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MENAFN - Arab News - 11/02/2013

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(MENAFN - Arab News) I read Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki's statements to Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper more than once because he addressed sensitive issues very frankly. It is not often that politicians open up their minds to others.

He knowingly spoke of Syria, where he lived for many years when he was an opposition figure. He said he was not surprised by the ongoing struggle and that he was not surprised by the regime's ability to survive. He also said that during a visit to Washington he projected this outcome of the crisis during talks with US president, vice president and the former secretary of state.

Maliki said that they thought Assad will fall in two months while he made a bet that Assad will not fall even after two years. Why? Maliki says the regime in Syria survives on a sectarian issue and that the presence of Alawites in power provides survival net for the sect and that their ouster from power would put them in a situation where they would all be slain. To Maliki, the Alawites are fighting with their men and women because they are obliged to, and that's why the regime has withstood the opposition onslaught.
The opposition fighters only got a little from Turkey and almost nothing from Jordan. Their backs are exposed, and they carry primitive weapons to the point that more than one fighter uses the same rifle and when ammunition runs out they are forced to withdraw.

Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein fell easily in 2003 because America, the world's superpower, ended him in eight days. Saddam survived for eight years when Iran fought him and killed a million without winning. What I mean is that balance of power in not only based on military strategy willpower and faith.

Afghan Mujahedeen kicked out the Soviets with "Stinger" missiles that paralyzed the Russian warplanes and with the massive aid of progressive Western weapons. This is true in the case of the Viet Cong in Vietnam that with the generous Chinese backing overthrew the regime supporting Washington while the liberation movement in Chechnya failed against the Russians because it was isolated.

Today, the Syrian majority is fighting a regime, which cannot be called sectarian but a suppressive one that resembles dictatorship fascist regimes. Sunni and Christian pockets of resistance fight alongside Assad because they share the same interests or fears. Both sides with all their categories, men, women and children tirelessly fight. It is a bloody absurd war because of the indifference of the international community.

We are experiencing the biggest massacre of the 21st century. We have not known of a war where one party uses warplanes, tanks and cannons daily to shell cities and kill thousands of civilians and that has continued month after month. Show me one such scene from our modern history.

What Maliki says of the Alawites' heroism is not true and is not even important. The story is that without Iran's and Russia's generous support, the regime would run out of ammunition and fuel for its tanks and warplanes.
What Maliki did not deny and did not speak of was the end of the war, as he knows well; Assad's regime in Damascus will fall no matter how long the struggle takes.


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