Abdul Rahman Al-Rashid
Thursday 31 May 2012
Last Update 1 June 2012 2:14 am
Russia's attitude has been negative not only on the Syrian issue but also on all other key issues. Therefore, whenever we see any sign coming from Moscow indicating a possible change in the Russian stance vis-à-vis the Syrian issue, we pin high hopes only to find out later that these hopes were totally false. It is not true that the Russians will change their attitude on Syria. They will never do so until Assad is toppled and gone forever.
I can cite many similar Russian stances concerning serious international issues such as Bosnia, Kosovo and Libya. Russia has always stood by the errant side until the end. Even its attitude regarding the Palestinian cause, which is somewhat better than that of the Americans, was not more than a mere show of solidarity. The Russian support to Iran made the latter continue with its controversial nuclear project, thus causing serious regional and international political implications in the Gulf region.
Of course all the superpowers and the big countries have their own policies. They do not act according to the media pressures. However, in big crises, we expect these countries to be realistic, taking into account their interests and those of others. The attitude of the Americans was pragmatic when they discovered that the destiny of Hosni Mubarak, their ally in Egypt, had been sealed. They were also realistic when they came to realize that Tunisian President Ben Ali was unable to do anything in the face of the revolution. Against this, Moscow adopted an obstinate policy.
In a very strange and open way, Russia supported the butchers in Belgrade in the 1990s until the very end. Later it did the same thing in Libya. Now and for 15 months, Russia has been supporting Bashar Assad despite the horrible crimes his army has been committing against his people since April 2011. No month ever passes in Syria without horrifying scenes of killings and torture against the unarmed civilians in all parts of the country. Strangely enough, Russia is supporting a falling regime with no regional or public support.
In fact, it has been the Russian attitude that has prolonged the crisis. This very attitude might have done more harm than good to their ally President Assad. Had it not been for the Russians, a compromise might have been reached with Assad at the beginning of the crisis. With the Russian support, Assad developed the belief that he was a tough nut to crack. He was certain that Russia would protect him in the Security Council against any resolution censuring him. This enabled him to continue his brutal and coercive policy against his own people. Neither Assad nor anyone in his regime will be saved in the future, no matter how long the crisis continues. I mean to say that despite all that they have done to support and protect him, the Russians will not be able to keep Assad's regime intact. The regime will ultimately collapse in a bad way. The war is at present continuing between the regime and more than 70 percent of the Syrian people. Therefore it is destined to fall no matter how long it may take.
By their continued support to Assad, which has exasperated not only the Syrians but also the Arab people, the Russians are only deceiving him as they deceived Qaddafi before. At a certain point, the former Libyan leader was willing to accept the initiative proposed by the government of South Africa, which would make him step down but live in exile with international guarantees. Qaddafi, however, relied heavily on the Russian military and political support. He believed that he was resting against a solid wall. At the end he fell and was finished.