There is something eerily scary about the Assads; any and all of them are or have been men of extreme violence with an utter disregard for human life or human dignity. Their survival up to this point in terms of leading Syria is an accident of historical proportions. Worse even is the fact that western powers have sidestepped their responsibilities by accommodating and in certain instances protecting the family from any harm.

We have seen this play before. It is a miniaturized performance of the patient diplomacy undertaken by European politicians to yield the rise of Nazi Germany. As a reminder, it resulted in the death of 100 million of their citizens during WWII. Diplomacy if you ask me failed Europe miserably and was a costly proposition.

Take Rifaat al-Assad for example. He is a free men celebrating his violent and bloody past on the beaches of Spain as a result of a secret agreement struck between the west and his brother Hafez (another violent psychopath).

Is it not time to arrest him for crimes against humanity to teach his nephew a lesson of what fate awaits him? Assad Junior is partially on a streak of violence because his uncle is a free man and a living example of the weakness of the political will in certain circles.

Junior thinks the worst that could happen to him is retire under the sun in one European country or another. A prelude to this line of thought was expressed very openly by Assad in the last interview he gave to ABC News when he denied these were his troops that killed or that he gave orders to kill. Bienvenido a Mallorca el Sr. Presidente.

Diplomacy alone, with no military might to back it, accommodates violent men because these men fully understand that diplomacy is the weak link in any chain of events to remove them from power. Even diplomacy backed by political and economic sanctions is not enough because history has demonstrated an outcome with mixed results.

It is harsh to say diplomacy against violent men does not work, but show me one western diplomatic effort that reversed a violent trend and came on top in terms of strategy and results (The Soviet Union collapsed under the weight of its own economy and inefficiencies tipped over by the Reagan administration). It just does not happen. Some efforts do stop the violence temporarily but also lose the war completely.  

If you consider modern times, I would like to bring to your attention the fate of Adolph Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Nicolae Ceausescu, Slobodan Milosevic, Leopoldo Castelli, Saddam Hussein, and Muammar Qaddafi. All were men of violence and their removal required war and brute force.

Erich Honecker of East Germany was the only one removed peacefully by his own peers and not western diplomacy thus averting an onslaught against Leipzig ordered by Honecker.

The worst part is when the west makes the same mistake twice and trice. Considering the replacement of the violent Assad (Diplomacy and sanctions only) with the violent Muslim Brotherhood is the best example I can give to this truth. It is happening not because the west agrees with the MB’s policies or vision for Islam, but because the west fears the MB the way it feared every other men of violence and gave them the latitude to ascend or stay in power.

Fear makes the heart weak and the mind unreasonable.

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