Assad has made it simple
The tyrant of Damascus resolved the entire debate, at Arab and international level, and even among some spectra of the Syrian opposition, about the possibility of a diplomatic solution in Syria, when he announced in his speech yesterday that Syria is not in a crisis, and that he is proceeding to fight what he describes as “terrorists”, even if the price is high!
Assad's speech was clear; he does not see a political crisis in Syria but rather a crisis of terrorism, aggression and external funding. Thus, in all simplicity, he is ready to complete his journey of repression and murder, whatever the costs, stating in his speech that “the price may be high…but we will be ready to pay it”. He even wanted the Syrians to be thankful for this, when he said: “When a surgeon in an operating room ... cuts and cleans and amputates, and the wound bleeds, do we say to him your hands are stained with blood? Or do we thank him for saving the patient?”
Thus he vowed to continue with more killing, because he believes everyone rejecting his regime is an enemy funded from abroad, or a terrorist that must be dealt with. Worse still, in his speech Assad pledged that the killing of civilians and military personnel would not go in vain.
Here Assad was sending a message to those, domestically and abroad, who have rebelled against him, or sympathized with the Syrian revolution, namely that they should be prepared for his retaliation.
The most important points to take from what Assad said in his speech yesterday is that there is no political crisis, that he will continue whatever the cost, and that if the situation calms down he will then seek to retaliate.
These messages are very clear and explicit, and they mean that all those who believe that Kofi Annan’s mission can be implemented are either delusional, or seeking to give Assad further opportunities. Likewise, Assad’s speech yesterday means that all those hoping for a political solution in Syria, whether along the lines of the Yemeni initiative with Russian efforts or otherwise are also delusional. The tyrant of Damascus does not see a political crisis in the first place, but rather terrorists that must be rooted out and this means more killings, massacres and other brutal acts.
If there is one good thing to come out of this it is Assad’s genuine contribution to simplifying the process of taking a stand against what is happening in Syria. All those who had hoped for a political solution, whether through Annan’s six-point plan or via Moscow, must now reconsider their positions, and begin to think seriously about how to work to end the suffering of the Syrians now, bring the tyrant of Damascus to justice, and end his despicable era.
In this regard we can consider the importance of Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal’s support for safe areas inside Syria, with Al-Faisal stressing that these must come through the UN Security Council, regardless of the continued state of Russian and Chinese intransigence within. Now it has become necessary to form a coalition of the willing, Arab and internationally, with NATO involvement, to undertake the task of providing protection for the Syrians, and accelerating the collapse of the tyrant’s military institutions.
After Assad’s speech there must be practical stances, including military intervention, because the tyrant of Damascus simplified matters when he said he would continue fighting whatever the price.
The author is editor in chief of Asharq Al-Awsat.