Ahed Al Hendi Headshot

Can we Expel Assad Along with his Ambassadors?

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This past November, 18 people, including two children, were killed in Syria by regime forces for participating in a nationwide protest under the banner, "The Day of Expelling Syrian Ambassadors." The pleas mixed with blood of my people, fell on the international community's deaf ear. Now, after six additional months of labouring, the West is finally listening. Syrian ambassadors have been expelled from the United States, Canada, Germany, England, The Netherland, Switzerland, France, Australia, and Bulgaria.

Though these steps are much appreciated, far more needs to be done. Specifically, the head of the Syrian dictatorship, Bashar Al Assad, must be expelled from his position.

It is well known that Assad's embassies were used by the regime as centers of espionage. An October 2011 a report by Amnesty International documented 30 cases in which Syrian activists abroad faced intimidation by the Syrian embassies in eight countries, including Canada, for their activities.

The statements made by Western nations about expelling Syrian ambassadors should never drown out the shrieks of the children who were slaughtered in Hawla, Homs, and Daraa. It took 14,000 victims to expel Assad's spies from the West. How many more will it take to expel Assad himself?

The Anan plan was doomed to failure from the beginning. The West should consider military intervention as it is the only remaining option. The Syrian army is paralyzed because its soldiers are fatigued and unwilling to sacrifice themselves for Assad. Resistance by the army would be minimal. Syrian allies such as Russia and Iran are supplying the Assad regime with arms to squash the protestors while defecting soldiers are left alone, without support.

Syrian protesters in Hama welcomed American and French ambassadors with flowers in July last year as a sign of appreciation. This is considered a rare gesture in an Arab nation. Conversely, the protestors have burned the flags of Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah.

The West has already lost a golden opportunity in Lebanon, where their lack of support for the democratically elected government caused the terrorist organization Hezbollah to take over. The same scenario is being repeated in Syria, as pro-democracy and pro-West protestors are being slaughtered while the West is abandoning them.

Though expelling the Syrian ambassadors is an important step, this neither brings the murdered children back to life, nor will it protect the remaining children from being killed.