I could not comprehend the Lebanese reactions to the Russian-American deal on Syria. One party thought it was a win, and another thought it was a loss. Superpower countries' calculations are very different to ours, our calculations are as small as the space which we move within. Sometimes, our calculations are even smaller than that.
Both parties failed to notice that President Bashar al-Assad decided to remain in governance in exchange of giving up his chemical arsenal, which his father built up over a course of 40 years to confront Israel. Bashar al-Assad thus relieved the Zionist enemy forever, after he had relieved it a long time ago on the Golan Front.
Did no one notice that the Syrian president killed more Syrians than Israel killed of Arabs during 60 years of violence. Assad committed massacres to the point where he used chemical weapons - which he never used in a confrontation against an enemy - to eradicate his own people. They failed to notice that the Syrian regime has become weak to the point where it sought foreign help.
Assad’s unnoticed departure
Both parties failed to notice that Assad gave up his Arabism and his country’s Arabism and took the path of Iran; thus alienating Syria from its geographic location and giving up his country’s relations with countries surrounding it and all other Arab countries which his father made sure to maintain minimal relations with, even during crises.
A murderous president and a country alienated from its surroundings have no futureNayla Tueni
It was not noticed that the international agreement will not serve the Syrian regime’s interest as much as it serves the interest of two superpowers. The agreement keeps Assad in his post and guarantees a calm transition of power, perhaps akin to the Yemeni way. Such a plan aims to prevent falling in the Iraqi swamp that enabled Iran to greatly interfere in Iraq after disbanding the Iraqi army.
Both parties failed to notice that Israel’s wellbeing is above all others for America and Russia. The Israeli press warned that the fall of the Syrian regime may lead to having the regime’s chemical weapons fall in the hands of uncontrolled fundamental groups or in the hands of Hezbollah. This Israeli fear led to postponing the strike against Syria and the Russian initiative followed.
All concerned parties should know that a murderous president and a country alienated from its surroundings have no future. They better know that the Russian initiative never aimed to protect what is falsely called “the resistance regime.” Those who bet, and continue to bet, on Russia must know that the slogan “Syria’s Assad [will last] forever” will itself not last forever.
This article was first published in Lebanon-based Annahar on September 17, 2013.
Nayla Tueni is one of the few elected female politicians in Lebanon and of the two youngest. She became a member of parliament in 2009 and following the assassination of her father, Gebran, she is currently a member of the board and Deputy General Manager of Lebanon’s leading daily, Annahar. Prior to her political career, Nayla had trained, written in and managed various sections of Annahar, where she currently has a regular column. She can be followed on Twitter @NaylaTueni
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