Chaos Spreads in Syria – An Opportunity for a Strategic Positive Turn in the Middle East

Avi Melamed ~ Inside The Middle East
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April 13 2011

by Avi Melamed

The following message is a brief summary of an expanded article. Here are the main points:

As of April 13th 2011, the situation in Syria is becoming more chaotic by the moment.

Hundreds of Syrian civilians have been killed by Syrian security forces.

The Syrian regime is operating a death squad called “The Ghosts” to take down Syrian civilian protestors.

The University of Damascus is under siege and is occupied by the Syrian security forces.

A humanitarian crisis is quickly developing in some Syrian cities. There is no bread or electricity in the city of Banias – one of the major centers of the uprising – and civilians that were shot and injured are not receiving medical treatment.

Roads to cities are blocked by the Syrian security and army units.

This morning, in a desperate attempt, hundreds of Syrian women tried to prevent Syrian tanks from entering to the city of Banias by sitting on the road leading to the city.

A Syrian opposition group called upon the citizens to fly thousands of balloons decorated with the slogans “Allah, Syria, Freedom and that’s it” or “Peacfully…Peacefully” calling for a peaceful uprising.

Meanwhile the Syrian regime is trying to blame literally the whole world.  They have accused the Palestinians, Israel, “Criminal Elements,” “External Elements” and more.  This morning Syrian TV presented a “Terror Cell that was exposed in Syria who is responsible for the violent events”. According to Syrian TV, that “Terror Cell was operated by a Lebanese politician who is a member of The March 14t”h (a Lebanese political party that opposes Syria, Iran and Hezbollah).

The oppressed Syrians smile bitterly.  They know it is another lie in an endless chain of lies that the Syrian regime is spreading, trying desperately to save its skin.

In an earlier previous article I published regarding the situation in Syria entitled “Syria – The Wall of Fear is Cracking”  I said very clearly.  The situation in Syria will deteriorate quickly, the Assad regime will not go easily or quietly.  I also presented in that article the following crucial question: What will be the position of the West and the USA towards the developing situation in Syria?  I said very clearly: These are very relevant questions that will have to be addressed very soon.

The developments in Syria are the most important developments in the region currently and they have enormous strategic ramifications.  The USA and Europe were hoping that they could avoid the need to develop a proactive, clear policy regarding the events in Syria.  Their policy so far has been to condemn violence and to urge the sides to exercise restraint.

Someone has to make the following very clear to the Europeans and to the American Administration:  Calling for restraint in the face of the chaos in Syria is not a policy.  The USA and Europe MUST define and implement a very clear proactive policy regarding the situation in Syria, and it must be done as quickly as possible because it is their interest to do so. I will briefly explain why.

The situation in Syria provides a great opportunity to generate a positive change in the region.  It could be a fortunate opportunity to start to disintegrate the radical axis that is operated and orchestrated by Iran in which Syria is a crucial link.  This could be a golden opportunity to save Lebanon from the stranglehold of the Hezbollah, the Iranian-Syrian proxy that has kidnapped Lebanon and is holding it hostage.  It could be a great opportunity for the US to rehabilitate its connections with Saudi Arabia and the Arab Gulf states, relations that have been badly damaged as an outcome of the confused and indecisive US policy, primarily the United States soft approach towards the Iranian regime, which is the biggest threat for the Arab Sunni world.  Saudi Arabia and the Arab Gulf states have made clear their decisive position confronting the Iranian Mullah regime.  The clear leadership of the Saudis and the Gulf States on the issue of Iran has inspired the Lebanese Sunni camp, under the leadership of Sa’ad Aldin Alhariry, to openly confront the Iranian Mullah regime and Hezbollah its proxy in Lebanon.  Talking to a mass of almost 1million Lebanese people a couple of weeks ago, Hariri called on the Hezbollah to disarm itself.  In recent announcements, Hariri has sent clear message to the Iranian Mullahs regime: “Back off!!”

In the highly complex reality of the region, the developments in Syria could be a great opportunity for a positive change on a strategic level.

Assad’s chair is rocking.  Assad knows that if there is anyone in the world that can save his skin and perhaps his rule it’s the Saudi King.  The price he will be asked to pay by the King will be detaching Syria from Iran.  Such a development could lead to the disintegration of the Iranian radical axis, the weakening of its proxies in the region (Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza).  The outcome of such a process could be increasing stability in the region and the most important it will put Europe and the USA in a much better position to confront the biggest, most immediate and most crucial challenge ahead – The Iranian nuclear project.

Will the USA identify and recognize that window of opportunity?  Will the USA and the West take a leadership role and come up with a proactive policy in that direction??

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