Monday, June 4, 2012

The Syrian revolution and the Russian disco

Iranians have made progress with their American interlocutors. Indeed, they had official talks recently though it remains unclear what their conversations were centered around or whether they agreed to anything.  It is however safe to say they discussed matters of interest to both countries, and tried to identify some common grounds to help chart the future of their relationship.

The Turkish government took a bold move and expelled the entire Syrian diplomatic corps. In this way, it sent a clear message that it is done with the Assad regime, and it no longer considers it the official representative of the Syrian people. Turkey did not call the Syrian ambassador to complain about the Assad government treatment of the Syrian people. They did not expel the ambassador in protest of the barbaric killing of innocent Syrians at the hands of forces loyal to President Bashar al Assad. Instead, they expelled everyone to make sure that their message is not misunderstood. It is clear that Turkey wants Mr. Assad to know that it is over between them.

Then there were more countries that joined the new ‘Ask the Syrian Ambassador to leave’ trend. A grim day for the Assad presidency, a low point for any ambassador, a stain in Syria’s diplomatic stature. Yet, the president and his entourage remain unfazed. Since their Russian ally has not turned its back on them yet, they still feel empowered and capable to turn things around to their advantage. Russia has raised the tone of its condemning rhetoric but it doesn’t seem willing to call the fatal shot on Assad yet and they might never do.

Then came word that Israel is asking for tougher action against Assad. That might seem odd that the Israeli government would meddle openly and would make a public condemnation like this. It has been quite clear that all Israeli leadership have acted as though they had Assad, father and son, under control. On many occasions it was apparent that they prefer them in power instead of the Islamists. Plus Israel has had a good deal of secret (and maybe not so secret) talks with Syria through Turkey over the Golan Heights and more. It is also believed that many agreements had been reached over time between the two countries but they never made it to light due to events beyond their control that took place and changed the course of history.

The Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov recently described the situation in Syria as a dance. But, he explained that, unlike Tango where it takes two to perform, this is more like a disco and “several dozens are taking part.”

Syria is far from a dance; it’s a grim and violent reality that has claimed thousands of lives so far. In the face of an unrelenting revolution and failing diplomacy lies an unbearable amount of massacres claiming hundreds of innocent lives daily.

With neighbors such as Israel, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia among others playing roles in the conflict, the situation might look much more chaotic and mad before it adjusts and becomes sane.

Considering all the dangers and concerns looming in the horizon, when things calm down after the storm, will we find Syria still ruled by the Baath but have a different president at its helm? Not an unlikely scenario.


Keep the conversation going...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is hard to understand how the world allows Assad to murder the people of Syria. President Obama needs to be more forceful about speaking out against Assad. It feels like Hitler redux with so many people dying in Syria and such dawdling on the world stage to give Assad the boot. Excellent effort to bring attention to the damage Assad is doing to humanity in Syria.

June 6, 2012 at 3:51 PM  

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