After so many sacrifices by the Syrian people to dislodge the Assad regime, it is safe to say that without the United States interfering directly (No US boots or treasure) there is little chance the Syrian people will ever win their battle against Assad. Especially, since Iran and Russia are pouring tons of materials and thousands of personnel to assist Assad and the West is drowning Syrians with lip service and words of kindness very few mean any of them. This war will be won by the committed, not by the hesitant.
The fate of the Middle East region is now squarely in the hands of those who exercise the most violence between Assad, the Mullahs of Iran, al-Qaeda, and the hatemongers cheering them on. There are very few arguments one can make in support of interference after the Egyptian fiasco amply demonstrated by the incompetence of the Muslim Brotherhood rise to power in Egypt. Had Morsi not acted as a thug willing to use terror, Syria’s fate might have been different today. Muslim Brotherhood’s stupidity saved Assad.
A Sunni Muslim threatening or practicing terror has different US considerations than a Shia threatening or practicing terror. The Sunni attacked the US on US soil, the Shia attacked the US on Arab or Farsi soil. That distinction is driving Obama’s policy today.
All the past talk of democracy, freedom, and human rights in the region is out the window. The discussion has turned into Arabs as a democracy-proof people (Partially due to religion and partially due to behavior). Even the word “freedom” has disappeared from the lexicon of policy makers and diplomats because Arabs have been generous in interpreting freedom to mean killing those whom they disagree with. When it comes to human rights, it is not enough to energize the West to save us from each other no matter the atrocities Assad or the religious extremists commit.
In short, Arabs are partially to blame for the West’s lack of enthusiasm to step-in into the mess in Syria because not only we want to save us before we turn on it or blame it for our miseries soon after it liberates us from Assad, but it would be as useless an exercise with a predictable dismal political or societal outcome as ever one can be. There are no Ghandis in the Arab world yet, and even if there were, they would be blown to smithereens by both sides.
No matter how hard one tries to explain that Syria was different because of its demographics and no matter how our arguments were construed, one cannot but consider that had Mr. Obama tried to save us from Assad, Syria may have been the catapult for religious Reformation instead of the religious vicious war before us; the West wants to hear none of it in the aftermath of a man named Morsi.
I do not know of any Muslims more liberal or secular, besides the Lebanese Muslims, than those who grew up in Syria. However, today this is history because those moderates are now either extremists fighting for survival, or on the fringe of becoming extremists, or have become inconsequential enough not to matter anymore because liberalism is an extinguished specie.
Those in the Diaspora, like myself, are partially disoriented by Obama’s ignorance of Syria’s potential and partially understanding of the West reluctance to interfere. In fact, liberal Syrians are a walking contradiction because we understand both sides and have developed arguments to disagree with both sides. We are the folks who play Chess against themselves and often wander more on the black side of the board.
So the next step for Syrians willing to abandon the bayonet is to stop the extreme violence we see practiced on a daily basis on both sides. The main question then becomes: What guarantees do the Syrian people have that if they surrender to Assad, he will not unleash a wave of terror like the world has never seen before.
US guarantees are not enough (This currency is worthless with Obama in the WH) and unless the US State Department finds a solution to this little problem no one wants to discuss, the war is unstoppable. It is not Geneva II that will stop the war, but rather under what conditions and what guarantees for these conditions both parties must adhere by that will eventually halt all violence. For Kerry to seek a transitional Assad-less government, without the threat of war, is as useless as ketchup with a rare Argentinian Filet Mignon.
There is nothing to appreciate in the position Syrians find themselves in. If they continue fighting, violence will continue, and if they surrender, violence will continue by Assad to avenge those who defied him. Either way, the Syrians people will die so they might as well continue their struggle. Does anyone at NEA get this?
Would UN Peacekeepers be enough? Or NATO troops separating both sides under the auspices of a strong agreement backed by the use of force?
Time for Secretary Kerry to think about Syria, not Norway.