Assad’s dismissal is very difficult but his stay is impossible

Assad’s dismissal is very difficult but his stay is impossible

What has been happening in Syria for the 18 months since March 2011 has shown that Assad’s dismissal is very difficult while it has become impossible to stay. The point here lies in the attitudes of the “non volunteer majority” and the “volunteer minority”. What we mean by the non volunteer majority is those who wish Assad to leave but cannot take much initiative on this issue. The volunteer minority are those who continue to support Assad who undertakes all risks regarding this decision.
Why is it difficult for Assad to depart?
When considering the situation in Syria since 18 months in detail, it will not be difficult to see why it is hard for Assad to leave. The reason is that so far there has been a non volunteer majority both in Syria and abroad who wish Assad to step down from power.
Let us continue step by step; first of all, as we mentioned above, there is a majority in Syria against Assad. The majority of this majority is formed by Sunni Arabs. It is seen that although they have achieved considerable progress, they do not give a profile to move in unity. The reason for this is definitely absence of opposition in Syria since the ruling Baath Party did not allow rising of any legal or illegal opposition in the country. Therefore the opposition, which did not manage to be organized in the country, united under the umbrella of Syrian National Council abroad. On the other hand, there is a “volunteer minority” who supports Assad against the unorganized opposition majority. As seen during the last 18 months, the pro Assad/Baath “volunteer minority” does not hesitate to use all legal/illegal facilities in favor of the current government. The Assad reign, which was defined as a minority reign so far, as existing with the support from Alevite (Nussayrid), Christian, Durzi and Sunni middle class Syrians. Despite what has been happening since 18 months, the “volunteer minority” coalition mostly continues to support the Assad regime. The question to be asked here is why is this coalition still backing Assad? There are two main reasons: 1) the minority groups, which did not experience administration power until then, lived their golden era during the reign of Baath/Assad regime; and 2) they are not sure regarding the composition of the new administration that will replace the current one. Therefore the “volunteer minority” continues to support the regime similar to a suicide.
Secondly, there is a non volunteer majority in the region who favor Assad’s departure. This majority is mainly formed of Sunni Arab countries. These countries, although they wish Assad to leave, they do not show sufficient effort on this prospect. When the public uprising first started in Syria, the Arab League, even though they have taken some important steps against Assad initially, after seeing that this process will not be as easy as they projected, started to show a complete state of disorganization. Today it has become clear that the Arab League is not efficient enough to push Assad out of the stage. Single initiatives from countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey do not create sufficient impact to start a transition in Syria. Against these countries, there is a block lead by Iran, the Maliki Government in Iraq and the Lebanese Hezbollah in favor of Syria. The supporters of Assad in the region, although they are less in number, manage to block the transition period easily. Iran almost sees remaining of the secular Assad in power as a guarantee of its religious regime. The religious regime in Iran continues to support the slaughters of Assad similar to the support given by the same regime to the father Assad when he slaughtered more than thirty thousand Muslims in Hama in one day in 1982. Iran continues its pro Assad policy even though this policy damages Iran’s influence both among Arabs and the whole world. Iran sees preserving of the line formed by Iran, Iraq ruled by a Shiite government, Syria ruled by the Assad regime and Hezbollah in Lebanon as the main axis of its foreign policy, and has proved that it will do everything to continue this policy. Iraqi PM Maliki has a pro Assad stance since he thinks Assad’s departure would increase the influence of the Sunnis in the region. The weird point here is that Maliki and his supporters, who were oppressed by the Baath Party in Iraq for many years, are now supporting the Baath Party of Syria, which oppresses and murders its own people. Lebanese Hezbollah finds it vital for its survival to stand by its supporters Iran and Syria. Although they represent a small coalition in the Middle East, these actors manage to block a possible change in Syria. Unconditioned support by this “volunteer minority” to Assad increases his influence in the region and creates him free space to move. Thus the problem in Syria becomes a regional one rather than a domestic problem.
Thirdly, there is a wide majority in the international community who wish Assad’s departure. A resolution of UN Security Council condemning Assad regime passed with 137 votes in February 2012. 17 countries abstained while 12 countries voted against the resolution. Although all these countries declare that the Assad regime is not legal anymore, they remain silent when it comes to act. Support from UN Security Council permanent members Russia and China to Assad creates a vast space to move. Silent attitude of the “non volunteer majority” versus the active and decisive attitudes of the “volunteer minority” results with the continuation of Assad’s murders.
Why is it impossible for Assad to stay?
Considering the balance of the uprising in Syria since March 2011, it is easy to say that Assad can no longer rule Syria. More than 30 thousand people have been killed by regime forces in 18 months. Hundreds of thousands of Syrians are leaving as refugees since months in surrounding countries like Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq. In addition thousands of Syrians have been jailed and tortured by the regime. Taking all these factors into account, it becomes clear that Assad can no longer rule Syria as a legal leader. Although the support from the volunteer minority in Syria, region and the international community will only extend the life of his reign for a while, it will not be enough to keep him in power forever. It is now evident that Assad is losing control each day.
Finally, if the decisive stance of the volunteer minority is not shown similarly by the non volunteer majority, the slaughters in Syria shall increase every single day and the security of the region shall be in a great risk.