Sunday, 21 April 2013

Opinion: Assad and Saddam’s Final Days


Anybody who reads the interview given by Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Miqdad with Britain’s Guardian newspaper will immediately recall Saddam Hussein’s final days in power and the approach taken by the Baghdad regime’s officials. You will also uncover and realize that the stories and analysis put forward over the past decade propagating the lie of the “resistance” and distorting the reputation of moderate Arab States, was cooked up by none other than the Assad regime itself.
In this press interview, Miqdad speaks about colonialism, and Britain and France aiding Al-Qaeda in Syria, while he concluded the interview by insulting certain Arab States. This was an approach that the Iraqi officials relied on in the regime’s final days, from Ezzat Al-Douri to Taha Yassin Ramadan, and, of course, Mohamed Said Al-Sahhaf. While today, the Syrian deputy foreign minister is using precisely the same approach to insult some Arab governments. There is nothing surprising about this, of course, particularly as Miqdad is representing a Ba’athist regime, and this, unfortunately, is the typical Ba’athist discourse. It is striking is that this discourse—the discourse of insults—is evidence of the extent of the regime’s emotionalism, particularly when this is coming from a deputy foreign minister, not another official. This is something that Saddam Hussein’s own foreign minister, Tariq Aziz, never fell prey to.
Miqdad’s emotionalism did not stop at insults, but he went further than this to claim that Britain and France are directly and indirectly assisting Al-Qaeda and that European countries are sending Al-Qaeda affiliates to Syria in order to get rid of them. He even claimed that Mossad agents are present on Syrian territory, so just how confused is he? Therefore, the sole thing that Miqdad’s interview tells us, not to mention his insults against Arab states, is that the Assad regime is under extreme pressure. So at the same time that the Assad regime is talking about an “amnesty”, which is nothing more than a new trick, its deputy foreign minister is talking about some kind of cosmic conspiracy involving Europe, the Arab states, Al-Qaeda, and even the Israeli Mossad. More than this, Miqdad even claimed that if Assad leaves then “Syria will no longer be on the map.”
The reality, which everybody is now convinced of, even those skeptical of the Syrian revolution, is that allowing the doomed Assad regime to extend its life represents a genuine threat to the Syrian state, not to mention its social components. This also represents a threat to the entire region as a whole. Therefore the best guarantee to save the Syrian state is to deliver thecoup de grâce to the Assad regime, and not listen to weak delusions and justifications, or allow the tyrant to attempt more tricks and distractions. One year ago, there was no Jabhat Al-Nusra, and there was no talk about an Al-Qaeda presence in Iraq, as we hear today. The international community allowing Assad to prolong the conflict is what brought Syria to where it is today. Therefore, the more we delay burying the worst regime in our region’s history, the greater the price that we will pay.
Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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