Due to ineffectiveness in dealing with the Syrian conflict, some promoters of U.N. initiatives have resorted to wishful thinking. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon says the truce in Syria - which started a few days ago - is largely holding. However, Syrian rebels say military operations by the regime, Hezbollah and Russia are ongoing.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says a wait-and-see approach is needed regarding truce violations, and he agrees with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov not to discuss them publicly. The aim is to keep the truce on life support, and to justify it with humanitarian reasons.
The U.S. obsession with the illusory truce may be due to a lack of American political imagination, or it could represent complicity with Moscow in dividing Syria along ethnic and sectarian lines.
The U.S. obsession with the illusory truce may be due to a lack of American political imagination, or it could represent complicity with Moscow in dividing Syria along ethnic and sectarian lines.Mshari Al Thaydi
James Stavridis, retired U.S. navy admiral and former supreme allied commander of NATO, told CNN that an American “plan B,” should the truce fail, would “probably at some point” entail a no-fly zone so as to “build a moderate opposition.” He said Jordan would likely participate.
There is a need to differentiate between illusion and reality. Can the Syrian regime switch from brutal war tactics to soft politics? Can Iran accept a Syria different from the one it had imagined? Will Russia withdraw that easily from the country as soon as a new Syria is born? A political solution is best and safest - any sane person would choose it. However, it is wrong, even a sin, to combine reality with fiction - what should be negotiated versus what should be fought for.
This article first appeared on Asharq al-Awsat on Mar. 02, 2016.
Saudi journalist Mshari Al Thaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Al Thaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists.