In one of the towns near the Syrian city of Hamah, the residents sent SOS messages to save them from the diseases that could be caused by the unattended corpses scattered along the streets. The bodies were filling the streets while the regular army, which is besieging the town with more than 100 armored vehicles, prevented the residents from moving these bodies to bury. In Duma, doctors called for an international intervention to examine the medical conditions, as they suspected the appearance of serious epidemics due to the dead bodies left on the streets and the continued shelling that forced many people to leave their town.
These daily cases, most of which are filmed and documented, increase pressure not on President Bashar Assad, whose only concern, as he told a Turkish newspaper, was that these horrible pictures put on the Internet might affect his three sons; but on the governments and the social powers in the region. The Arab people are appalled by the very fact that the Syrian people have been crying for help for more than a year and a half without anyone coming to their aid.
Whoever is acquainted with the general atmosphere in the region will realize where the winds are blowing: An overwhelming popular anger. All want to intervene but nothing has been done. It is certain that under this despair and the growing frustration spilling over the entire region, people will not remain hamstrung because of the weakness of the Arab governments. What adds to the frustration is the continuation of the Arab League to cover up for the crimes of the Assad regime. The league has not done anything more than asking for the stoppage of the transmission of the TV space channels that support Assad. Even this trivial request was not implemented.
The Assad regime is eroding from inside. There is much evidence that indicates this, but until we reach the collapse point, probably by the end of this year, the attitudes of the Arab governments will have been decayed. People are fed up and hateful of these weak attitudes. These governments may tomorrow find themselves besieged by extremist groups who may ride the current of the popular hatred against them.
The ordinary Arab citizen does not understand the international law, but he feels that the genocide against the Syrian people is not a matter to keep silent. A year and a half of killing, destruction and genocide is enough reason for intervention, and international law should not prevent this. It is not understandable that 20 Arab countries keep silent just because Russia and China would use their veto to stop any intervention to save the Syrian people. It is also not understandable that the majority of the Arab League members would yield to the few Arab governments including Algeria, Mauritania, Sudan and Iraq who are against direct foreign military intervention in Syria. The Arab League secretary general should not deceive us by using the seventh article of the U.N. charter to mean items in the article other than the use of military force. Whatever the secretary general had so far said was mere linguistic deception, which succeeded in giving Assad more time to kill his people. Thanks to him and to the UN delegates, Assad had enough time to spill more blood from his unarmed people.
We should not forget that Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari a few days ago said that elements from al-Qaeda had crossed the Iraq border to Syria. It is obvious that the minister was forced to make this funny statement because al-Qaeda does not need to move to Syria; it is already there. It seems that Zebari was forced by his government, which is supporting Assad, to make this statement as a punishment for a statement he had earlier made, describing what was happening in Syria as crimes being committed by the regime against unarmed civilians.
Inside Syria, the war is continuing. The killings have reached the merchants, who closed down their shops in response to a call by the freedom fighters for a general strike. The genocide has extended to mourners.
The forces of the regime would not hesitate to kill anyone who joins a funeral procession. The stars and sportsmen of the society are not spared. The Assad forces publicly shot and killed soccer player Hussam Abu Ali, who played for al-Nawaeer club. In protest to this heinous crime, some players in the national lineup, such as Firas al-Khateem, refused to play for the country.
The regime is being besieged. It is being abandoned by a number of its military leaders, sportsmen and the cream of the society. The anti-demonstrations are on the rise despite reprisals. Last Friday, 46 demonstrations were organized in Damascus alone.
For all these reasons, supporting the Syrian people will achieve an important goal. This goal is not bringing down the regime, because this is a certain fact, but doing this quickly and therefore reducing the time of suffering and bloodshed.
The writer is the General Manager of Al Arabiya. The article was published in the Saudi-based Arab News on July 9, 2012