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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Assad's candidacy is bad for everyone, including himself

Bygone days when Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad announced his candidacy for a third presidential term, I remembered a passage from the play Waiting for Godot, Samuel Beckett. This classic theater of the absurd, whose plot is intentionally any relevant fact, is highly repetitive and symbolizes the tedium and meaninglessness of human life. In one passage, Tarragon, one of the two tramps waiting in vain for Godot says: "Can not be worse ' The review is completed by Vladimir response, another tramp, who responds: "That's what you think." The impression that there is a touch of the absurd in the Syrian situation was reinforced a few days ago when the official media in Tehran reported that the Islamic Republic plans to send "providers" to ensure "freedom and regularity of the election of Syria "next June. De Min, Kafkaesque sounds that Iranian mullahs are the guarantors of free elections in Syria. It is like putting the cat in the care of the canary. Syria's civil war is a tragic play that already has become everything that could become before the curtain rises. The Syrian conflict began more than three years ago because a segment of the population was simply tired of decades of arrogant and despotic power of the Assad clan and their corrupt partners. With the passage of a few months, the initial complaints of the protesters from the city of Deraa found a surprisingly deep resonance in most cities and towns in the country. To be fair, Bashar was certainly not responsible for all that had gone wrong in Syria since the country came under the rule of successive administrations Baath Party headed by his father, the late Al-Assad Haffez.Indeed, it is even may Bashar, an indecisive weakling, may well have been a mere puppet of a gang that operates in the shadows of the party. Within a few weeks of the uprising in Deraa, however called off Bashar became the unifying theme of a popular uprising that brought together a wide variety of many different groups with different political ideologies and aspirations. In 2013, demand that Bashar must go became the only point at which almost everyone, including many within the Assad regime, seemed to agree. At one point, a diplomatic initiative involving senior officials in Damascus and the administration of President Barack Obama in Washington abroqueló around the idea that Bashar had to step aside to allow the formation of a coalition government and transition. The euphemism "step aside" was chosen instead of "resign" to reassure the Russians who opposed regime change in Syria. The phrase "Bashar must go" became the focus of all diplomatic efforts, starting with the desperate mission to Kofi Annan and Lakhdar Brahimi, but ultimately none of that happened. The first Geneva agreement approved by Washington and Moscow was based on the output of Bashar. That would have paved the way to a more or less peaceful transition. It would have allowed the Syrian government structures remained largely intact, avoiding systemic collapse. The Baath Party and its allies had been able to maintain a share of power in a new national agreement, with the support of the majority of Syrians, and guaranteed by the great powers through the United Nations. At the same time, recognizing the commitment as an effective means of conflict resolution, it would have pulled the rug on both sides whose vision of politics was based on repression and violence. Perhaps more importantly, the commitment would have saved the ordeal Syrian caused by broken families, clans and communities, while the domestication of sectarian hatred that was hiding under the carpet for centuries could have been controlled. Yet nothing that happened.Perhaps encouraged by hard line segments from Tehran, Damascus clique decided not only reject power sharing in a future coalition government, but also to humiliate the opposition Bashar keeping in office. As I write these lines, the Iranian official media provide that Bashar will be reelected with "even bigger majority" that won last time when he won by 97% of the vote. This could mean a victory by 100% in June, and repeating the feat remembered Saddam Hussein in his time as head of Iraq. The Syrian uprising started because in 2011 when the status quo is unsustainable around. Three years of conflict have created a new situation even more unstable. In both cases, the status quo was, rightly or wrongly, symbolized by Assad. Therefore, if your departure was necessary to change in 2011, is an even greater need today. The decision to run for a new presidential term Bashar, buries the option of a change within the regime. The issue now is the change of regime. This can happen in two ways. Either because the Assad clique is successful in crushing the opposition, which in my view can not fully achieve for many years; or opposition grouped and re-armed begins a new round on his way to the conquest of Damascus, which, despite the odds, I do not think we currently possible. The third option would be the transformation of Syria into a mosaic of ungoverned territories, part of which would be controlled by the Assad clique. Assad's candidacy is bad news not only for Syria but for the Baas own, also to Iran and Russia will have to continue to fund an extended outlook victory without conflict . Thus, Tehran and Moscow will be paying for a lover who becomes more demanding and more expensive every day. Finally, Bashar's candidacy may even be detrimental to the Assad himself. An agreement to take a "step back" would be a good deal for him and his last option would set even maneuver to safeguard their safety and that of your family.

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