'News and Views of a Frustrated Editor and His Featured Guests '
A new year and a wealth of silly antics by politicos…..the world is going into the crapper and we are told about the mindless ramblings of presidential wannabes…..believe me when I say there are more important things than the people with diarrhea of the mouth……
For instance…..there has been a push to solve the Syrian thing….in other words a peace deal…..of which I have written a couple of posts…..
And then this one…….
It appears that I am not alone in thinking that this is an awful idea…..not that a peaceful settlement is an awful idea but rather the attempts the world are embracing……
I said that the Syrian people should be consulted before any deal is inked….but there lies the problem…..just who is the spokesman for the Syrian people? The Syrian opposition groups have their demands……
- Representation of the armed opposition: Core disagreements exist between the political and armed opposition. The most important gap is the question of who legitimately represents the Syrian population and the armed opposition. The exiled political opposition, the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC), calls for its associated Supreme Military Command (SMC) to lead the armed opposition’s role during any transition period. The armed opposition in Syria, however, rejects the authority of the SMC, as its leadership is based outside of Syria.
- Character of future Syrian state: The SOC, FSA, and Ahrar al-Sham agree on the desire for a unified, independent, and sovereign Syrian state. The character of this state, however, is the subject of much debate. Ahrar al-Sham, desires an Islamic state in Syria. As such, Ahrar al-Sham is against the establishment of a democratic and pluralistic Syrian state pursued by the SOC and the FSA. Ahrar al-Sham will only permit an electoral process to select candidates responsible for ensuring the implementation of Sharia law, although “voting on the sovereignty of sharia” is unacceptable.
- The future Syrian judiciary: In accordance with disagreements regarding the character of a future Syrian state, Salafi-jihadist and Salafist groups pursue a post-Assad state ruled by Sharia law, and likely desire a Sharia court-based structure rather than a municipal system. The character of the future Syrian judiciary is not specified by most of the rest of the Syrian opposition; most groups merely call for a future judiciary to be independent from any future head of state. This ambiguity leaves space for those hardline, armed opposition elements with a determined vision for a Sharia-based future judiciary in Syria to shape future judicial structures.
- Full destruction of the regime: Jabhat al-Nusra (JN) and other allied jihadist elements such as Jund al-Aqsa and Hizb al-Tahrir rejected the Riyadh conference and denied the possibility of any truce or political settlement with the Syrian regime. These groups maintain maximalist demands, including the full destruction of the Syrian regime and all of its institutions. JN’s leader Abu Muhammad al-Joulani accusedthose groups that were in attendance at Riyadh of committing “treason” and suggested they do not possess“the ability to implement things on the ground.” JN also held at least one demonstration against the Riyadh conference in Northwestern Syria.
But just who do they speak for these days?
Of course the US will have their input….but what is that?
The U.S. must support nationalistic elements of the opposition that desire a unified, independent, and sovereign Syrian state based on a municipal political system, while marginalizing those that desire the creation an Islamic state based on Salafi principles. Those groups that desire the latter currently possess the capability to spoil any future negotiated settlement, and the U.S. must therefore look towards the Syrian opposition more broadly to find a way to contain these irreconcilable elements. A great power settlement, without the approval of some of the most powerful elements on the ground, will only protract the Syrian conflict and radicalize the opposition further.
There is the problem….too many desires and not enough cooperation and in the end the Syrian people will suffer…..but some say that the localized ceasefires could be a good start to finding a sweeping peace deal……but is it?
Local truces are accepted for strategic reasons, in large part to further military goals; these deals enable the warring parties to fight another day…….
Sorry people….this is a dead deal…..there are too many demands and too many hands….there will be NO peace deal as the situation stands today…..there may be lots of optimism but the truth is that peace will be as elusive this year as it was last year……
News & Views welcome always published as long as NO bad language or is not related to subject matter.