So far, the Syrian ruling system remains in power, while still calling the rebels terrorists and still defending the pillars of its system that will eventually fall with or without Russian approval! The Syrian president still doesn’t want to let go of power over the country, even when all nearby leaders have gone to their graves or been jailed! The question here is how strong is this ruling system and why doesn’t it fall?
Is it the ego of the Russians or that the ruler is so popular and is wanted by the people and those rebels are truly terrorists? The scene in Syrian now goes beyond any suspense movie. No one can be sure whether the ruling system will end, as it did for their sisters in Egypt and Libya, or for how long it will continue to struggle? So far, the wind of the Arab spring has not flowed easily past any of the old brotherhoods in the Arab countries. And while it cleared away less aggressive powers such as the Egyptians’ system led by Hosni Mubarak, yet the Syrian rulers still holds on to power as if the re-evaluation they confront is just a storm that will soon fade away!
There are people dying everywhere there, so allegations made by the Syrian rulers to justify that blood is not enough and will not be! Who backs up the Syrian president? Is it the Christians who fears the Islamists will reach power or because Russia can’t let go of the only system in the region that fuels its sense of power and its old youth? I believe it is the latter.
Russia can’t let go of Syria, for its own good, of course! They may be forced to do so, but will not do that freely. That, I believe, is the truth which many deny. The Russians can’t abandon their last spot of power over the west, specifically over the U.S. and France and other open countries!
The problem of Russia these days is that no one wants to listen to their old age calls or to trust them. So trust is a key here because the west, led by the U.S., has proven to be more flexible and able to accommodate itself with any ruling system, Islamists or not, while the Russians have not!
The fact that Russia had a military base or maintains its weapons business with Syria is not the only reason for it fights for Syria. It is the fact that if Russia lost Syria now, it will mean goodbye to its sense of power in this region. But, what about those who die every day because they don’t want the Syrian ruling system? Should they keep dying just because of what others think or fear?
Syria needs change, needs new blood … good or bad. The ruling system can’t keep up this daily killing and Russia needs to know that for a fact. Instead of supporting the killing policy there, the Russians need to start wondering why they are not popular and not wanted anymore! Maybe their ancient calls are out of date. Maybe because the world has changed, or maybe the west has things to offer which they can’t afford.
Syrian is under threat to kill or be killed. That is not a choice for life and I think the coming days will bring the end to the chaos and may begin a civil war. But, at some point this endless killing must stop.
(The writer is a columnist at the Kuwait Times. The article was published in the Kuwaiti daily on July 15, 2012)