Assad's Continuing Abuses Must be Addressed
With days to the supposed deadline for the ceasefire in Syria, Bashar al-Assad has continued to massacre the civilians of Syria: the United Nations and the media have been reporting increasing numbers of deaths since Assad's announcement that his army would pull out of major cities and end hostilities by April 10, 2012. Blatantly flouting Kofi Annan's peace plan, which requires an immediate cessation to the violence, Assad has raised questions about the future security of the Syrian people. Will Assad abide by his promises to end the violence and make reforms? Will he use his apparent acceptance of Annan's terms as a ruse to continue his abuse of power?
The escalation of violence at a time preceding reconstruction and peaceful resolution suggests absolute disingenuous on the part of Assad. Since this is the case, for the well being of the twenty million people of Syria, certain steps must be taken. As Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan said at a meeting of Friends of Syria, "geopolitical concerns and interests cannot rule our world."
First and foremost, Russia and China must urge Assad to halt the massacre. Assad currently acts with impunity because he is certain that he is unlikely to be censured by the international community in any meaningful way. Before he commits to the reconstruction of Syria, Assad is likely to quell any sources of rebellion, which is likely to result in a prolonged period of torture for the Syrian people. Regardless of the interests at stake for him in disengaging, it would be in his best interest to desist from further bloodshed immediately or face continuing revolts or permanent loss of power. Taking such steps would also be in the best interest of Assad's allies.Continued on the next page