Why the Kremlin Opposes Assad’s Immediate Ouster (Izvestia, Russia)
Do the Russians have a more pragmatic grasp of the Syria situation? For Izvestia, columnist and researcher Andranik Migranyan explains to his readers that Americans and the West are oblivious to the fact that it is Washington’s strategy and actions – not those of Moscow or Beijing, that threaten to plunge not only Syria, but the entire region, into a major war.
The first thing to note is that in Western political and diplomatic circles and among the Western public, there are several myths about what’s happening in Syria.
The first myth stems from the fact that due to the one-sided perspective on events in Syria presented by Western mass media, which encourages a belief in the general public and some politicians and diplomats that the whole of Syrian society has risen up against Bashar al-Assad and is demanding his resignation. In fact Assad, as has been confirmed by parliamentary elections on May 7, has the support of a considerable portion of the country’s population. Moreover, he has the support of ethnic and religious minorities and relies on the power of the sizable and by Middle East standards – a well-equipped military.
The second myth, widespread in expert and political circles, is that Assad is completely dependent on Russia and China (mostly on Russia), and that if Moscow so desires, it can demand Assad’s resignation and he will have to comply. But as stated above, Assad has his own base of support. His dependence on Russia is not critical – at least not at this stage. Tremendous political and economic interests of many influential groups in Syrian society are at stake, and even if he wanted to, Assad couldn’t just pick up and leave his post because of Moscow’s demands.
during the Syrian crisis, the Russian side has attempted to appeal to its Western partners to learn the lessons of the “Arab Spring” in other countries. Chancellor Bismarck said, “Only a fool learns from his own mistakes. The wise man learns from the mistakes of others.” Alas, when it comes to the Syrian situation, our American partners refuse to learn – even from their own mistakes.
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