Al Assad's Speech: Mere Rhetoric and Futile Rumination
*By: Elias Bejjani

April 02/2011

One wonders when the Arab countries, the Western Free World and, in particular, the Obama administration will wake up and start to recognize once and for all that Al Assad's Syrian Baathist regime is an oppressive, police dictatorship, and a stone age remnant that cannot be changed, modified or reformed whatever the circumstances or foreign or internal pressures.

All European, Arabic and American self-deceptive hopes that President Bachar Al Assad and his ruling family will adopt and implement acceptable democratic, social, financial, judicial and human rights' reforms are merely delusional, or in the best scenario a sort of day dreaming.

Al Assad can't implement any positive changes even if he genuinely endeavors to do so, because if he takes this fatal risk his regime will collapse as was the situation with the Soviet Union during its last years in power before it crumbled and fell totally from within.

It is worth mentioning that President Bachar Al Assad had inherited the Syrian presidency post after his father's (Hafez Assad) death on June 10, 2000. Hafez Al Assad ruled Syria with an iron and bloody fist from March 12, 1971 till his death on June 10, 2000.

Al Assad's Syrian regime was erected via a serious of bloody military coups and has from day one been governing under the state of emergency law, breeding terrorist groups, brutally eliminating all forms of opposition, suffocating the Syrian people, holding them hostages, and like a vampire, surviving on their blood.

The Al Assad family with its handpicked, subservient officials in the military, judiciary, civil government, private institutions and educational bodies rule Syria through the Baathist Party which in reality is a mere camouflaging cover, while the parliament (Majlis As-Shaab), as well as the cabinet are directly or indirectly appointed by Al Assad personally.

In this context of unrestrained dictatorship, the Syrian parliament and cabinet have no actual power, influence or a say in any matters. Both bodies are completely toothless, helpless and marginal, and follow verbatim all Al Assad's orders and directions without question. This sad reality simply means that changing the government or the parliament in Syria would have no tangible effect whatsoever as long as Al Assad's regime remains intact.

On Wednesday March 30/2011, President Al Assad made his long-awaited speech to supposedly address the massive civil protests and demonstrations that broke out all over the country on March 16/2011, and which subsequently have been increasing on a daily basis. The Syrian military relentlessly and ruthlessly attacked the demonstrators killing over 200, badly injuring more than 1000 and arbitrarily detaining thousands.

Sadly, Al Assad's theatrical and deceitful speech offered mere vague and false promises to introduce reform, fight corruption and secure more freedoms. He did not lift or abolish the state of emergency law, as was anticipated, although this military tool of oppression and humiliation has been in place since his father became a president in 1971. He instead spoke of a new committee that will be designated to look into alternative anti-terrorism laws with no time frame or specific guidelines.

He electively and deviously ignored his peoples' dire hardships, poverty, loud demands for freedom, democracy and jobs, and did not focus on ways or means to devise effective solutions and remedies. In a deceptive, emotional tone he strongly accused foreign powers and countries of being behind the demonstrations, and threatened to punish them, claiming that his wise and patriotic policies have been defeating all those foreign enemies who were trying to attack Syria and put an end to its resistance against Israel and the imperialistic schemes.

What unfortunately helps Al Assad's regime against all odds to remain in power despite all its horrible ongoing atrocities inside and outside Syria rests in the paradox that most of the Arab countries, Europe, Israel and the USA fear the Islamic alternatives and the prospects of chaos in Syria and her neighboring countries. Although these same countries know very well that this regime is the number one in the whole world in breeding, training, using, hosting, and exporting all kinds of terrorist and Islamic groups, including Hamas, Al-Qaida, Hezbollah, Fateh Al Eslam, Jund Al Islam, Fateh al entefada and many others.

The imagined fears, hesitations, wrong calculations and anxieties that these countries envisage and anticipate in case Al Assad's regime falls are not realistic or even substantiated because in reality there would not be a worse, more terrorist and anti-peace regime than this existing one. Definitely, there isn't one country or a free Syrian citizen that has been fooled by Al Assad's sacking of his government or believed any of his rhetorical promises of reform, judiciary inquiries and freedom.

In conclusion, Al Assad's regime cannot change itself and, on the contrary, it will only worsen as time goes on. We call on the Western and Arabic countries not to help Al Assad hold on to power against the will of the Syrian people, but instead they must cease all their appeasing and cajoling maneuvers towards his regime and start to seriously support the Syrians to freely choose their own regime and rulers.

Meanwhile, the Free World countries ethically and morally ought to pressure Al Assad to mind his own business, stop his country's blatant interferences in Lebanon's internal affairs, bring an end to all shipments of Iranian weapons to Hezbollah, Hamas and other terrorist organizations, free all Lebanese detainees, engage seriously in the Arabic-Israeli peace process, halt developing Syria's clandestine nuclear capability, and stop all Syria's atrocities and terrorist activities in all her neighboring countries.

*Elias Bejjani
*Canadian-Lebanese Human Rights activist, journalist and political commentator
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