Huffington Post Greece – Sep. 03, 2018
In a recent article in the New York Times titled “In Syria, an ugly peace is better than more war”, former US President Jimmy Carter talks about the need to change Washington’s strategy in the Syrian crisis and opening up to the Assad regime again as the best option for Syria, the wider region and America. This article explicitly seeks to reintroduce the Assad regime as the best existing formula in a way that causes nausea to the reader and suggests practical steps for this strategy that we need to answer because history does not forget.
First of all, President Carter must remember that the beginning of the revolution in Syria was made by the oppressed youth by one of the worst regimes in world history. These young men and women did not get Washington’s permission when shouting “Freedom – Freedom” in Homs, Damascus, and Idlib, neither called for its support nor the intervention of its agents or forces. They know what is happening in the Assad prisons and the cells of the Security more than him and his government, and therefore the choice of continuing the revolution or not is in the hands of men and women of Syria rather than of Washington or Moscow or Ankara.
President Carter’s assertion that Trump and Putin have agreed on Assad’s survival as the best choice, makes us wonder whether Washington was really against Assad over an unspeakable rhetoric? Washington, which was responsible for destroying the military infrastructure of the Syrian armed opposition through the two operation rooms, the M.O.C. Jordan and M.U.M. in Turkey. Washington, which banned the sale of any quality weapon that could overturn ground correlations and prevent the mad aerial bombardment of the Assad forces, one of the most important reasons for its survival to date. However, Washington rushed to supply weapons and soldiers to the eastern part of Syria and to support the Kurdish militias there without any hesitation. Washington is practically responsible for preventing any kind of military support for the Syrian armed opposition from any Arab or Islamic countries, while allowing Russia, Iran, North Korea to support the Assad regime with weapons, soldiers and paramilitary groups, money and oil from the first day of the revolution until today.
The second point is that Mr. Carter suggests that Syria’s revolutionaries are all al-Qaeda or ISIS. To answer this allegation, I must explain to the President that his government has supported and continues to support the Kurdish militias in the east of Syria which boast of being the Syrian military arm of the PKK considered by the United States but also internationally as terrorist. I must also emphasize that military developments on the ground show that the Syrian opposition was the most affected by ISIS. The comparison of the maps of the territories controlled by the Syrian opposition prior to the emergence of ISIS and beyond is far from clear to the reader that ISIS was created to become a tool for ending the opposition. At the same time, President Carter forgets brazenly that the current Assad army is only a group of multinational sectarian militias from Iran headed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Iraq headed by al-Nujaba and of course the Lebanese Hezbollah, all classified as terrorist organizations by Washington. Unless the Shi’ite terrorist militias are acceptable and should be encouraged to keep Assad power?
Steps demanded by President Carter in his article, including the reopening of embassies, communication with Assad, and the attempt to reform the regime and lift financial sanctions on it, raise a smile. When did the western countries cut ties with Assad? Does not the Assad spokesman appear in the Security Council to address and intimidate without any protest? Was not the Assad regime that called for all the negotiating sessions in Geneva? Western economic sanctions did not affect the import of arms and gas by Assad or phosphate exports. We also all know that the representatives of the Assad criminal regime led by generals Ali Mamluk and Mohammed Dib Zaitoun visit in Washington and Europe on a regular basis without interruption from the first day of the revolution to the present day.
Mr. Carter, through his article, explicitly recognizes that Assad has used chemical weapons against his own people and is responsible for war crimes, and nevertheless believes that Washington and the world can accept him as President in Syria as the only option for ending the war. And here I am wondering: Why did the US administration announced a war against the regime of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein under the pretext of spreading democracy and the use of chemical weapons, but Assad is acceptable to you? Why did you take part in the war against the Gaddafi regime in Libya to support the revolution there, knowing that many leaders of this revolution had a hard-line Islamic trend? All of these questions cannot be answered by President Carter, because Washington’s policy in Syria is primarily based on protecting Israel’s security as a priority, and secondly on the conversion of Syria, by prolonging the war and holding Assad to power, to a terrifying example for the peoples of the region not to try to start a revolution against the repressive regimes associated with Washington. In this way, the image of the international order led by Washington and its successive administrations is clear, that it is fighting against anyone who is opposed to their interests, even if elected by the people, as in Egypt, and keeps in power those who kill their people with all sorts of permissible and internationally forbidden weapons, as is the case in Syria.