Subject: Middle East
With all the silliness of the 2012 campaigns, Syria has slipped from the reports and from the minds of Americans……during this time the two party loyals are spending all their time and energy throwing insults around….none of which is that important when you consider the crap others are having to deal with on a daily basis….
After more than a year of uprisings, Syria is still stuck in a violent stalemate. Al-Assad has not been able to crush the opposition, and opposition seems nowhere near to dislodging al-Assad. Increasingly, the conflict is being framed in existential terms, with some involved becoming more radicalized.
And the UN envoy has a plan to try an control the violence and destruction.
What are the 6 points of the cease fire plan?
(1) commit to work with the [UN-Arab Envoy Kofi Annan] in an inclusive Syrian-led political process to address the legitimate aspirations and concerns of the Syrian people, and, to this end, commit to appoint an empowered interlocutor when invited to do so by the Envoy;
(2) commit to stop the fighting and achieve urgently an effective United Nations supervised cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties to protect civilians and stabilize the country. To this end, the Syrian government should immediately cease troop movements towards, and end the use of heavy weapons in, population centers, and begin pullback of military concentrations in and around population centers. As these actions are being taken on the ground, the Syrian government should work with the Envoy to bring about a sustained cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties with an effective United Nations supervision mechanism. Similar commitments would be sought by the Envoy from the opposition and all relevant elements to stop the fighting and work with him to bring about a sustained cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties with an effective United Nations supervision mechanism;
(3) ensure timely provision of humanitarian assistance to all areas affected by the fighting, and to this end, take immediate steps, to accept and implement a daily two-hour humanitarian pause and to coordinate exact time and modalities of the daily pause through an efficient mechanism, including at local level;
(4) intensify the pace and scale of release of arbitrarily detained persons, including especially vulnerable categories of persons, and persons involved in peaceful political activities, provide without delay through appropriate channels a list of all places in which such persons are being detained, immediately begin organizing access to such locations and through appropriate channels respond promptly to all written requests for information, access or release regarding such persons;
(5) ensure freedom of movement throughout the country for journalists and a non-discriminatory visa policy for them;
(6) respect freedom of association and the right to demonstrate peacefully as legally guaranteed.
An interesting plan……ambitious comes to mind……but it will not work. Why?
First, business men are not on board….they are sitting the fence because they do not see the opposition as strong enough to unseat Assad…….second, the alawites (a Muslim sect) feel that if Assad is deposed then they will be hunted down and killed for revenge…….third, Assad himself….he does not want to leave power and will play all sorts of games to buy time….time he needs to set himself up to continue to rule…..finally, if Western action is taken there is NO proof that anything will change in Syria except the leader.
Syria will be yet another test of the international community……personally, I do not feel they are up to the challenge.