement indicated a shift in the US-European stance, which is almost greater than the Russian shift in the opposite camp, which was the object of focus among media outlets that support the Syrian revolution. It seems that support for joint UN-Arab League Envoy on Syria Kofi Annan’s plan is the international order of the day. The meeting held in Korea between US President Barack Obama and Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan drew a low ceiling for political initiatives followed by the Baghdad Arab Summit, which abided by the same aloofness.

Many reasons underlie this international weakness, including the impending elections in the United States and France and the Western stance – which is strongly favored by Israel – to give precedence to the Iranian issue over the Syrian one. In this respect, Israel is playing a noticeable role, albeit neither in terms of supporting the revolution as the regime says nor in terms of supporting the regime as the revolution says. In fact, according to Israel’s cold and cynical calculation, nothing should ever happen in Syria – whether to this regime or any alternative one – so long as the Syrian-Israeli conflict has not been peacefully resolved.

This leads to a map of stances, and not necessarily harmonious ones. While the Israelis are obsessed today about Iran, they do not necessarily agree with the conclusions of the US geopolitical trend, which gives precedence to weakening Iran through Syria. In contrast, using various introductions, the Israelis agree with the US cultural view, whereby the great “Iran danger” should not gloss over the “danger of militant and radical Islam.”

Anyhow, there is always someone to instigate and activate the US strain pertaining to Al-Qaeda and September 11. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton noticeably mentioned Al-Qaeda and held it responsible for some terrorist acts in Syria before all evidence and indications pointed in that direction.

The Al-Qaeda strain is always mentioned alongside the Iraq strain, as the United States toppled Saddam Hussein only to have Iraq fall, merely a few years later, under the scope of Iran’s influence.

Amidst this maelstrom, one can only count on the heroic resilience of the Syrian people. Yet this resilience is bitter not only because of the abandonment it is facing, but also because of this “innocent” and widespread voice, which is currently rejecting international intervention and armament while the Syrian regime’s slaughter is ongoing.

One protest without gunfire would have been enough to test Assad’s wish to bring about a political solution. Since this did not take place, this means that rejecting both intervention and armament is tantamount to allowing the Syrian people to be slaughtered. This is a massacre, not a political solution!

This article is a translation of the original, which appeared on the NOW Arabic page on Monday April 2, 2012

  • ali daoud

    @ Beiruti, you guys kept saying it`s a matter of weeks and Assad would be toppled, now that you know you were only dreaming, you started to reverse all your reasonning and assumptions. Truth is syria`s enemies tried to topple Bashar, he outsmarted them, he knew his strength and he used his cards very well with all patience in the world. now, let`s think of it this way, if israel`s end goal is to weaken Iran, what is more efficient than toppling Bashar and weakening Hizbullah?!!!! the simple fact and logic is that toppling Bashar would have changed the whole political situation in the Middle East to the benefit of israel and its allies.

    April 2, 2012

  • Beiruti

    Reading Trita Parsi, an Iranian analyst, the last thing the Israelis want is a diplomatic rapproachmente between Iran and the US whereby the Iranian nuclear issue is resolved. Israel needs to keep active the Iranian threat so as to justify itself as a "strategic US ally" with a special diplomatic relationship with the US (read the US Veto in the UNSC). Assuming this, Israel would be opposed to a western military intervention in Syria. According to Middle East chess, the weakening of Assad, means the isolation and increased vulnerability of the Hezbollah missile deterrent. Weakening Hezbollah exposes Iran so that Iran must negotiate. On the other hand, Assad's survival means Hezbollah retains strategic depth; the deterrent remains strong; and Iran will hold out against Western sanctions, making the Israeli argument to resolve the Iranian issue by war, stronger .

    April 2, 2012