Sunday, February 16, 2014

Syrian peace talks fail. No surprise here.

Lakhdar Brahimi, a Sunni Islam Muslim, was appointed by the United Nations as the new peace envoy to Syria, replacing Kofi Annan on 17 August 2012.  On Saturday, February 15, 2014, those peace talks failed.

Why?  The answer may be complex but seems clear to me.

Here is a clue from Wikipedia:

The ongoing Syrian civil war was inspired by the Arab Spring Revolutions. It began in 2011 as a chain of peaceful protests, followed by a crackdown by the Syrian Army.[54] In July 2011, army defectors declared the formation of the Free Syrian Army and began forming fighting units. The opposition is dominated by Sunni Muslims, whereas the leading government figures are Alawites.

Who are the Alawites?

Alawites are a prominent group, centered in Syria, who follow a branch of the Twelver school of Shia Islam.

The “Twelvers” comprise the majority of Shia Islam Muslims and believe in the soon return of the Twelfth Imam at the end of days.

What did Sunni Muslim negotiator Lakhdar Brahimi propose to the Shia Muslim government of Syria?  (Are you beginning to sense the problem yet?)

Sunni Brahimi suggested instituting a new transitional governing body with members from the Shia al-Assad government, as well as members from Sunni the Sunni opposition.  That didn’t go over too well with Assad – wanted no part of it – and only wanted to discuss “terrorism.”  As an aside, this reminds me of the US Democrats wanting amnesty for 15 million illegal aliens while the rest of us see that of a danger to our culture and a diluting of conservative and Republican representation.  Think of the Syrian equivalents being Brahimi is to Democrats as Assad is to Republicans insofar as a concern of shift of power is concerned. 

Here is the rest of the story from Generational

The al-Assad regime wanted no part of that discussion, but only wants to discuss "terrorism," referring to the jihadists in Syria. So Brahimi came up with a kind of compromise: The Geneva II peace talks would discuss "terrorism" on day 1, then discuss the "transitional governing body" on day 2, and alternate between the two topics on subsequent days.

Well, the al-Assad regime refused to even discuss the "transitional government body," and his spokesman said that the terrorism problem has to be completely solved and agreed by all sides "with a common vision," before any other topic could be even discussed.

A “transitional governing body” is out of the question for the Assad government.  I can relate to Assad’s concern.  It is much like the US conservative desire to close the border and enforce existing immigration laws before we open the floodgates of future liberal, entitlement Democrats into our nation.

I can also sympathize with Assad’s insistence on eliminating terrorism as a priority before anything useful can be accomplished.

Now as for the perceived evil of the Assad regime, this is where where the theory of relativity kicks in:  Relative Evil.  The entire Middle East is indisputably a bad neighborhood.  Unfortunately, liberal Pollyannas in the United States believe that those folks live by a similar moral code as we do in the West and respect similar peaceful values for their governments.  Wrong, wrong, wrong!  That false belief is what has gotten us into costly, endless, and futile “nation-building” wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As much as we chafe at the thought, iron-fisted Assad-esque regimes are required in that neighborhood.  That is the only way any semblance of stability can be maintained.  They live under millennia of bad habits.  And we think we can change those habits in a decade or two?  We are fools.

We will be more “humanitarian” by being on the side of stability, even though the price of stability is high in blood and freedoms.  The prospect of even more radical Islamic rebels taking over will result in a much higher cost in blood, freedoms, and stability.  The better of two evils.

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