Asharq Al-Awsat, -By Tariq Alhomayed : We cannot congratulate the Arab region until after the fall of the Bashar al-Assad regime; a regime we will not mourn , and one of the worst we have ever known, but we can say that Monday was a historic day for the Syrians and the region. On that day, the Arabs withdrew any remaining legitimacy from the al-Assad regime, and finally recognized the Syrian National Coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people and the main interlocutor with the Arab League.
It was a historic day for everyone with a conscience, everyone who loves this region, and everyone who believes in justice, preserving the interests of the region, and clearing it of criminal regimes. It was a historic day that we had long called for, and we have the right to repeat that today, and every day until al-Assad’s fall. Throughout twenty months of al-Assad’s crimes, I, along with a few rational minds in this newspaper, said that the Arabs were wasting time in Syria, giving al-Assad one chance after another. The Arab League itself was most at fault for playing this shameful role, whatever its excuses, as it was duped by al-Assad’s tricks and succumbed to all his evil schemes, and the result today is that over 36,000 have been killed!
But as the saying goes, better late than never. The Arabs lately recognized the Syrian National Coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people after the Gulf states and the international community led efforts in Doha to unite the Syrian opposition, along the lines of what happened in Libya. We have finally seen these efforts rewarded with this recognition of the Syrian National Coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people, and this is precisely what happened in Libya prior to the ouster of the tyrant of Tripoli, Muammar Gaddafi.
However, to be honest, there are other Arab countries that have failed the Syrian people, and they will go down in history for that. These include Algeria, Iraq and of course the current government of Lebanon. History will record that the Gulf states – with Saudi Arabia heading this list – served as a source of moral and political leverage in Syria. This has been the case ever since Saudi monarch King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz gave a speech during the Ramadan before last, in which he demanded an end to the al-Assad killing machine. The Gulf states were the first to recognize the Syrian National Coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people, and they called upon the Arab states and the international community to follow the same path. The Arab League has now done so, and shortly we will see the international community do the same.
What is also important and notable in the Arab League’s recent decision, which includes recognition for the Syrian National Coalition, is the call for the need to continue efforts to achieve consensus in the UN Security Council. The Arab League has called upon the Security Council to pass an immediate resolution for a ceasefire, under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. This means that the Arabs are demanding that the final scenes be put in place, in order to turn the page on the criminal al-Assad regime, via international resolutions. The truth is that the end of the al-Assad regime will not come about through international resolutions alone, it will also be an ongoing daily process inside Syria. Yet we are approaching the final moments, without a doubt, and the most important step in this direction was the Arab recognition for the Syrian National Coalition.
In summary I would say that Monday was a historic day that deserves praise, albeit with caution until the most important day comes, the day of the tyrant of Damascus’ departure, and this is now closer than ever.