Syria and the world’s responsibility
Iran and Hezbollah have succeeded in sabotaging Syria and turning it into a ruined country that is almost impossible to rebuild
All are negotiating in Geneva without enthusiasm and hope. The regime’s delegation arrived with sole objective of sabotaging the conference that was aimed at ousting President Bashar al-Assad and establishing a transitional governing body.
Negotiations will eventually fail because there is no real pressure exerted on the Damascus government to accept the political solution, and at the same time, there is no military support to defeat the government if it did not accept a solution.
The failure of the international community - and particularly the United States - to deal seriously with the Syrian crisis has turned the country into a hell that threatens to be almost worse than Afghanistan. I have seen countless images of children and young people being trained by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) and Jabhat al-Nusra militant groups in areas under their control; all this, along with thousands of fighters who were recruited by Syrians and foreigners who could not tolerate the terrible injustice in the country. What has triggered all this was the lack of a solution in Syria - giving terrorists the much-needed time and space over the last three years.
Iran and Hezbollah have succeeded in sabotaging Syria and turning it into a ruined country that will be almost impossible to rebuild. They have provoked terrible injustices against the majority of Syrians, who have suffered years of killing, displacement, intimidation and starvation. After all this inequality, are we still surprised to see young people join al-Qaeda?
Those who believe that Syria is just a useless nation because it does not produce oil should be worried. The war-torn country has become a haven for terrorism in the world, and threatens to turn this region and the world into a living hell during the few coming years. The Iranian and Syrian regimes have steered al-Qaeda to sabotage the situation in Syria and threaten the West about the risks of replacing Assad’s regime, and they actually succeeded in that. The result is a devastated country and an international terrorist training camp.
The Geneva negotiations are an important solution for all; they will guide the toppling of Assad and establish a transitional governing body that would include some of the current regime’s institutions along with some of its men who are not involved in the bloodshed of the Syrian people. The negotiations will also provide the protection for the country's minorities and the needed support for the new regime. Without taking advantage of the U.N.-backed Geneva negotiations, the war will linger and chaos will expand to reach Iraq, Lebanon and possibly Turkey.
This article was first published in Asharq al-Awsat on Feb. 14, 2014.
Abdulrahman al-Rashed is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. A veteran and internationally acclaimed journalist, he is a former editor-in-chief of the London-based leading Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat, where he still regularly writes a political column. He has also served as the editor of Asharq al-Awsat’s sister publication, al-Majalla. Throughout his career, Rashed has interviewed several world leaders, with his articles garnering worldwide recognition, and he has successfully led Al Arabiya to the highly regarded, thriving and influential position it is in today.