Syria's Al Assad is digging his own grave
By: Elias Bejjani

For the last 30 years, Al Assad’s Syrian Baathist dictatorship has been an evil, poisonous and deadly ailment in the Middle East and a major force in spreading instability to regional peace and order. It is the number one notorious regime that breeds, recruits, trains, finances and exports terrorist and Islamic fundamentalist groups to instigate havoc and volatility all over the world and especially in its neighboring countries. In actuality Syria is a real disaster for both the Syrian people and its neighboring countries, as well as for the whole world considering the issue of terrorism and fundamentalism.

Besides an ongoing Stalinist criminal oppression that it afflicts by force on the Syrian people, Al Assad's regime still governs Syria by marshal laws and keeps on brutally and mercilessly liquidating all Syrian politicians and activists who advocate a free and democratic country. Thousands and thousands of Syrian citizens are either murdered or incarcerated on forged trials and left to rot in Nazi-style jails and detention centers while deprived of all their basic rights.

Al Assad's regime has committed massive ethnic cleansing and bloody massacres in both Syria and Lebanon and keeps on gnawing the whole Middle East and interfering in the affairs of all its neighboring countries, Lebanon, Israel and Jordan.

Sadly, the USA, Europe and all the Arab countries have been appeasing and cajoling this terrorist regime either to keep its terrorism away from their countries or to use its expertise in crime, terrorism and oppression.

Many analysts in the Middle East, especially in Syria itself and Lebanon, are wondering why the whole world is courting this rogue regime and is turning a blind eye on all its horrible domestic, regional and international ongoing atrocities.

Why is the Obama administration turning the other cheek on all the overt insults that Al Assad and his top-notch officials have been throwing on her Middle East policies and officials when this administration sadly has been opening to Syria in a series of questionable overtures and naively equipping its rulers with all the support they need to go on with their murderous interfering in Lebanon, Iraq and Gaza?

In a report, Hamid Ghoriafi, the well known Middle East analyst and journalist, published today in the Kuwaiti Daily Al-Seyassah, it was revealed that Syrian President Bachar Al Assad is extremely worried and scared, feeling the Israeli heat, and taking the Jewish state's threats of an imminent attack on his country very seriously.

In this realm Al Assad has started urgently re-evaluating Syria's tense relations with some influential Arabic countries and apparently his first step in this track will be a cozy meeting with his Egyptian counterpart, Hosni Mubarak, within the coming 24 hours at Sharm Al Sheik Egyptian tourist resort. It is expected that Saudi King Abdullah will join the two presidents and hold a summit conference with them to discuss the current Israeli threats to attack Lebanon and Syria extensively after Al Assad provided its militant terrorist proxy in Lebanon, Hezbollah, with long range Scud ballistic missiles.

The report attributed to reliable diplomatic Arabic resources in Abu Dubae that Al Assad is planning to seriously ask both Mubarak and Abdullah to use their influence with the USA and Israel and pressure them to abort an imminent Israeli attack on both Syria and Lebanon.

Al Assad is alleging that all the Israeli and other reports on the Scud missile smuggling from Syria to Hezbollah are mere empty allegations and that the Israeli Prime Minister, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, has inflated out of proportion this issue to justify his war against Syria in a bid to dramatically change the whole status quo in the region.

The same sources believe that it is too late to prevent the war because the Israeli campaign against Syria, whether the Scud reports are true or not, has reached its maximum in a very well orchestrated pattern. Mr. Ghoriafi said that it would be futile on Alassad's side to deny in the presence of Mubarak and Abdullah the Scud smuggling reality, because they both already know the truth.

It is now confirmed that Al Assad will be heading to Sharm Al Sheik today after he has ordered his armed forces to be on full alert all over the country; and meanwhile, Hezbollah has taken the same precautionary measures in its Beirut southern suburb ministate (Al Dahea) and all over its military bases in the Bekaa valley and the southern Lebanese region that is adjacent to the Israeli border.

Both Al Assad and Hezbollah leadership are confirming according to the report that the Israeli zero hour for starting the attack is approaching with a very fast pace. Al Assad is scared that Israel will manipulate the Scud crisis and use it as a pretext for a well planned and prepared war against his country, as it did in 1982 when it invaded Lebanon following an assassination attempt on its ambassador in London.

The report quoted an Egyptian official in Cairo saying that, "Al Assad is fully aware that there is a high price for him to pay to the Egyptians and the Saudis in return for their joint mediation with Washington and Tel Aviv in order to prevent the imminent devastating Israeli war against his country.

It added that this price will not be less than a full cancellation of all the accords and deals that he recently inked with Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hezbollah's general secretary, Hassan Nasrallah ,in the so called "Challenge Summit” that was convened few months ago in Damascus. The accords and deals committed its three signatories to establish a front line against Israel in south Lebanon, and to give Hezbollah full accessibility to the Syrian and Iranian arsenals, including all the long range missiles to attack Israel.

Al Assad is also expected to distance his country from Iran and to put an immediate halt on his support to its nuclear program. He is required also to mind his own business and stop his country's bold interference in the neighboring countries' internal affairs, or otherwise face the doomed end that Iraq's Saddam Hussein chose.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Haaretz daily reported yesterday that Egypt is pushing for a conference to discuss the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty , in which all Middle East countries will participate including Israel, noting that the objective of this Summit is to persuade the Jewish state to sign the treaty. The Egyptians are saying that the five permanent UN Security Council members do support a nuclear conference on the Middle East, but it is not yet clear whether Tel Aviv would agree on this very sensitive matter. The newspaper said that al-Assad will fly to Libya to meet with President Muammar Gaddafi after the Sharm el-Sheikh summit conference is over.

The actual problem with Al Assad, as was with his late father, Hafez Al Assad, lies in the plain fact that he cannot be trusted and that he has been for years playing on the odds and going back on all his promises and commitments to the USA, as well as the Arab and European countries.

Is Al Assad going to change his mockeries this time while the fire is approaching his palace and could burn the future of his family in ruling Syria? Up till now there is no reason to trust him, which simply means that Egypt and Saudi Arabia must make him pay the price for their mediation before they deliver.

The Lebanese proverb says: "The wise man does not fall in the same hole twice." Hopefully President Mubarak and King Abdullah have already learned their previous Syrian bitter lessons as have many patriotic Lebanese!

*Elias Bejjani
Canadian-Lebanese Human Rights activist, journalist and political commentator
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