Al Assad’s initiative far from reality

Nation is still at the crossroads and if the current stalemate continues, it is not just Syria that will suffer

by Gulf News
00:00 January 8, 2013

There is not much that can be done in Syria if all the concerned parties continue to live in denial of the ground reality in the country. The situation is dangerous as much as alarming as the conflict may continue for an unspecified period of time. The suffering of the people of Syria should come to an end and the unity of the nation has to be protected from any possible disintegration.

The most recent development in Syria has been extremely disappointing, as Syrian President Bashar Al Assad once again delivered a speech that was limited in content. In his speech on Sunday, Al Assad proposed a new initiative to end the war, as he described the country’s present situation to be in a “state of war”. He further dismissed his opponents and announced his willingness for talks only with those who have not “betrayed” Syria. “We are fighting an external aggression that is more dangerous than any other, because they use us to kill each other. We have terrorists who follow the ideology of Al Qaida. We brothers fight against these people. Most of them are not Syrian ... We will teach them a lesson,” Al Assad said.

The points raised in the speech, as much as the so-called initiative, are ridiculous to say the least. In fact, Al Assad seem to come across as being completely detached from reality or worse — fully knowledgeable of it yet disregarding it.

Syria is still at a dangerous crossroads. It is facing the threat of being completely disintegrated as a nation-state or having the violence continue without an end in sight. Both ways, the repercussions will prove to be grave and costly — mostly for the people of Syria.

Having said that, there is an urgent need for the international community — particularly world powers — to step up their efforts and push for a final resolution to the conflict. If the current situation turns into a status quo, it is not just Syria that will pay the price for it.