SYRIA ASSAD: A Crushed Legitimacy, Why Resolutions No Longer Matter by Adeyemi Oshunrinade


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The fact that the UN Security Council rejects the Draft Resolution on Syria is not a surprise to those who know how diplomacy works at the United Nations. As international anger continues to grow over reports of mass killing at the hands of the Assad regime, the veto power-drunk members Russia and China used their vote to crush international aspiration to bring an end to the reign of Assad and his regime.

The U.S. President Barrack Obama had earlier asked the Security Council to pass the resolution aimed at bringing an end to the regime in Syria; Thirteen non-permanent members of the Security Council including France, United State, and the United Kingdom voted in support of the resolution; however, the non-unusual veto wielding members chose to go the other way.

It should not be a surprise that Moscow chose to veto the resolution; after all, there is a diplomatic and political war ongoing between the United States and Russia. Since the beginning of the power struggle in Russia, the Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has opposed what he called Washington’s attempt to see a power change in his country. Just a month to the Presidential election, the United States has been at the fore front of rejecting the reelection of Mr. Putin as the next President and the past few months, there have been series of protests and opposition to the government never seen before.

China on the other hand will do everything within its power to protect its economic interests; the government in Beijing is known for its principle not to meddle in the internal affairs of other nations most especially, those with which it has strong economic and diplomatic relations. Both China and Russia see the United States as a threat to their goal to maintain both economic and political dominance in the global arena; Russia considers Syria as a major weapon client and has made clear that it will not accept any arms embargo or economic sanctions.

So far, it is estimated more than 6,000 people have been killed since the protests began according to the United Nations; the past week alone about 260 people have lost their lives as a result of aggressive crack-down on the opposition by the Assad regime. Nonetheless, the lack of political will among the UN Security Council members to reach a resolution, it is no doubt the regime of Assad is a forgone conclusion for the following reasons.

First, the regime in Syria has lost all legitimacy in the eyes of its people and the international community. When a leadership is ripped off its legitimacy, it loses all recognition and with major world leaders turning their backs against it, such leadership becomes nothing but a toothless bull. Whether the Security Council reaches an agreement on Syria or not, it is just a matter of time before the regime realizes it has no more power to govern.

Second, the citizens of Syria have shown no interest in backing down; they have decided to shed their blood until Assad steps down and so far, many have lost members of their families to the uprising. To give up now is seen by many as a betrayal of the “Martyrs” who have sacrificed their lives to see an end to the regime of Assad; therefore, Syrians are ready to continue the fight until there is a change in leadership. The regime will not be allowed by the international community to continue killing its citizens.

Third, major powers have shown their opposition to the regime; the United States and the entire European Union including Australia have expressed their desire for Assad to step down and turn over power to the Vice President. The United States has decided to close its embassy in Syria and all staffs have been withdrawn; this is an indication the regime is about to fall. Soon other nations will begin to do the same. The regime in Syria will not be able to sustain itself for long with the support of Russia and China alone. If the regime continues to massacre its own people, it won’t take long before both China and Russia back down in the face of world wide opposition to their support of mass killing; a refusal to back down may lead to both political and economic suicide for both nations.

Also, the Arab uprising that saw an end to the dictatorship in Tunisia, Yemen, Egypt, and Libya is a testimony for the Syrian peoples that it can be done. They watched as the leadership in Tunisia came to an end after the people united and mounted an aggressive opposition to the leadership of Ben Ali, who eventually, fled the country to live in exile. They saw how the people of Egypt fought to bring an end to a 30-year rule by Mubarak who now sits in jail awaiting trial.

Syrians are aware of how Libyans fought to bring an end to the 40-year rule of Gaddafi and how he died in the hands of his own people. They also saw how the people of Yemen did not back down until the dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh, decides to step down after pressure from his people. These are success stories which show that when people are united in their struggle, such power of the people can topple a dictatorial rule.

Also, while the sanctions on Syria may not have been properly targeted, they are beginning to have adverse effect on the Syrian economy. It won’t take long for the regime to realize it can’t continue to fund the killing of its own people. Major world economies besides Russia and China no longer trade with Syria since the beginning of the uprising and to survive for long with the existence of aggressive sanctions seems unthinkable.

The Arab League opposition to the leadership of Assad is another reason why the regime is destined to crumble. So far, the Arab League has pulled out all its inspectors from the region, the League has expressed its interest that the Assad regime steps down and turn power to the Vice President; without the support of the Arab League, the regime will become isolated and unable to survive with the support of Iran which currently enjoys no relations with the international community.

Finally, there is too much blood shed already, no regime can survive international scrutiny after turning the guns on its own people. The rest of the world criticized Gaddafi for using his military and ammunitions against Libyans which triggered NATO to take action by imposing a no-fly zone and attacking his forces. To think the Assad regime will survive seems unreasonable, President Assad has lost the support of Syrians, the legitimacy of his rule is crushed in the global arena.

Dr. Adeyemi Oshunrinade [E. JD] is a writer and published author; an expert in general law, foreign relations, and the United Nations. Follow on Twitter @san0670

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Categories: War and Politics

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2 replies

  1. To think that the Federal Republic of Russia (emphasis mine) will go that way, in the massive massacre that is the on going is to say is very disheartening. I saw on CNN the visit of the Russian delegation to Syria and was appalled at how human lives can be traded for politicking.
    Sometimes i wonder what politicking does . Putin is seeking re- election after 8 years in the saddle as President and now Prime Minister , then President again maybe for another 12 years- with the recent extension of the president’s tenure to six.
    Moscow does and has not shown true leadership, not with all events of the World including the demise of Libya and all the Arab countries.This is because what you have in North Korea, China, Iran and Moscow is not democracy, but authoritarian rule. You can not give what you dont have. Like in all cases, events of the World are Conspiracy theory , Political, Economic based. This to me is always done not with the slightest thinking of human beings. People are used as pawns. But in the Chess game, when you underrate the poisonous pawn, you are game!

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  2. Peter,
    Thank you for your insights, no doubt that Russia and China are using their veto power to protect their separate interests In Syria as they watch the massacre of innocent civilians. Moscow is mad at the Washington for what it called an attempt to derail current political establishment in Russia and moreover, Russia wants to continue trading with current Syrian regime knowing that any change in leadership and transfer to the Syrian opposition will revert all interests to the U.S. and the West why? Because right now Syrian opposition is disgusted by Russian for supporting the regime of Assad. China on the other hand will do everything to derail U.S. Influence in the region; Beijing enjoy arms trade with Syria and will do whatever it takes to protect it’s concerns even at the cost of human lives. Definitely there is a power struggle here after all, the U.S. had some relations with Syria until the government of Assad started killing it’s own people but nonetheless, must say the U.S. has it’s own double standard in the region but it is always putting the safety of innocent citizens at the forefront and always willing to foster democracy.

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