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Al Arab Al Yawm, Jordan

Conflict between Russia and America
over the Post-Assad Regime

By Rahel Gharaybeh

As long as Israel is secure and the war does not affect the oil supplies coming from the Middle East, Western public opinion will remained unchanged.

Translated By Robert Mogielnicki

30 December 2012

Edited by Mary Young

Jordan - Al Arab Al Yawm - Original Article (Arabic)

It is clear that the conflict between the Russian/Iranian camp and the American/Western camp concerns the shape of the new regime in Syria. This conflict has manifested itself through substantial diplomatic activity as of late and through torrents of initiatives and statements issued from those close to the regime, which is going to collapse sooner or later.

Russia, which sees itself as the closest to the Syrian regime and responsible for the fate of the political situation in Syria, refuses to demand that the Syrian president step down. Instead, Russia is satisfied with demanding that the president and the regime sit down with the opposition. Russia sent an invitation to participate in discussions in Russia to the head of the opposition coalition, Maaz Khatib.This invitation is considered an acknowledgment of the legitimacy of the opposition and its critical role. All this after Russia cooperated with the regime by refusing to acknowledge the foreign opposition. It also describes the revolutionaries and killers as terrorist gangs and armed criminal groups outside of the regime.

Fyodor Lukyanov, head of the Foreign Policy Council in Russia, said that Russia is not oblivious to what is happening in Syria. He also said that Russia realized that the collapse of the regime is a likely scenario. He added that Russian diplomacy is not that stupid. This development coincides with Russian President Putin’s statement at the end of the year that Russia is not responsible for Assad’s destiny. It understands that this family has been in power for the past 40 years and that there is a need for change.

Russia wants to be an effective partner in drafting new arrangements, and it refuses to be the messenger in conveying the demands of the United States and the West that the president step down and leave the country. Thus, until this point, its continued support for the president and his regime has been for the sake of ensuring its own stake, acknowledging its presence and preserving its influence in the new Syria.

The problem is that the American/Western camp does not feel any sense of urgency, since it is not threatened or endangered by a lengthy war. Also, the destruction and killings that affect the Syrian people and the state infrastructure do not influence public opinion in America and the West. As long as Israel is secure and the war does not affect the oil supplies coming from the Middle East, Western public opinion will remained unchanged.

The Syrian opposition has to clearly understand the dimensions of the dangerous game being played by both camps, and the opposition coalition needs to be smarter than its opponents. They also must not block the path to dialogue with Russia or pay any attention to the sweet talk coming from the deceptive Western camp. All the parties are betting on the stupidity of the warring parties, and everyone is aiming to seize the moment. The idea of amassing American and Western troops in Jordan and on the Syrian border is not for the sake of a victory for the Syrian people. The troop movement is not to provide humanitarian support, nor is it connected with any noble mission to solve the humanitarian crisis there. Rather, the mission is limited to two major tracks.

First: close surveillance of the chemical weapons so that they will not fall into the hands of the opposition or the “radical Islamic terrorist factions” that represent a threat to Israel and other allies in the region.

Second: preparation for an intervention as soon as the regime falls, in order to control the reins of power. The intervention will be immediate to prevent the regime's collapse at the hands of Islamists. The intervention is also meant to prevent the recurrence of other situations that do not coincide with the West's methodology.

The Syrian opposition does not want to alienate the rights of the Syrian people, nor do they want to waste the exorbitant price paid by the people with blood and martyrdom. It is the right of the Syrian people to form a new regime with their own free will and rebuild a modern democratic state independent of any foreign party. No external party has custody of the Syrian people or the right to participate in its self-determination. The opposition must play the smart role and avoid falling in with any rivals from the regional or international arena. International politics are not an act of charity, and it is devoid of noble values.



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