What’s happening to Syria, and not simply in Syria, has been described by UN officials as the worst humanitarian disaster since WWII. In regional terms, this is also the worst disaster since the Palestinian Nakba, irrespective of how one allots blame for that one.
This 9-points plan (click here for Arabic version) represents my own little contribution, offered through the auspices of the Tharwa Foundation, to ongoing efforts aimed at resolving the conflict in y home-country: Syria. As a peace plan, it may not represent the early expectations of the revolutionaries, not to mention my own, or any one side of this conflict for that matter. But parties to the Syrian conflict have to prepare themselves for settling for much less than they initially wanted and sought. The struggle for democracy is a complicated long-term process that requires continuous readjustments. It might begin with a protest movement or a popular revolution, but it does not end with it. Politics, no matter how derided and cynical it seems sometimes, remains a necessity.
The complicated issues related to the shape of future Syria and the nature and scope of the transitional justice process are differed to a later stage, due to the intricate calculations involved on all sides. The current plan merely aims to enable parties to the conflict, domestic, regional and international, to agree on a longer-term truce (perhaps as long as 5 years), while they negotiate a final settlement that might involve talks and compromises regarding developments in other countries and even other regions of the world, not only Syria. In other words, the idea is to exchange a violent long-term conflict for a long-term political process, no matter how complicated it is bound to be, in order to ease the suffering of the Syrian people.
While claiming that the critics of the Iran Deal are “overstretching the specter of Iran’s imperialism,” Paul Pillar more than underplays the reality of it even as it unfolds under our watchful eyes in places like Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Lebanon.
I see: Iranian officials are not involved in directing the Houthis because the latter follow a different branch of Shiism. Indeed. Did such a difference, by the way, prevent these officials from taking over command and control in Syria? Or from playing host to members of Al-Qaeda who actually call for the extermination of all Shia? What sort of logic is this really?