Jordan's King Abdullah told the BBC yesterday that if he were Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, he would step down as president. 'I would step down and make sure whoever comes behind me has the ability to change the status-quo that we’re seeing.' On Saturday, the Arab League suspended Syria and called on its government to stop the violence against protesters. The League said that it will impose economic and political sanctions on the Syrian government and will also meet with opposition leaders in the country. They are also expected to make a similar condemnation this week, along with most Western leaders.
The White House added yesterday that President Assad was increasingly isolated, and said that he had lost his legitimacy to lead. 'It is clear that the Assad regime is continuing to be isolated, that the political pressure on them is building,' said White House spokesperson Josh Earnest.
40 Syrians were reported to have been killed in fighting yesterday between forces loyal to President Assad and anti-government forces.
This all appears to be productive, but is in fact futile. Assad knows that Russia and China will never back similar measures that they did against Libya and he knows that international sanctions can only go so far. The conflict in Libya helped secure, not deter Assad’s reign and condemned four thousand activists to death. With the Euro crisis, 2012 US elections, the wider Arab Spring, Russia and China’s veto and Iran’s nuclear program, world leaders have their plates full and don’t want and in some cases can’t handle and even afford another issue to deal with. As long Assad keeps this now, civil war in his country as a domestic conflict and affair and not let the troubles in his country escalate beyond his boarders, it is pretty clear he will be the Syrian President this time next year – especially if the West has nothing to with it. They can just congratulate each other about a successful Libyan mission.