Sunday, October 9, 2011

Scaring away the wolf is easier than fighting it

The Syrian foreign affairs minister al-Muallim threatened the countries with severe consequences if they recognized the Syrian National Council.  Today a part of the speech given by Hasun (al-Mufti in Syria) was posted on youtube.   Hasun says:
“With the first bomb falling on Syria, Lebanon and Syria will see each one of their children become suicide bombers on the lands of Europe and Palestine.  I am saying it to all Europe and to America. We shall prepare suicide bombers who are now in your land if you bombard Syria or Lebanon, from now on an eye for an eye and the one who starts it is the unfair one.  You are the one who asked for it.  I will tell everyone don’t think that these suicide bombers in the lands of France, UK, and America will be Arabs and Muslims. They will be a new Jul Jammal. They will be a new Muhammad Durra.  Therefore we beg you not to attack Syria.”
Threat seems to have become the last tool of diplomacy left in the hand of Assad’s regime.  Some months ago al-Muallim commented on the prospect of European punishment on the regime saying, “We will erase Europe from the map.”  I do not believe that we, in the west, need to take this threat seriously.  Neither Assad nor Hasun has any religious weight in the Sunni street.  Though Assad likes to think that that religious establishment is standing with him, he is fooling himself if he believes that.  In spite of 50 years of state controlled Sunni Islam in Syria, no single Sunni will shed a tear for Assad. 
Al-Mufti Hasun lost what was left of his position’s respect when he stood by the regime against the will of the revolution.  The regime might have asked him to say what he said, but he knows that he has no followers to give his threats any credibility.  However, one can see Hasun’s threat and before it the threat of al-Muallim, only in the framework of the Iranian – West confrontation.   Only in this context might these threats make some sense.   This is taking us back to the elephant in the room. After the failure of disconnecting Iran from the Syrian regime, Syria becomes the battleground of this confrontation.  The West needs to make up its mind and stand by the Syrian revolution as the only viable solution.  A free and democratic Syria is the viable solution for the stability in the Middle East.   

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