Syrian presidential election is Assad’s last mission

Those following the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's behavior since the revolution aren't surprised that he is holding elections

Khairallah Khairallah
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Those following the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's behavior since the eruption of the revolution aren't surprised that he decided to rerun for the president, especially considering that he's taken it upon himself to destroy Syria.

Perhaps the only thing that slipped Assad's mind was scheduling the elections for June 3 instead of June 5. It would've been better to schedule them for June 5 considering that the date coincides with the 47th anniversary of the Six-Day War during which his father Hafez was Syria's minister of defense.


If June 5 had been the date of the elections, the choice would've been more than felicitous. It would've confirmed that the upcoming presidential elections fall within a clearly defined context. It's the same context the Syrian regime has adopted since before Hafez al-Assad took over authority on November 16, 1970.

A history of interference

Since the beginning, the Syrian regime played a pivotal role in implicating Gamal Abedlnasser in the 1967 War, the repercussions of which Arabs still suffer from, especially because the West Bank and Jerusalem are still occupied along with the Syrian Golan Heights. Its fall into the hands of Israel still remains a mystery.

He who looks into the Syrian regime's path, particularly since the Alawite officers took over authority on February 23, 1966, will realize that this regime has one specific task. It took Arabs to a war with Israel - a war Arabs weren't prepared for.

Khairallah Khairallah

The details of this mystery may only be revealed when the Syrian regime officially falls, now that it belongs in history's bin. However, the Syrian regime has already fallen in way. It fell the day it realized it needed a Lebanese sectarian militia, Shiite Iraqi fighters, Iranian experts and consultants and Russian arms to slaughter its people.

Is there a fall greater than this one for a regime that claims it protects its minorities and calls for secularism while at the same time it shells cities and towns using explosive barrels and incites sectarian tensions because it helps it survive?

He who looks into the Syrian regime's path, particularly since the Alawite officers took over authority on February 23, 1966, will realize that this regime has one specific task. It took Arabs to a war with Israel - a war Arabs weren't prepared for.

Arabs lost the war and realized that the Syrian regime is incapable of neither achieving peace nor engaging in a real battle to restore its occupied land. Even the October 1973 war was a mere means to close the Golan front and focus on destroying Lebanon.

What was requested was destroying Lebanon. The Syrian regime accomplished the task required of it. It armed the Palestinians and Christian militias at the same time, destroying Beirut and every single Lebanese town.

It reached the extent of stationing the Palestinian Liberation Army in Beirut to separate between Muslims and Christians. In the Syrian regime's opinion, this was the task of the Palestinian Liberation Army.

Inciting divisions

The Syrian regime wanted to fight the Camp David Accords and Egypt from Lebanon. The result was destroying whatever it could destroy in Lebanon. It also caused an Israeli invasion of the country - an invasion that brought woes to the small country and to whatever co-existence was left in it especially between Druze and Christians.

However this invasion dispersed Palestinian fighters after they played the role - which according to the Syrian regime's point of view - they were supposed to be playing. The role was to alter the nature of Lebanese areas and demographics as much as possible and to weaken Christian presence. Christians spread across Lebanese areas from north to south was indicator of this presence.

There's no need to engage in the details of the war which the Syrian regime launched against the Palestinians, particularly against their historical leader Yasser Arafat who committed many mistakes, particularly in Lebanon. Arafat committed most of these mistakes because he had to protect his back from the Syrian regime's hostile actions.

There's no need to list the people the Syrian regime assassinated or incited to assassinate all the way to former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and his comrades and the honorable Lebanese who defended independence and sovereignty.

And particularly, there's no need to list the harm Hezbollah has done to Lebanon and to the Lebanese after the Syrian regime bet on it to deepen the sectarian rift in the country and spread misery.

The regime resumes the task assigned to it - from the semi-knockout of the Arabs in 1967 to breaking up Syria to destroying Lebanon through illegitimate arms and to confiscating Palestinian decisions.

He who reruns for the presidential elections is seeking to resume the task of closing all doors towards a solution to save Syria or whatever is left of it - a solution via a committee or an interim government that allows thinking about the country's future.

The irony is that there's a link between the 1967 defeat and the insistence to support the Syrian regime's manslaughter of its people.

Backing from Russia, Iran

The link is Moscow's stance. It was the Soviet Union who dragged Arabs and encouraged them to commit the stupid act of thinking about war in 1967. Back then, Moscow did not do anything to bring the Syrian regime's attention to the threats of military adventures and to help it realize that these adventures will eventually serve Israel's interests and aspirations and will only enhance Israel's negotiating and military positions.

Now in 2014, we see that Russia, which succeeded the Soviet Union, is the most enthusiastic about Bashar al-Assad remaining in power. Is there a crime bigger than that of supporting a regime that does not hesitate to use all available weapons to implement a systematic murder of people and destruction of cities and towns?

It's important to ponder about this irony especially because of Iran supports the Syrian regime in all means possible is more than understandable. And it's no secret that Iran is betting on inciting sectarian instincts to break up the Arab world.
And what about Russia and its insistence that the Syrian regime is legitimate?

Or isn't this the easiest means to eliminate the Syrian entity which has suffered from a deep crisis since day one of its establishment? Will eliminating the entity be the last mission the regime is assigned upon Russian support and Iranian blessing translated on ground via sectarian militias coming from Lebanon, Iraq and Iran itself?

This article was first published in al-Mustaqbal on April 24, 2013.

Khairallah Khairallah is a Lebanese writer who has previously worked at Lebanon’s Annahar newspaper, he then moved to London and began writing political columns in Arabic language newspapers, including Al-Mustaqbal and Rosa El-Youssef.

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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