Syrian protesters call for the departure of Assad in Syria’s biggest day of protest.
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The Syrian people have spoken once again: they want an end to the regime, and the immediate departure of Bashar Al-Assad. Should opposition groups fail to adopt this clear demand of theirs for whatever reason or under whatever pretext, they will likely be denounced by the protesters in the coming weeks, intentions notwithstanding. Bashar & family & Co. will not be part of the solution, they have made that clear enough for our people to see, and they won’t be wasting any more time hoping against hope itself that this is not the case. They have done so for 11 years under Bashar, and for decades under his father, before they finally reached the boiling point. But now they are boiling, now they are dying, for freedom.
Many in the opposition fear for the stability and security of the country, and that’s why some of them might believe that a dialog with the Assads is the better solution to get out of this impasse. But the protesters fear for their freedom, now that it is so close, that they have finally broken the barrier of fear and bought into the logic of putting “freedom first” instead of security first, as the opposition have been advising them for so many years, it seems foolish, treasonous even, for the self-same opposition to now put security above freedom.
Indeed, no one denies that there are inherent risks for insisting on Bashar’s immediate ouster, but finding ways to manage these risks have been the challenge all along. This is what we need to focus our energies on at this stage, we cannot back-peddle, we cannot second-guess the protesters, they have come a long way, and they have proven far braver and wiser than most of us thought. It’s time we learned to listen to our people, rather than preach at them. It’s time we learned to serve them, rather than expect them to serve us and our ambitions.