Bashar al-Asad Must Go

2012-06-13 20:42

The monstrous and odious crimes being perpetrated by Assad’s forces against innocent human beings is a crime against humanity and invariably to be condemned in the strongest possible terms.

Bashar al-Asad just like his, equally, brutal late father Hafiz al-Asad reduced Syria from a productive country into a land of death, suffering, sorrow, poverty and misery. This Alawite Shia dynasty enslaved its citizens by maintaining a permanent state of emergency, destroyed institutions, imposed restriction on academics, scholars, the press and is regarded as one of the most brutal and barbaric regimes in the Muslim world.

The so-called Arab Spring of which the Syrian unrest is part of is far more complex, polarised and is not as straight forward as one may think. It has many interrelated parts and is not simply a rebellion by unhappy citizens against a dictator who oppresses and subjugates them. It is about power and control between rival and religious groups and it is further sandwiched between the governments of the United States of America and Russia.

Bashar government’s support for Hezbollah and his links with Iran, coupled with, his opposition to Israel’s (illegal) occupation of the Golan Heights which is an important source of Israel’s water needs, the growing power of Iran and the urge by Israel to strike Iranian nuclear facilities are some of the factors that also need to be taken into account in order to understand the multifaceted problem.

The Syrian imbroglio is definitely and urgently in need of an amicable solution but one that has to be mediated through a multilateral United Nations (UN). Humanitarian conditions and mass suffering have deteriorated to unprecedented levels and therefore it is vital that the international community adopt whatever lawful measures are needed to end the mayhem in Syria.

In this regard the plea made by the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius that the United Nations Security Council must make UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan’s Syria ceasefire plan mandatory should be supported by members of the UN. (News24, June 13).

What we don’t need is a foreign government inspired regime change or resolution but a genuine solution that sees a life of dignity for all and Bashar al-Asad stepping down from power willingly and thereby prevent a bloodbath that inexorably accompanies a military course of regime change.

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