Home > Middle East, The Politics of War > Beware wishful thinking. Assad isn’t going soon….

Beware wishful thinking. Assad isn’t going soon….

By Robert Fisk 18th April 2013.    Find Article Here:-

The West has an odd habit of assuming dictators we don’t like will simply disappear.

Syrians who settled down to listen to Bashar Assad’s independence day speech two nights ago were sorely disappointed. He didn’t exactly offer blood, sweat and tears. Just more war, and the assurance that he would win. Up to 7,000 prisoners would be released to celebrate Syria’s freedom from French rule 67 years ago – which goes to show how many prisoners are still held in the country’s jails – but Assad wanted to assure his people that this really was a war. As if they didn’t know. It was not sectarian. Foreign news media were portraying a lie: that “a president was holding on to his seat against a population who want him gone, but that is not the case”. France still regarded Syria as its colony. Western nations wanted the Arabs to submit to them. “We saw their humanitarian intervention in Iraq, in Libya, and now we see it in Syria.”

But Assad had a point. London, Paris and Washington love exiles. Into Iraq, we tried to inject the ghastly and wealthy exile Ahmed Chalabi. And we all know how reliable he turned out to be. We pretended that Libya’s freedom fighters were Homeric warriors; and now they control their little Islamist fiefdoms in Benghazi and Tripoli (having done away with the US ambassador), courtesy of Nato air strikes against Gaddafi. If Algeria was not such a loyal ally of Syria, Assad might have pointed out that the French handed their colony over to the Algerian exiles who had largely avoided the war of independence – and who produced the autocratic and vicious state which slaughtered its own people in the Islamist struggle of the 1990s and which remains a corrupt and corrupted regime to this day.

And then we have the Syrian “opposition”, insofar as it exists, with its endless fraternal arguments and juvenile infighting – what on earth does dear leader Khatib think he is doing? Has he resigned or not resigned? – and its alliance with the very same al-Qa’ida groupuscules that are supposed to be the centre of jihadism in Mali. Remember Mali? This was the centre of world terror back in January. Now the centre of world terror is supposed to be in northern Syria – fighting on “our” side against the hated Assad. And we brave Westerners are worried, supposedly, that Bashar’s chemical weapons will fall “into the wrong hands” – being presumably in the “right hands” (Assad’s) now! It makes you wonder who writes the Assad speeches. Can’t they do better than the curmudgeonly interview that Assad gave on Wednesday night?

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