Sunday, 27 September 2015

Opinion: What does “settlement in Syria” mean to Washington?

Eyad Abu Shakra

 'Kerry has specifically adopted Moscow’s two primary positions:
The First, making the “war on terror and extremism” the basis of any international approach in Syria.  The Second, putting off for the time being any discussion of the fate of Assad, rather than making it the first step in any discussion of a political settlement, as the Syrian opposition has been demanding since day one. Kerry has now made it clear Assad does not have to leave anytime soon when he said: “It doesn’t have to be on day one or month one. There is a process by which all the parties have to come together and reach an understanding of how this can best be achieved.”
 It is, indeed, quite interesting that Washington is still blabbering that “there is no place for Assad in a future Syria”. The experience of the last four years with what the Obama administration promises hardly encourages anyone to believe that such a statement means anything.
 On the other hand, talking about Assad, as an individual, may have now become pointless and overtaken by events. It is true he has been the face of the Syrian tragedy as well as its main cause, but it is also true that as an individual he is now but an irrelevant and a worthless detail. Those in control in Syria today are the ones who are striking deals, bringing in sectarian fighters across the border, and drawing with blood the maps of Syria’s partition.
 As regards the Arab states, if Washington continues to dismiss their misgivings about its blessings of Iran’s hegemony over Iraq, and its self-delusion that the Syrians’ would accept the perpetuation of the four-decades old despotic mentality and its security and suppression, they would realize that nothing is going to change in Syria except the portrait of a figurehead president.
 Assad must leave. There should not be any doubts about that; but the policy of “fighting ISIS” alone must not conceal Washington’s frighteningly contradictory approach to the Middle East’s problems; including, turning the Arabs and their countries to failing experiments.'

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