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Sawa

Syria’s Darkest Hour

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MADRID – The conflict in Syria becomes more complex every day that it continues, and the country’s prospects have gotten only worse. The daily horrors that Aleppo’s besieged citizens are now experiencing mark a new low point, following the collapse of the latest ceasefire, brokered by the United States and Russia, which disturbingly fell apart precisely at the same time that world leaders were gathered together for the United Nations General Assembly.

When the Syrian conflict finally ends, three of its defining features will complicate reconstruction efforts. For starters, parties on all sides of the fight have disregarded international human-rights law and violated basic humanitarian norms. In fact, blocking humanitarian aid, attacking civilians, and targeting sites specially protected by international law have become strategies of war.

Just since April, Syrian hospitals have suffered dozens of attacks, and aid has been withheld from some of the most devastated villages. Many hospitals in Aleppo have had to close after being targeted during the siege.

These actions may constitute war crimes, and they are sadly not new. In 2015 alone, medical installations in Syria affiliated with Doctors Without Borders incurred 94 attacks, leaving 23 of the organization’s workers dead and another 58 wounded. Last May, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution calling for all parties involved in Syria to respect international humanitarian law; now, Security Council members are accusing one another other of violating their own resolution.

A second dynamic that could frustrate any peace effort is the conflict’s complex map of players, all of which will have to be accounted for in a final accord. While this map has changed significantly since the war began, the level of fragmentation within the groups on either side has become increasingly evident lately. Now that the jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra has changed its name to Jabhat Fatah al-Sham and reportedly dissociated itself from al-Qaeda, it is better positioned to ally with other rebel factions that have also rejected al-Qaeda.

But while this rapprochement strengthens the fighting groups militarily, it also blurs the lines between rebels and Islamist radicals. This has occurred while rebel groups not closely aligned with al-Nusra have become weaker, allowing the Syrian regime to insist that it is not suppressing a rebellion, but fighting a war against terrorism. Thus, at the UN General Assembly, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem recently accused the US-led coalition in Syria of abetting terrorist organizations, including the Islamic State.

Some months ago, discussions about a peace process centered on the question of whether Assad should go immediately, or remain during a transitional government; now, the question is whether the former al-Nusra is a viable partner.

But the pro-Assad side has divisions of its own. In addition to the Russian army, Syrian, Iraqi, Iranian, and Afghan groups are also fighting for the regime, and each of these actors has its own interests.

Some parties’ interests in the war are well known: Assad wants to remain in power; Russia wants to demonstrate its status as a great power capable of resisting the US; and Iran wants to increase its regional influence and secure access to the Mediterranean. When the fighting ends, these positions will only become more entrenched.

A third obstacle in the path toward Syrian peace is the US-Russia stalemate. After so many broken ceasefires, the two countries clearly lack mutual trust. And as Dmitri Trenin of the Carnegie Moscow Center has pointed out, the latest failure could have far more worrying consequences than past diplomatic impasses.

So far, the US and Russia have not only broken off bilateral negotiations; mutual nuclear agreements have also come under threat. After the US accused Russia of committing war crimes in Syria, Russia declared that it was suspending an agreement to dispose of surplus plutonium unless the US meets certain conditions, including compensating Russia for the costs of Western sanctions imposed after Russia annexed Crimea in March 2014.

For its part, the US is in an uncertain position now that rebel factions have regrouped and its direct cooperation with Russia is on hold. President Barack Obama has only a short time left in office, which makes any major foreign-policy shift under his administration almost impossible. As the battle for Aleppo rages on, so, too, does the US presidential election campaign that will determine his successor.

After more than five years of conflict in Syria, retreating without having found a solution is not an option. Although the new map of players complicates things, there is no doubt that they must all participate in a peace deal; otherwise, any agreement will prove ephemeral. Likewise, in order to rebuild Syrian civil society for the long term, all of the warring parties will have to take responsibility for their crimes.

The issue of responsibility will be one of the most difficult challenges in the effort to achieve lasting peace. We will need committed leaders both inside and outside Syria. Although the US presidential election will be consequential, it has also become clear that peace cannot be delivered by the US and Russia on their own.

European leaders should step in to restart negotiations. The European Union has mistakenly sat on the sidelines of these talks for too long, despite Syria’s importance to its own security and interests, and despite its responsibility to Syria’s citizens. The EU should make every diplomatic and humanitarian effort to bring together all participating parties and end the violence as soon as possible. Only then can Syria’s reconstruction begin.

https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/syria-war-peace-process-by-javier-solana-2016-10

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Above is a perfect example of lots of words with no substance. Syrian issue is simple and clear, no complications. Its a fight against terrorism, the same fight Sri Lanka fought for decades, Pakistan fought it in its northern regions, Philippine is fighting in its wahabi infested regions, and so on.

Syria has to fight harder because some of the most powerful countries are backing and feeding terrorism in Syria.

Iran and Russia role is over simplified in the western media too. Russia doesn't want another unstable Afghanistan like country on its borders, there are gas pipeline issues involved, and then there is Israel equation.  

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So a totalitarian corrupt police state which has oppressed Syria for the last 50 years has played no role in creating terror, resentment, and the kinds of radical attitudes that lead to this sort of conflict. Taking a black and white point of view of good guys versus bad guys oversimplifies a very complex conflict that has been boiling for a long time which has killed Syria.  

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On 10/22/2016 at 7:20 AM, Irfani313 said:

Above is a perfect example of lots of words with no substance. Syrian issue is simple and clear, no complications. Its a fight against terrorism, the same fight Sri Lanka fought for decades, Pakistan fought it in its northern regions, Philippine is fighting in its wahabi infested regions, and so on.

Syria has to fight harder because some of the most powerful countries are backing and feeding terrorism in Syria.

Iran and Russia role is over simplified in the western media too. Russia doesn't want another unstable Afghanistan like country on its borders, there are gas pipeline issues involved, and then there is Israel equation.  

Isra'el may wind up being a very interesting element in Russia's, Vladimir Putin's, willingness to remain in Syria and in the just how of their remaining so involved, and even more especially so with Trump in power over here in America.

 Unfortunately, the Wall Street Journal is saying that Trump's people seem to like John Bolton as a possible pick by President Trump for either US ambassador to the UN, or, EVEN WORSE, as Secretary of State. And, it is, I think, uncertain, just how Putin thinks with regard the #jewish presence in the Golan Heights. Ivanka Kushner or Ivanka Trump has a #jewishamerican husband and father in law.

 So, Russia, may actually WANT to agree with a future Trump policy of attempting to persuade a more Isra'el friendly Syria for the future.

 At present the Russians are holding firm in fighting the presence of the one and the same Al Qaeda which killed nearly three thousand Americans on the Tuesday morning the week after 2001's Labor Day holiday weekend. It, for a while, called itself Nusra Front, and has changed its name again, and it does seem strange indeed that Obama had always been willing to support it or at least allow Tayip Erdogan, Yusef Qiradawi of Qatar and his patron Emir, and the Wahhabi's to fund and support it. And, I think, Donald Trump will be at least as much as less likely to side with the Salafist Wahhabi's on support for Al Qaeda in Syria as Obama had been.

 I would still promote the notion of caution with regard what Trump may do in Syria.

 Russia will continue to oppose any accommodation with Salafist Takfiri baby-killer Wahhabis or their Al Qaeda class mates.

 

 

 

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On 10/22/2016 at 8:43 AM, Sawa said:

So a totalitarian corrupt police state which has oppressed Syria for the last 50 years has played no role in creating terror, resentment, and the kinds of radical attitudes that lead to this sort of conflict. Taking a black and white point of view of good guys versus bad guys oversimplifies a very complex conflict that has been boiling for a long time which has killed Syria.  

You see, we don't do 'knee jerk' reactions here on this site. Most of the members here are very well informed about this conflict and some even live or have lived in Syria or have visited there many times. 

It is true that Bashar and his father before him sanctioned a certain amount of corruption, covered up some crime, and some were committed by others without their knowledge. This happens in every single country on earth. But the simple fact is that Syria was a stable country with a stable system and decent life for the people (relatively, given the region where Syria is located and the different conflicts swirling around them). 

That is until the powers that be (i.e. the US, EU, and Israel via the CIA and Mossad) decided that 'Assad must go' not because he was any more or less corrupt that any of the leaders to his East, North, or South but because he passively supported the Islamic Resistance Movement in Lebanon (i.e. Hezbollah). And so they unleashed the terrorist hoards onto the country and made it into the living hell it is today. They used the 'Arab Spring', whatever that was, as a pretext to do this. This is clear to anyone who has studied the issue and/or has knowledge and experience of the 'neighborhood' where Syria is located. Propaganda only works on the ignorant. 

 

 

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On 22-10-2016 at 2:43 PM, Sawa said:

So a totalitarian corrupt police state which has oppressed Syria for the last 50 years has played no role in creating terror, resentment, and the kinds of radical attitudes that lead to this sort of conflict. Taking a black and white point of view of good guys versus bad guys oversimplifies a very complex conflict that has been boiling for a long time which has killed Syria.  

That 'totalitarian corrup police state' was the most diverse and one of the safest countries in the Middle East pre 2011. The only thing that 'killed' Syria was "Assad must go". It's not even a civil war when most of the fighting is done by imported foreign terrorists, supplies and weapons. And it certainly is Good versus Evil when you know the history of the 'bad guys' that ruined Libya just recently.

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Estimates of up to 40,000 deaths were made for the 1982 siege of Hama. The Assad family has remained in power since. 

 

Syria has been brewing internal issues for decades now at the least.  It hasnt been a stable country, and this isnt something that can simply be blamed on foreign governments or foreign fighters. While foreign governments and foreign fighters will play their part, the people of Syria and the government of Syria are in larger part, playing their own.  And these internal conflicts will continue, so long as people try to use western nations as scape goats while not being critical of predominant sources of conflict within Syria.

Also, of course nobody is a fan of the Islamic State, but there is no reason to paint Assad as a hero.  The other day I saw a post here with Assad dressed up in some 12th century armor looking like he was going to battle orcs in lord of the rings.  The guy isnt some legendary hero off to save the planet, but you would think he was based on the way people describe him here on SC.

Edited by iCambrian

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The point being that Bashar Assad is continuing the effort against the enormity of the opposition directed against him and against the sovereignty of Syria.

 There is no doubt that elements within the United States had wanted to take out Bashar because America saw Syria as a threat at ally Israel's northern border. America, and I think, Donald Trump, want a regime change or a modification in Assad's government that Israel might feel is safer for Israel, and, that  THIS  is the conflict in Syria. America will not stop screaming until Israel says all is okay now.

 Bashar Assad's Syria and Hafez Assad's Syria had been a more stable country, a more stable society, but there had been plenty of studies made of situations in Syria for years, studying Syria's factions and internal disputes and weaknesses, and certain elements within this country, America, saw the opportunity to let it fly in Syria, thinking America would come out the winner. America has set up the conflict in Syria and America sustains it.

 I like to draw the analogy with Black Lives Matter here in the American heartland and the White police officers patrolling the streets of America's urban centers in police cars. The Americans would subdue criminal activity directed against White American police officers within the United States' national territory just as it would the White so called Hell's Angels motorcycle club seizing control over White areas within our national territory, but America shouts at the top of its pretend to be diplomatic vocal chords about legal authorities and police officers doing just that !

 Maybe it really and truly would be best if Trump America had an East Aleppo North Philadelphia or an East Aleppo Saint Louis Missouri.

 America grew wealthy while Black people worked hard, cultivated land while Indians died after having tried to defend it, took the Kingdom of Hawaii so America could deposit coal to fire its merchant and military steam powered vessels the rest of the way across to the Philippines after refueling midway. America's pretentions of having concern are overstated at best, truly deceiving and ill intended while pretending otherwise.

  America as well as the Wahhabi Sauds and the Armenian murdering Turks are the enemy inside Syria, not the Assad "regime."

 

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