This is an oped from an “opposition” point of view so you will notice a specific spin on the facts. Ignore the spin. Focus on the facts. In an upcoming post we'll be talking more spin on Turkey.
"On Friday, (December 20/19) US President Donald Trump signed the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act, in a new blow to the regime’s President Bashar al-Assad.I’ve never gotten the impression that Assad or the Russians had projected an idea they had been victorious. I can’t know how they “felt” about the situation and nor can the author of this oped. The paragraph about Bashar al Assad imagination is excluded.
Following approval by the House of Representatives and the Senate, and with President Trump’s signature, any company, institution, or government that carries out commercial dealings with the Bashar al-Assad regime, or provides support for the military efforts of the Assad regime in its war against the Syrians, will be punished.
These severe sanctions, imposed by law, will extend to military groups and mercenary contractors, including Iranians, Russians, Afghans, and Hezbollah’s thugs in Lebanon. But it will also affect international energy companies seeking to invest in the Syrian oil sector, and any company that provides spare parts for aircraft, including helicopters. The law also targets companies providing loans to the Syrian regime.
The Caesar Act grants broad powers to the State Department to support institutions that collect evidence and pursue prosecutions against those who have committed war crimes in Syria.
There was a time when Bashar al-Assad and his Russian allies felt that they had achieved a final victory, having destroyed Syria’s cities and bombed homes, hospitals, schools, bakeries and markets; it was now time to reap the fruits of their investments in Syria"
The Caesar Act came as a blow to everyone’s greed. (Everyone’s greed? Absurd) What was most important about the law’s passage was that it won a similar consensus from both the Democratic and Republican parties, winning 86 votes in the Senate, which eliminated any chance for Trump to override it for the sake of his friend Putin.
The Syrian-American community (undefined) contributed greatly to drafting the law and calling for it to be approved, with advocacy efforts by Syrian-American organizations (unidentified) and the financial support generously provided by the community.(the community?- what community?)
The law will expose those companies that were intending to invest in the Syrian market in the post-war and reconstruction phase, and its effects will not spare anyone who had been drooling at that prospect. Among the companies that will be held accountable if they violate the law are the Chinese firm Huawei, Siemens and Ericsson, as well as oil and gas companies, insurance companies, contracting and construction companies in all fields, financiers, investment companies, service providers and businessmen. All of them will refrain from entering the Syrian market because they will not risk exposing their interests to the sanctions of the US Treasury.
We hope that this law will send a clear message to the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and his Russian and Iranian defenders..
The passage of this law affirms a number of matters that Syrians have long considered key principles. The first of these is that crimes against humanity are not subject to the statute of limitation, and therefore no matter how many years pass, the day will come when criminals find themselves reaping what they sowed.
The second is that there is no justice without accountability, and that oppressors—no matter how long they have persisted in their strength, will one day be held accountable for the crimes committed against their people. All Syrians want a lasting political and peaceful solution, but they know that peace cannot be achieved unless it is based on a solid foundation of accountability.
Third is that victory and defeat in major historical milestones—such as the great revolutions and turning points—are not military, and are not measured by the size of the military victories achieved by this or that party. Whatever victories are achieved on the ground by a party that stands against history, and burns and destroys and seizes the houses and possessions of others—in the end these will not be victories. The real victory is measured by the extent of change brought about by a historic movement.
Additional Reading on the Caesar Act
“the law gives Washington room for negotiating with Moscow to gain concessions from Russian President Vladimir Putin.”Case has been filed at ICC against Assad
"Human rights lawyers have filed the first cases against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.
The lawsuits were submitted on behalf of 28 Syrian refugees in Jordan who say they were forced to flee the country.
Syria is not a party to the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the ICC, meaning that it has not been possible to bring an international criminal case against its government.
But lawyers have used a precedent set by a recent ICC ruling on Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh to launch two lawsuits this week."