Peace for Syria: A scarce commodity

Dr. Yahya Al-Aridi 2017-03-07 18:01:00

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Semantically, there is a big difference between the term "scarce" and the term "prohibited". Probably the latter is more appropriate in the Syrian case, because it carries a sense of intentionality. There is a party or parties out there which seem to be working hard so that the Syrian tragedy continues. There are those who make peace such a scarce or rare commodity in Syria: those whose behavior or attitude unintentionally drive peace away from Syria. 

The Syrian opposition and its friends, the regime and its supporters and supposedly neutral parties all contribute to such a situation. When it comes to opposition, the absence of political life in Syria for decades has generated a sense of frustration towards any political change. Absence of principles of rights and responsibilities created a detachment from the homeland and nationalist feeling. Fear from authoritarianism and tacit hostility towards it developed the sense of "everything or nothing" among Syrians. Add to all that suspicion, poverty, lying, selfishness, hideousness, uncertainty, hopelessness, improvisation which made talk more important than action, hypocrisy more effective than credibility and appearances more important than reality and truthfulness. Such defects made the possibility of bringing peace to Syria so scarce and may be prohibited. 

The Friends of Syria at different occasions proved to be a burden on Syria and its people despite the aid they extended to Syrians. A case in point is the latest proposal they presented in the UNSC regarding certain Assad regime figures’ perpetration of war crimes at the time when the Geneva peace talks between the regime and opposition was not unhelpful but rather harmful to facilitating peace negotiations. Both France and Britain who were behind the proposal knew that Russia was going to veto it. Such an action embarrassed Russia and made it use the veto for the 7th time. Such a veto was a blow to Russia’s reputation out of which France and Britain would benefit. It emboldens and encourages the Assad regime to continue its crimes without thinking of any accountability. It simply hindered the efforts to bring peace to Syria. Such an action was at the expense of Syrian blood. 

When it comes to the Assad regime, everyone knows that it has early on selected the military option to deal with the opposition under the banner of "Assad rules it or ruins it" and "Assad or nobody". Any time, there was an attempt to settle the conflict peacefully it is blocked with all sorts of pretexts and excuses: terrorism, conspiracy, treason, and outside interference. The Iranian militias’ interference and that of Russia complicated things further, and made peace almost unattainable. 

Geneva meetings were always timed and punctuated with terrorist acts taking place exactly at the time they start: the explosions of Saida Zienab (Geneva III) and on the day Geneva IV started, two explosions in Homs. That gives the regime’s delegation the chance to derail the peace talks to fighting terrorism and going into unending details while the main item on the talks’ agenda is peace through political transition. 

As long as that those practicing state terrorism are there accusing those terrorized with terrorism, as long as there are powers protecting them behave in a gang-like manner, and as long as spoilers wear the mask of friendship, and as long as those who represent the opposition carry this naughty childish mentality, peace chances for Syria are quite slim. A revolution that can bring Syria back to life needs people who truly love Syria. 

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