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March 1, 2012

Special Dispatch No. 4539

'Al-Sharq Al-Awsat' Editor Criticizes Arab Response to Situation


in Syria: 'It is As If We Arabs are Saying that If The Killer Is
An Arab, This Is Something That We Can Accept But If He Is An
Israeli, Then We Must All Act As One To Put An End To This'

Tariq Alhomayed
In a column in the London Arabic-language daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, titled "Let Us Compare Al-Assad to Israel,"
editor-in-chief Tariq Alhomayed called the current Syria situation "an Arab case par excellence" and "a problem with
no solutions." Saying "our democracy is deformed, as are our republics," he went on to compare the actions of the
tyrannical Assad regime to Israel's, noting, "[I]t is as if we as Arabs are saying that if the killer is an Arab, then this
is something that we can accept but if he is an Israeli, then we must all act as one to put an end to this!"
Alhomayed concluded by stating: "The departure of this tyrant [Assad] will serve to root out hypocrisy in our
region, as [the] most prominent symbol [of this hypocrisy] is the Assad regime."
The following is the column, in the original English.[1]

The Syria Situation Is "A Situation That Is Impossible to Understand... An Arab Case Par
Excellence... A Problem With No Solutions"
"When considering much of what is being repeated in our region, on all levels, about Syria, one is struck by
confusion, for one party justifies what is happening, whilst another casts doubt, and a third attempts to be clever.
Therefore you feel as if you are looking at a situation that is impossible to understand, namely an Arab case par
excellence, which is a problem with no solutions, or in the desperate manner of Nabih Berri, a case where there is
'no winners and no losers' which is what I term a case of political fluidity.
"This was something that we saw on the day that Saddam Hussein occupied Kuwait, as well as in Lebanon on the
day that the most senior Hizbullah agents intentionally incited an unjustifiable war, in addition to the day that
Hizbullah occupied Beirut and when they invented the concept of the one-third [parliamentary] blocking minority.
"This is also something that we saw in the actions of the Arab affiliates [of Hizbullah] who consider themselves to
be elites. The same thing applies to Hamas, which carried out a coup d'tat by force of arms, whilst people justified
this and defended them, in the knowledge that we are facing a unique situation, namely an armed coup taking
place under occupation! This is certainly an Arab case par excellence, a case devoid of logic and resolution."

"Our Democracy Is Deformed, As Are Our Republics For They Are Neither True Republics
Nor Monarchies"
"In Iraq, [Prime Minister Nouri] Al-Maliki lost the elections but remains in power, whilst in Lebanon, the member of
a [political] trend slanders his own movement in order to gain power, and we are told that we are facing a case of
'musical chairs.' This indeed represents a flaccid and defeated Arab case, led by the elites; therefore we are moving
from bad to worse, from [the late Egyptian president] Gamal Abd Al-Nasser to Saddam Hussein, from [Hizbullah
leader] Hassan Nasrallah to [Osama] bin Laden.

"This is not all, for our democracy is deformed, as are our republics, for they are neither true republics nor
monarchies, and this is something that applies to the Assad regime, both the regime of the father and the son."

Let Us Compare "This State of Mad Dictatorship" In Syria With "What Israel Has Committed
Against Us In Recent Times"
"Let us pause here in front of this state of mad dictatorship, and compare it with what Israel has committed against
us in recent times, and I say recent times as we are talking about the last five years, particularly the Lebanon and
Gaza wars.
"The entire world rushes to stop Israel's aggressions against Lebanon in 2006, and this war ended after
approximately two months, claiming the lives of 1,200 Lebanese. The same thing applies to the Gaza war, which
had approximately the same death toll.
"In both wars, the public opinion in the Arab world rushed to take action, whilst counterfeit 'friends of Israel' lists
were issued, masterminded by the Assad regime; indeed a number of Arab politicians attempted to exploit this
tragedy, most prominently the Assad regime. However, we did not hear anybody ask even now why did these
wars happen? Whose interests did these wars, and more, serve? Who was responsible for this?"

"We Have Seen the Syrian Forces Brutally Killing Their Own People... It is As If We As Arabs
Are Saying That If the Killer is An Arab, Then This Is Something That We Can Accept But If
He's An Israeli, We Must All Act As One To Put An End To This"
"Today, in the case of Assad, we have seen the Syrian forces brutally killing their own people on our television
screens over the past year not two months whilst the death toll stands at more than 8,000 and the tyrant of
Damascus's troops have destroyed mosques, tortured and assassinated children, as well as women and the elderly,
simply in order to allow Assad to cling to power.
"Despite all this, we find some countries, politicians, media organizations and figures, who are procrastinating; it is
as if we as Arabs are saying that if the killer is an Arab, then this is something that we can accept but if he is an
Israeli, then we must all act as one to put an end to this! This is a saddening and shameful state of affairs,
particularly when somebody like Hassan Nasrallah shamelessly comes out to defend Assad!

"The Departure of This Tyrant Will Serve To Root Out Hypocrisy In Our Region, As Its Most
Prominent Symbol Is the Assad Regime"
"Therefore, if we compare Assad to Israel we will discover the extent of the growing hypocrisy in our region and
one of the most important sources of this is the Assad regime, both the regime of the father and the son, which
have survived based on the lie of the resistance, and others.
"The departure of this tyrant will serve to root out hypocrisy in our region, as its most prominent symbol is the
Assad regime."
Endnotes:

[1] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London, January 3, 2012. The text has been lightly edited for clarity.

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