Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has warned that any other course of action would result in more bloodshed.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011. The violence has claimed the lives of hundreds of people, including many security forces.
Damascus blames ‘outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups’ for the unrest, asserting that it is being orchestrated from abroad.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Lawrence Davidson, a professor at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, to get more on the issue.
The video offers the opinions of two additional guests: Omar Nashabi from Al Akhbar, a daily Arabic language newspaper published in the Lebanese capital Beirut, and Jiwad Rashad from Syrian Social Club.
What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview:
Press TV: What the Syrian government has done so far in terms of the constitution, in terms of the reforms, is much more than what for example Yemen has done under this joint US-Persian Gulf Arab countries mainly Saudi Arabia and we can include some of the other countries from the Persian Gulf area also. But Syria is accused of doing nothing and when it comes to the efforts by President Bashar al-Assad and his government, why this contradiction?
Davidson: I think it is a political positioning, if you will. There is no inherent contradiction. The government in Syria has in fact set forth a program of reform. Now that has been done under pressure but it has been done and I think that a certain amount of pressure will have to be maintained on the government to make sure that there is a modicum of follow-through on this.
But that pressure cannot be in the form of a civil war and that is really what these outside agitators, if you will, and their supporters really want. The United States, the Saudis, what they want is regime change and clearly in the case of Syria, the only way you are going to get regime change is by a very bloody and destructive civil war and so it is [de facto] that is what they are trying to do.
That is why they are smuggling the weapons; that is why they are enticing Syrian soldiers to desert and that is why these Saudis are pouring in the money. Now that seems to me that strategy has resulted in the pressure that is factionalizing the opposition and so there probably are a lot of Syrians who had started out in the opposition and demonstrated in the streets, etc. would say OK, let's take the government out of its words, so to speak, and see where these proposed reforms go.
And I think that they are wise decision under the circumstances because the alternative is pretty bad. However, I do not think that we should kid ourselves. If there is going to be serious follow-through on these reforms, people are going to have to periodically take to the streets in a non-violent fashion but in a relatively massive fashion to make sure the government knows they are still there.
Press TV: We saw in the hundreds and thousands today Syrians poured out; Kofi Annan tomorrow will be making his revelations to the UN. What do you think? Is this the point where some of the Arab countries such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia along with the US and its allies have realized their approach has not worked, of course given the fact that Russia and China have stood firmly against them?
Davidson: I am not sure if that is the case. I think they have realized that they cannot promote outright civil war and get their regime change, but I think that they are perfectly willing to maintain a low-grade unstabilizing kind of profits. So I do not think that the smuggling of the weapons and the funding of an armed opposition, I do not think that is going to go away; I do not think it is going to go away even if everybody else is satisfied with the reforms of the government.
So my feeling is that you are going to have this sort of insidious, periodic outburst of violence, car bombing, the whole nine yards, I think that is going to go on for a while yet because a certain modicum of the instability particularly in a place like Syria are distracting the government say from its confrontation with Israel, making nervous the Iranians. I think that that kind of low-grade instability is something that the US will try to maintain.
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