Those in power often reach a state where they think they are more important than authority itself, and thus link the fate of the country and its people to their own. This is what Arab leaders who have been toppled did.
The tragedy is repeated today in Syria as President Bashar al-Assad refuses to step down. Instead of asking an ally to guarantee him and his family safe passage from Syria to pave the way for a settlement that achieves democracy and guarantees pluralism and diversity, he is holding on to power, which he protects by using barrel bombs.
Perhaps Assad realizes that going back to governing the country the way he and his late father Hafez did for the past 40 years is now impossible. He is probably aware that his son will only inherit a bloody history that will prevent him from looking any honorable Syrian in the eye. This history is stained with the blood of innocent people, and characterized by tears and screams.
The Syrian people’s fate will remain trapped between the terrorist regime’s hammer, and the anvil of terrorist groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).Nayla Tueni
Like other rulers, Assad refuses to step down and continues to shed the blood of his citizens, who have lived under his rule and that of his father without daring to speak out against injustice and unilateralism. The regime’s injustice has also affected Lebanon, as many Lebanese have been kidnapped, tortured or killed because they rejected Syrian occupation and tutelage.
The U.N. Security Council agreed last week to embrace a plan for a ceasefire in Syria, and to launch peace talks in early January. However, there are many obstacles preventing implementation. One is Assad’s fate, which is still a controversial matter among global powers.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Assad has lost credibility and the capability to unite Syria. His French counterpart Laurent Fabius agreed, and demanded guarantees for Assad’s departure. Meanwhile, Iran and Russia continue to reiterate their support for Assad under the excuse that his fate should be decided by the Syrian people - as if they respected the Syrian people’s will when they directly intervened to fight alongside his forces.
So how will a process toward a solution be launched at the start of 2016? Perhaps Assad’s future is a reason behind thwarting a solution or at least delaying it. Meanwhile, the Syrian people’s fate will remain trapped between the terrorist regime’s hammer, and the anvil of terrorist groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
This article was first published in an-Nahar on Dec. 25, 2015.
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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