Let us pause here in front of this state of [Assad’s] mad dictatorship, and compare it with what Israel has committed against us [i.e. the Arabs] in recent times […] 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 al-Assad regime; indeed a number of Arab politicians attempted to exploit this tragedy, most prominently the al-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?
Today, in the case of al-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 al-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 also an Arab, then this is something that we can accept, however if he is an Israeli, then we must all move 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 al-Assad!
Tariq Alhomayed, Editor-in-Chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, in a widely noted op-ed with the provocative title “Let us compare al-Assad to Israel.” But as nice as it may be to read Alhomayed’s condemnation of “the growing hypocrisy in our region” and “the lie of the resistance,” it is worth keeping in mind that Asharq Al-Awsat is a Saudi paper owned by a member of the Saudi royal family. It’s also worth keeping in mind that Alhomayed is doubtless bright enough to have known everything he wrote in this op-ed already years ago; yet, his paper used to feature regular columns by Assad’s media advisor Bouthaina Shaaban until last spring. By fall of last year she was called by one of her former fellow-columnists what she always had been: “the ‘make-up artist’, or the embellisher of the Syrian regime’s ugly face.”