US Rapprochement with Syria:  The Bad, The Immoral, and The Wrong – Part One

Assad Has Yet to Pay for Assassinating Rafik Hariri
International Law: The Sword of Damocles of Tyrannical Regimes
Syrian survival strategy
  • Assad Lives to Survive and Extort. Syrians are Just his Trade Tools.
  • As the West Obsesses over Iran, Syria is Slipping Through the Cracks to Exponentially Increase Iran’s Power Base. Assad, with Iranian Duplicity, is Pulling the Biggest Deception against the West.
  • Imprudent US and Saudi Rapprochement with Assad Are Empowering a Violent Terror Master Whose Intentions are Sinister.
  • Finality of US Concessions are Difficult to Reverse, the Words and Actions of Assad, the Dictator, are Easy to Reverse.
  • An African-American President, Born during the Height of Apartheid in South Africa, is Today Facilitating a Syrian Apartheid against the Syrian People.

Washington – July 18, 2009 (Farid Ghadry) – When president Obama announced the return of a US Ambassador to Syria, reports surfaced the US State Department was caught off-guard by the announcement having had no say in the decision. This one example demonstrates clearly that the White House is racing towards normalizing its relations with the Assad regime, fully unaware of the landmines planted in its path.

All the facts about Assad’s violent actions in neighboring Lebanon, Iraq, and Israel are well documented. The sanctions hammered by President Bush against Damascus were starting to yield the expected results as witnessed by a frantic Assad begging the Europeans in 2006 and 2007 to visit Syria (Unlike Iraq’s oil economy, Syria’s agrarian economy could not withstand persistent sanctions). Then, in April of 2007, Rep. Nancy Pelosi sealed Assad’s fate by paying him a controversial visit during a time when Assad’s killing machine in Iraq was in full swing and remained lethal long after Pelosi left Damascus.

Today, President Obama continues on the path of better relations with Assad but also on a path of more oppression against the Syrian people in what appears to be a selfless act but with the most unintended sinister consequences for our people.

The Deception

Slowly, the Syrian regime, with its newly found energy, is compromising an inattentive Obama administration in policies of doom. Under the virtue of peace, Assad has launched a campaign of deception guaranteed, beyond the survival of the regime, to expand the Syrian-Iranian hegemony at the expense of US interests in the region. While everyone is obsessed over Iran, Assad, with Iranian duplicity, is cementing their power base.

First and foremost, Assad will never give-up on Lebanon, in a slave/master sense of the word. His father left him the country on a silver platter and he intends to physically return triumphantly, at the right time. This is his legacy. Anyone who trusts Assad has but an interest to simply influencing Lebanese politics is using the wrong assumption, which inevitably leads to faulty analysis and improper conclusions. Very few people know that his tribal religious chiefs called the Mullah Council of the Alawite Sect (Al-Majlis al-Mulli lil-Taefah al-Alwayieh) are watching this cub closely and his boots in Lebanon where his father was, not lifting of US sanctions, are their Litmus test.

The temporary reprieve, coming in the form of a loss in Lebanese elections, an act that Syria, with an eager Hezbollah, can destroy in days, has given the US and Saudi Arabia hope Assad is a changed man. In return, both countries have been working hard to welcome him back in their circles. In fact, Saudi Arabia is paying for the gas deal Assad struck with Azerbaijan recently.

Second, Assad wants the Golan Heights from Israel for two reasons, none of them for the peace so touted by his regime and supported by the Obama administration.

  1. With the Golan, Assad can point a gun at Israel anytime he feels threatened the way he helped drop rockets at Sderot using Hamas. This is no longer about survival but about guarantees the same episode of US sanctions won’t repeat itself again. Of course, with his foot in the Golan, Assad perpetuates his rule of oppression against the Syrian people for generations to come.
  2. Gaining back the Golan, while still resisting Israel, will turn him into modern day Salah Eddine al-Ayoubi. A clear victory against Israel, handed by Israel. For Assad, the road to Lebanon and beyond to all Arabs goes through the Golan Heights the way Ayoubi’s went through Jerusalem.

Finality vs. Flexibility

In law, the strike of a gavel provides an indisputable finality. Unlike the words uttered by politicians that could conveniently change. So, if the Hariri Tribunal decides, hypothetically and based on political expediency, Assad is not responsible for killing Rafik Hariri on February 14, 2005, it cannot reverse that decision onward.

Similarly, if sanctions are lifted against Syria, they cannot be re-instated so easily. The public will question the wisdom of the act in the first place and ask: Why did you trust Assad? Faith in the Obama administration will dissipate something Assad is relying upon to insure that no sanctions are ever slapped against Syria again. Nonetheless, the Obama administration is recklessly heading towards thawing of relations with the Assad ruthless regime based totally on trust and irreversible acts. When proven wrong, the administration will be helpless in pressuring him having assisted in the gavel’s finality.

On the other hand, if Baschar al-Assad of Syria makes promises, early on supported by real action, it will be rather easy for him to recalibrate and recoil as the need arises. Re-enter Lebanon? For certain. After the US exits Iraq, who will stop him? Not another UN Resolution for sure. Threatening Iraq and Israel? Hezbollah, Hamas, and many of the terrorist organizations still in Damascus would like nothing better. Getting his hand on a nuclear bomb? He may have already courtesy of Saudi money (Unbeknown to them) and a parting gift to the west by another ailing dictator. Even if Assad deceives the world that he has distanced himself from all the past activities, re-starting those relations are a phone call away. Mashaal can as easily be invited back to Damascus.

So how do you trust a violent dictator whose actions can be reversed against the finality of reciprocal actions by the US and Saudi Arabia, including the billions paid by King Abdullah to his regime? This is where one-sided failure can have the deepest of impact on the region. Syria and Iran will come out twice as strong and possibly armed with a nuclear arsenal courtesy of North Korea. Incidentally, Assad’s nuclear bomb can easily be shipped in a North Korean crate the size of a dog cage. So much for the inspections going on at this time.

How could the US and France trust a man who considers himself above the law? The price the region will pay for today’s political expediency will foment more Islamic extremism because collective fascism is emerging in the Arab world in the form of Arab absolutism (e.g. Abu Ghraib’s condemnation by Arab media when the whole Arab region is one big Abu Ghraib). Even signing an agreement with Assad, governed by laws, is a hazardous premise given his total disregard for Syrian law, International law, and the many UN Resolutions passed to curb his violent tendencies and illegal activities in support of terrorism.

Expediency or Investment

Assad will always sit on the fence able and ready to jump either way to extort as much as possible from as many as he can. Trusting an unprincipled man may be politically convenient for the moment but is a highly risky proposition in the long run. Presuming he will abandon Hezbollah or Hamas just because western policy makers would like it to happen is absurd. For the west, diplomacy is a potent tool, a crown jewel of its own civilization. For Assad, diplomacy is a convenience to be abused at will. Ask the Israelis who live in the neighborhood.

What is most amazing about the new openness to Assad is the lack of reaction by Iran. Has Ahmadinajead given-up on Hezbollah or is this, as we claim it to be, part of a well organized deception? Will the Iranians let Hezbollah’s fate become a football between the trios: The US, Israel, and Syria? More importantly, if Assad was real serious about peeling from Iran’s camp of terror, why Iran is not setting off bombs in Damascus by now as a warning sign? If Assad was serious about abandoning Hezbollah, Iran would be planning for regime change in Syria. In our opinion, this is going to be the biggest diplomatic blunder of the Obama administration: How Syria and Iran managed wider hegemony in the region because the west believed Assad can be trusted.

The Obama administration should be spending its political credit not in support of a minority rule oppressing the majority of Syrians. How is that different from supporting Apartheid in South Africa? Ironically, an African-American president, born during the height of Apartheid in South Africa, is today facilitating a Syrian Apartheid against the Syrian people. If the President is serious about extending a hand of friendship to Muslims, short-term US interests are not better served if he turns a blind eye to similar oppression his own people faced in South Africa. Investing in the Syrian street by demanding that the Assad regime relinquishes power the way the world demanded from white South Africans to relinquish it is the right moral policy. We need vision more than ever in our history today.

Mr. President, if you really want to reach out to Muslims, do not support their oppressors.

— End of Part One


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