By Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi
Nov 3, 2015
When Caliph Ali was on the verge of victory, the opposing army called for truce, and when he refused, they raised copies of the Qur’an on the tips of their spears, demanding Islamic arbitration.
Ali saw through the trick and refused, but was opposed by his own supporters (Shiites) who thought this was an offer they could not refuse. Reluctantly, he agreed, warning them, “This is a ‘just call’ to achieve an ‘unjust goal’.”
What happened during the arbitration proved him right. As a matter of principle, Ali decided to accept the outcome, even though it came out of a trick. His Shiite supporters refused to accept the arbitration and went against his wishes to continue the fight — and lost.
Iran and Russia are using the same trick in calling for truce and elections. Now, how could a ceasefire in the war-torn country be a bad thing? are the ones to decided their future government and choose their leader? The (offers) look good and reasonable propositions, except that the devil is in the details.
For Russians and Iranians, there is no option but to keep Bashar Al-Assad as president, and his regime as the government. He is the one and only who would give his country away to them. If he is gone, then there is no guarantee that the next president would not order them out.
If this doesn’t work, then Plan B, for the Russia-Iran camp, is for Assad to handpick his replacement. The new government would come from the inner circle of the same sectarian regime.
To sell such proposition to the world, they had to use their arsenal of diplomatic language, double talk, delaying tactics — the works!
When, for instance, they say “transitional period,” they mean years not months. Assad current mandate ends in 2021, and Russia is suggesting we should wait him out.
Just in case this doesn’t sell, they’re already talking about defeating terrorism first. Since Syria was given to terrorists, under Assad watch, four years ago, and the fact that the regime only rules 14% of the country, the first proposition, bad as it is, seems more solid and attractive.
As for the elections, they want it run, again, under Assad’s rule. The same rule that produced only two presidents in half a century — the father and the son.
Hafez Assad won every election by 99.99%. He didn’t run against other candidates (who dares?), but against himself! The choice was “naam” (yes) or “naamen” (two yes)! The overwhelming majority, of course, chose double yes!
After his death, the son came to power against all odds. His age, then, was 34 — that is six years less than the minimum age for presidents. The Parliament managed to change the constitution in a televised session within ten minutes. The votes were counted faster than the hands raised. No referendum was called for!
The official media explained all the above as an answer to the wishes of the Syrian people who called and prayed for Bashar to be their “dear” leader from the bottom of their hearts! (Reminds you of North Korea!)
In the next 25 years, Bashar enjoyed similar “democratic” success like his father. Even though, half the population chose to immigrate for better life all over the world, including poor third-world countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, he still won every election with landslide victories.
The last win was during the worst civil war in Arab history. Quarter of a million citizens were killed, and 12 million were forced to run for cover in other regions, and to seek refuge in neighboring countries, and as far as Europe, US and Canada.
The whole country is destroyed — mostly at the hands of their own army — and is under Russo-Farsi occupation, and global terrorism is making Syria its headquarters. Still, Assad won his latest election by close to 90 percent. Go figure!
The other alternative, the Russo-Farsi camp is giving us, is to compose a “national” government that includes the current plus members from the opposition.
Assad will still be there to pick and choose whoever he wishes. This government would be the one to organize and oversee the next presidential elections. Of course, Assad would run — “as long as the Syrian people don’t mind!,” he says.
The only solution to the Syria problem is for all foreigners — Russian, Iranians, Lebanese, Iraqis, Afghanis, and others — to leave, and take their stooges with them.
The Syrians would then deal with the terrorists on their own. The rest of us should lend support and help to rebuild the country and strengthen its government institutions.
Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi is a Saudi writer based in Jeddah.