How would Bashar al Assad want to end the war? He answered this question on the Charlie Rose Show, on 9 September, 2013.
Why share this?
Many of us will not be inclined to listen to the whole interview, and so I though it would be relevant to hear what Bashar al-Assad, President of Syria, had to say about the solutions of ending the crisis in ‘his’ country.
The solution, the steps to be taken, from within
CR: What advise are you getting from the Russians?
CR: About this war. About how to end this war?
BA: Every friend of Syria is looking for peaceful solutions. And we are convinced about that. We have this [Russia’s] advise, and, without this advise we are convinced about it.
CR: Do you have a plan to end the war?
BA: Of course.
CR: Which is?
BA: At the very beginning it was fully political. When you have these terrorists, the first part of the same plan was also political. It should start with the stopping, dismantling of terrorists coming from abroad. Stopping the logistic support, the money, the.., all kind of support coming to these terrorists. This is the first part.
Second. You can have national dialogue, where different Syrian parties sit and discuss the future of Syria.
Third. You will have an interim government, or transitional government. Then you have the final elections, the Parliamentary elections; and you’re going to have the Presidential elections.
CR: The question is: would you meet with rebels today? To discuss a negotiated settlement?
BA: In the initiative that we issue at the beginning of this year, we said every party; with no exceptions. As long, as long as they give up their armaments.
CR: But you’ll meet with the rebels, and anybody who is fighting against you, to give up their weapons?
BA: Yeah. We don’t have a problem with that at all.
CR: But then they will say: ‘You’re not giving up your weapons, why should we give up our weapons?’
BA: Does a government give up it’s weapons? Have you heard about that before?
CR: No, but rebels don’t give up their weapons either during a negotiation. They do that after it was successful.
BA: The armament of the government is legal armament. Any other armament is not legal. So how can you compare? It’s completely different.
(I transcribed this segment. It goes roughly from 20:13min to 22:00min)
And the second part of the story, focusing on the external factors and support of the crisis.
CR: What in the end; what’s the endgame?
BA: OK, of this war?
BA: It’s very simple. When the Western countries stop supporting those terrorists and [put] pressure on their puppet countries and client states like Saudi Arabia, Turkey and others, you’ll have no problems. It will be solved easily. Because those fighters, the Syrian part that you’re talking about lost [their] natural incubators in the Syrian society. They don’t have [an] incubator any more. That’s why they have incubators abroad; they need money from abroad. They need the moral support and political support from abroad because they don’t have grass root, any incubator. So, when you stop this smuggling, you don’t have problems.
CR: Yeah, but at the same time, as I’ve said before, you have support from abroad. There are those who said you would not be able to survive without the support of Russia and Iran.
BA: No, it’s not me. I don’t have support.
CR: Your government would not be able to support, survive…
BA: Every agreement is between class and every sector in Syria. Government, people, trade, military, culture, everything. It’s like the cooperation between your country and every other country in the world. It’s the same cooperation. It’s not about me. It’s not support for the crisis.
CR: I mean about your government. You say that the rebels only survive because they have support from Saudi Arabia and Turkey, and the United States and Qatar, perhaps. (BA: The difference…) And I’m saying that you only survive because you have the support of Russia and Iran and Hezbollah.
BA: The external support can never substitute internal support. Never. For sure. … The example that you have to look at very well: Egypt and Tunisia. They have all the support from the West and from the Gulf and then from most of the countries in the world, but they don’t have support within their country, they couldn’t continue for.. how many weeks? 3 weeks. So, the only reason we [are] stand[ing] for [2.5] years is because we have internal support, public support. So, any external support, if you want to call it support, you used this word, is going to be addition. But it’s not based, depends on, the Syrian support.
(This part is only transcribe by me, from 46:30min to approximately 49:10min)