An ugly, despotic system of government survives because it has enough support internationally to continue ruling. Such is the case of the Assad regime, which extrapolate its survival from key countries in the region and abroad.
The US is key to defeating Assad, starting with a willing President, a more conditioned CIA, and a majority Congressional support. I am not talking Iraq all over again but by other means less painful to the Syrian and the American public; means that if acted upon will usher the start of a new era in Syria capable of lifting the country from the Assad destructive slumber.
It’s not enough to defeat Obama in this case even though yesterday’s landslide loss is a referendum on his policies ”“ and I believe on his personae as well – and is an indicator of things to come in 2012. We must, when the Mullahs of Iran are defeated and Ahmadinajead retires for good to the beaches of Venezuela, lobby Congress and most importantly convince the CIA that it’s time to find a reasonable alternative to a regime whose dangerous path and use of terror could unleash anytime and for any reason.
The new foreign policy imperative the White House should embrace in the future must not include the survival of any violent Arab dictators who fuel terror to retain power as an excuse to help the west with the problem. Oppression cannot but yield violence, by either the oppressed to usher freedom or the oppressors to squash the oppressed. Of course, in the case of Assad, he creates terror to scare the west that his secularism is the answer.
Churchill claimed that the US gets it often wrong in the beginning, but it always gets it right at the end. Since the Mullahs took control of Iran under Jimmy Carter, every US President got it wrong on Syria and Iran. It won’t be long before the next US President gets it right. We just have to wait for the right opportunity and the right time.
Three other countries must also play along.
Since Iran has been the source of power for Assad, the defeat of the Mullahs in the near future will go a long way to limit Assad’s influence in theÂ region. As inventors of Chess, the Iranians are masters at defanging their enemies and controlling their destiny, powers they have extended to Assad.Â Once this Iranian corrupt regimeÂ is replaced by a freedom loving system of government, Assad will discover his dwarfism.
France has chosen, even at the height of the US pressure against the Assad regime, to sidestep its responsibility for two reasons. France is a proud country and will do everything possible to show that it does not cow tow US foreign policy and France promotes its secular ideology whenever possible. But if a US president is determined enough, eventually, France will see its interests protected in a secular democracy instead of a secular ultra-violent autocracy, and France can be convinced that Assad must go.
There is much Israel can do to promote the defeat of Assad. Israel’s priorities today are Iran and its nuclear ambitions, which play well into the hands of the Syrian opposition because the defeat of the Mullahs means we are closer to defeating Assad. But in Israel’s democracy, there are those who still believe that Assad can be useful, if the right policies are adopted, to control violence and Islamism.
It is the same group of politicians who believed that exiting Gaza and Lebanon will advance the cause of peace for Israel. Needless to say that even though this peaceful group is becoming an endangered species, it still controls powerful institutions in Israel like the IDF. But skepticism is growing amongst this group and the notion that Assad is keeping the Golan securely safe for Israel, as his father once promised the Israelis, no longer plays the role it used to. Institutions like the Mossad are arguing: What is the use of keeping the Golan safe if Assad delivers his punches through Hezbollah and Hamas?
Iran, to its credit, is allowing Assad to control both terror groups for now and will only unleash them if attacked. Nonetheless, Israel is starting to see clearly the Assad regime for what it truly is and many, after both wars against Hezbollah and Hamas, have come to the conclusion that if the rattle snakes’ head is removed (e.g. Iran) and its noisy tail (e.g. Assad), the body (e.g. H & H) will die out rather quickly.Â A safe Israel will only exist if Assad is removed. The last 40 years of delusional peaceful Golan is nothing but a distraction to keep hammering the country, here and there and as long as possible through other means. All deals with Assad are but temporary until the next opportunity.