Mar 7, 2014
Who Benefits If the Killing in Syria Continues?
Posted on Jun 5, 2013
“The best hope for an end to the killing in Syria is for the United States and Russia to push both sides in the conflict to agree to a ceasefire in which each holds the territory it currently controls,” Patrick Cockburn writes in The Independent.
In a battle in which both the rebels and the government still believe they can win, the chance of any talks taking place in Geneva have dimmed over the past few days. “Going by the evidence of their own leaders,” Cockburn continues, “the rebels, inside and outside Syria, are so divided and dysfunctional they may not be in the business of talking to anybody.”
Furthermore, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was never as politically or militarily weak as he was portrayed by the international media and foreign leaders. The core leadership of his regime has stayed together, and he still holds almost all of Syria’s main towns and cities.
In the past few days, the White House said its top priority in the conflict is to support regime change. But this would appear to lead to a very long conflict. Washington seems to be opposed to the idea of Iran attending Geneva talks, and Britain and France are ensuring the slaughter continues by ending the EU embargo on arms for rebels, considering that the weapons provided are no match for government forces.
“The current stalemate is too well rooted in realities on the ground,” Cockburn writes. “The most significant impact of more arms for the rebels will be to persuade them that, if they refuse to negotiate, they will eventually get full-scale Western military intervention such as a Libya-type no-fly zone, which, in practice, meant Nato air forces joining the war.” More arms means the EU is delaying the day when the two sides can address each other through “mutual exhaustion and the knowledge that neither can win.”
—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.
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