Syria: to each their own tyrant

Octavia Nasr
Octavia Nasr
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Alarm bells ringing all over Syria and Bashar al-Assad is turning a deaf ear. Many tales, from mythology to historic facts and regional realities, remind us of the position Assad has cornered himself in. None of them are hopeful for a man who spent three years pretending he is in control, not once pausing in sorrow or remorse over what has befell his pretend empire. Not once did he mourn the loss of life and the suffering of his own subjects without pointing the blame on “terrorism,” ignoring the fact that the buck stops with him as the supposedly "supreme" leader.

For the innocent, non-affiliated victims of the vicious circle of hate, two things remain, prayer and foreign intervention.

Octavia Nasr

As recently as Sunday, he told a U.S. media outlet that he “will retaliate if hit” by the U.S. The man unable to control his own territory even with help and support from China, Iran, Russia and Hezbollah, “will retaliate!” One can only wonder if this means a threat -- following the footsteps of other cornered dictators before him -- to unleash lunacy beyond his borders. History tells us the end for tyrants like him cannot be good in any way, and he probably knows it. His allies must know it too. Otherwise, the frenzy to avert a U.S. strike on Syrian military targets couldn’t have reached a climax in such a short period of time, leading to serious efforts to find an outlet out of the hopeless situation.


Despite deep wounds of bloody thirty months, the Syrian tragedy is now reduced to the U.S. strike. It has become an opportunity for many to practice their politics using the loudspeakers of traditional or alternative media. The result is constant bombardment by opinions, photos, videos, statements and counter-statements, invitation to demonstrations for war, against war, activism and counter activism, propaganda and counter propaganda, but no real plan for action. Even the same events are spun in two directions in support of opposing stances.

Politics aside, opinions and analyses aside, sarcasm aside, gloating aside, war-mongering aside, peace activism aside, one can only hope that we all agree on one thing: any tyrant who allows or contributes to the killing of any people, particularly his own, and make them homeless by the millions, should face justice. Let us hope there exists a world conscience that can be moved by the already unbearable bloodshed to save the rest of the lives.

These thoughts are not new to some of us. I had similar thoughts as a young woman waiting for my turn to perish in one of the bombs or bullets of tyranny: Syrian, Israeli, Palestinian, Lebanese Army, Lebanese militias of all colors. We have tasted them all in Lebanon at different times.

For the innocent, non-affiliated victims of the vicious circle of hate, two things remain, prayer and foreign intervention. You will hear all others shouting, “Long Live...” and to each their tyrant!

This article was first published in Annahar on September 9, 2013.


Multi-award-winning journalist Octavia Nasr served as CNN’s senior editor of Middle Eastern affairs, and is regarded as one of the pioneers of the use of social media in traditional media. She moved to CNN in 1990, but was dismissed in 2010 after tweeting her sorrow at the death of Hezbollah’s Mohammed Fadlallah. Nasr now runs her own firm, Bridges Media Consulting, whose main aim is to help companies better leverage the use of social networks.

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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