TAKE IT OUT ON THE REGIME, NOT THE PEOPLE:

Sacrificing the Baath to Rescue Syria (Hazem Saghieh, 10/27/05, Al-Hayat)

The Baathists have driven Syria to a place where the only possible salvation is by sacrificing the Baath, even gradually, to rescue Syria. Sacrificing the Baath party means establishing a limit to the policies of military and security tyranny against the Syrian people. Regarding the “tutelage” in Lebanon, crowned by the assassination of PM Hariri, it is the “logical” conclusion of the internal structure that generates crisis, stemming from the difference between the possible and the declared, and export them abroad with the same generosity of their birth.

The comparison between that “State” – which Mehlis’ report highlighted, though by hints, some of its operational ways – and its slacken imperial tendencies, suffices to reveal the deep cause of the current Syrian disaster and the nature of the ideological- military regime as an ongoing crises-producing regime.

Today, the truth has become clear, leaving no place to manipulate reality. The sacrifice of the Baath has become synonym to rescuing Syria. However, giving an account of such a reality worsens the problem more than it solves it: it is true that the recent “Damascus declaration” offered a positive promise and reflected the maturity of the Syrian opposition, somewhat limiting the historical pessimism. Nevertheless, it is a beginning, just a beginning, on the path of sacrificing the Baath. The biggest impediment on that path – if not its pitfalls – is the response of the Syrian civil community with its various regions, sects and communities; especially that the regime, as indicated by all its experiences, will not draw back one step to loosen its rock-hard grip. However, one thing can be confirmed: what some Syrian opposition members and Lebanese politicians previously hoped for; it is that the Syrian people will be spared any punishment. Such an option, whether western or international, lacks justice, as much as it is useless: it would complete the Baathist task of torturing its people and would prolong twice the path of rescue, multiplying the possibilities of chaos, which everybody fears.

Given that estimates put Iraqi dead at just 30,000 since we began the process of regime change as opposed to the 500,000 children alone we killed via the sanctions that enriched Ba’athists, it seems impossible to make a moral case for latter instead of the former.

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