Why Assad has become irrelevant

Why Assad has become irrelevant
“Hearing diplomats and policymakers talking about Syria, one is bound to quickly come across a cliché: There is no military solution! But what if the opposite were true in the sense that the five-year plus ‘problem’ couldn’t be solved except through military action?” Amir Taheri begins his article published in Asharq Al-Awsat.

Taheri goes on to say that it is interesting that all those who talk of “no military solution” are doing nothing but taking military action in Syria which, in practice, means dropping bombs from the air and killing vast numbers of Syrians. 

“Kerry’s Iranian ’buddy’ Muhammad Javad Zarif, playing the role of Foreign Minister, repeated the mantra while touring Cuba just a day before his masters in Tehran granted ’base facilities’ to Russia from which to intensify bombing Syria and kill even more Syrians,” Taheri says.

Joining the chorus, Russian President Vladimir Putin echoed the “no military solution” slogan just as his heavy bombers were killing Syrians on an even larger scale, Taheri further says.

Theoretically at least, there can be a military solution to almost any problem in the context of national or international conflicts, Taheri says, adding that the honest analysis is that while there is a military solution no one is willing to contemplate it on the scale necessary, so “the kiling continues.”

With military action off the table, everyone is focused on a simulacrum of diplomacy centered on two issues: episodic ceasefires and the future of "Assad Junior," adds Taheri.

“As far as the broader compass of the Syrian tragedy is concerned, both issues have become largely irrelevant. Patchy ceasefires are no more than brief intervals in a struggle to the death, only prolonging it.

“Assad’s future is also a non-issue because he has no future. No one would imagine Assad to regain a position he lost in 2011 or even be able to emerge from his foxhole for a meaningful sortie in Syria.

“Assad has already entered history as the only head of state that invited foreign powers to come and kill his fellow citizens from the air. He has betrayed the first and most important duty of any head of state: to protect the lives of his people.

“Almost 80 years ago General Fransisco Franco invited Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy to come and kill Spaniards by aerial bombardment. They did, and one result was the massacre of Guernica which was to become the epitome of infamy in modern history.

Taheri goes on to say that “Assad is worse than Franco if only because, at the time he invited the Fascists, the general was not head of state but a rebel fighting against the government. Even then, the German-Italian bombing of Guernica claimed under 300 lives, a “trifle” compared to victims of Russian bombings in Aleppo in a single weekend.”

“Franco won the civil war but never recovered from the tragic error of inviting foreigners to come and kill his people. Assad has no qualms about spreading the red carpet for “protectors” of non-existent shrines from Iran, not to mention mercenaries from Lebanon, Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan coming for killing sprees in Syria.”

Taheri concludes by saying that Syria has now become a human tragedy on a scale not seen since World War II and “to end it we have to first scale it back to its origins.”

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