Is Bashar al-Assad living on borrowed time?

There are reports of a deal being cooked up for the “salvation” of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. Russia or rather Putin, the protector of Assad, wants an exceptional price in exchange for giving up and agreeing to his departure.

It is a political trade par excellence. Even Bashar Al-Assad himself cannot believe the hue and cry that is going on about his survival or departure.

As it is well known, Assad was not the first choice of his father to be the president of Syria. His brother, Basil, was the favorite for that position, and he was prepared and reformed politically and militarily in the media but died in mysterious circumstances, which was later described as death by car accident in the early hours of the morning.

Obviously, the second son, Bashar, was forced to cut short his study of medicine and was promoted militarily and the constitution was amended for him to take over after the death of his father.

Today, Bashar Al-Assad is on sale and Putin’s “price” is being discussed. The price will be for Putin alone because Iran is out of the equation. He is the only one who has the task of protecting the Assad regime, while Iran and its mercenaries such as Hezbollah are only dirty tools in the negotiations.

Putin finds in Syria an opportunity to restore the role and influence of Russia, which was absent in the Arab region in particular and the world in general, following its crucial role during the Cold War

Hussein Shobokshi

Russian influence

Putin finds in Syria an opportunity to restore the role and influence of Russia, which was absent in the Arab region in particular and the world in general, following its crucial role during the Cold War. Russia is not Iran or Hezbollah that defends Bashar Al-Assad for abhorrent sectarian reasons, which completely blind them from the crimes and the bloodshed by the regime.

Trump believes that he will not be allowed to repeat the mistakes of his predecessor by keeping a criminal in power, a criminal who destroys his people with chemical weapons. He also considers the use of the chemical weapon by Assad against his people as a powerful slap directed at him because Assad defies the international community and the American leadership as well.

Assad is of the belief that Trump has no red lines as far as his own regime is concerned and like Obama administration, he is “not interested in his departure.”

Supporting a criminal

But that is not so. Trump is quite aware that Bashar Al-Assad is a criminal and knows he will not hesitate to do anything crazy. Trump does not want this to happen during his tenure, which will give an impression that he supported a criminal who destroys his people with all the arrogance.

Now he is piling up pressure on Putin, who has to choose between staying with the humanitarian community and civilized countries or support the scum of countries and militias and supply them with weapons.

Bashar Al-Assad is neither Abraham Lincoln nor Martin Luther or Gandhi. He is a criminal who inherited the rule from his father and destroyed his people and he is being “priced” in the market to complete the deal at the right price for the Russian to get rid of him. He has not learned his lessons from history and thus he is expected to a very humiliating retreat.

The last few days sale is on from the merchants of Damascus for their goods to be offered for a suitable price on Bashar Al-Assad, with his “mentor” Putin negotiating the final price for the deal! The wait is long and the price is expensive but Bashar Al-Assad has no place in a respectable or semi-respectable world.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on April 24, 2017.
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(Hussein Shobokshi is a Businessman and prominent columnist. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al Takreer on Al Arabiya, and in 1995, he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his B.A. in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa. His twitter handle is @husseinshoboksh.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:49 - GMT 06:49
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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