Syria is a complex situation, for sure.
Assad's point was, if you get rid of me, you don't get Switzerland, you get, well, Libya, you get ISIS. The dude has internalized Islamophobia better than many white racists. Muslims just don't know how to govern themselves. That is the suggestion. I don't buy that one minute. Muslims are human beings.
Libya was a complex situation too. It is not like one day Barack Obama woke up and decided he wants Gaddafi out. Libya started seeing mass protests. And Gaddafi was on the verge of committing genocide. He was pretty vocal in his intended response. To do nothing would have been gravely wrong. But to go in also has not been picture perfect. Libya has fractured in the aftermath. After Gaddafi was out, the West disengaged. That was a mistake. The hard political work was not even attempted. Talking is much harder than shooting.
How do you engineer peace? Do you convince a people to not get out into the streets? That is clearly not an option. Do you convince a dictator to not retaliate? That is not an option either. What do you do? Do you sit idly by? That is not an option.
It is a dynamic, fluid situation.
The path to peace is to get all stakeholders, internal as well as external, around a table. That also is not an easy option. Warring parties often use peace talks as opportunities to change facts on the ground.
I hope and pray for peace in both Yemen and Syria. The path to peace is a political path. You get all stakeholders talking. Some headway is being made in Yemen. That same headway is not being made in Syria. Because Assad's stance is my way or highway. That leaves little room for talks.
Syria is a complex situation with many layers. The top layer, of course, is the US-Russia tension. Syria allows Russia to prove a point, that maybe it never lost the Cold War. Then there is the regional cold war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Then there is the central Assad factor. The dude is second generation. His father was president for decades. Then he took over. He is masterfully exploiting the two cold wars. There is the opposition. And there is ISIS. They are all angling for control. Assad is winning. His victory is near complete. But then very recently he opened a new front. A part of Syria became Vietnam all over again.
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A baby is cradled through swirls of desert dust after violence forced families to flee Deir-ez-Zor, eastern Syria in January 2019. This year, children living in countries at war have been killed, maimed, raped, recruited to fight, and used as human shields. In the first half of 2019, the UN confirmed 10,000 grave violations against children, making it the bloodiest six months since records began. For every act of violence against children that creates headlines and cries of outrage, there are many more that go unreported. This cannot be the new normal. Attacks on children must stop. #NotATarget #ChildrenUnderAttack © UNICEF/UN0277722/Souleiman
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