Obama’s new generation of presidential politics

Camelia Entekhabi-Fard
Camelia Entekhabi-Fard
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President Barack Obama’s recent statements to American media showed that he is totally aware of what the Americans think of a military strike on Syria. Recent polls have revealed that the American public opinion does not agree with launching a military strike against Syria or against any other country. It seems this awareness made him retreat a bit from his goal, after he almost ordered military strikes against Syria.

Some observers think that the possibilities of launching a military strike against Syria are currently nil. Obama voiced his conviction that Syria’s approval of the Russian suggestion to place its chemical arsenal under international supervision is a breakthrough that may prevent launching a military strike. The idea was first suggested by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Russian diplomacy turned this idea into an initiative which the Syrian foreign affairs minister almost directly approved of.

During his recent appearance on the U.S. Broadcaster PBS, Syrian president Bashar al-Assad addressed the Americans voicing the importance of achieving a political solution.

He also voiced his regime’s willingness to participate in any peace talks that may lead to resolving Syria’s crisis. Another factor that decreases the possibility of launching an American military strike against Syria at the current time is the fact that the U.N. General Assembly’s meeting, which is attended by most world leaders, is soon. In addition to that, western military intervention in Libya was not impressive at all. Libya still lives in chaos as it has turned into a safe haven for armed gangs and terrorists who jeopardize the government and the people. Although it has been two years since Moammar Qaddafi has been toppled, his son Saif al-Islam remains detained by an armed group that refuses to hand him over to the International Criminal Court at The Hague to be tried.

Although it has been years since the Arab Spring erupted, Egypt and Libya, not to mention Syria, still suffer from disputes, instability and foreign interferences in their internal affairs. Amidst these complications, it’s difficult for the U.S. to militarily intervene in any country especially since there are fears that striking Syria may lead to destabilizing the entire region and may thus end up harming American national interests in the region.

Although it has been years since the Arab Spring erupted, Egypt and Libya, not to mention Syria, still suffer from disputes

Camelia Entekhabi-Fard

Compared with the Arab Spring revolutions, the revolution which Iran witnessed 34 years ago did not witness the complications currently witnessed by Arab Spring countries. Perhaps one of the reasons behind this is that attaining weapons in Iran 34 years ago was difficult; thus massive protests resorted to peacefulness when confronting Iranian security forces. On another hand, the Iranian revolution was semi-united behind Ayotallah Khomeini. The regimes of Arab Spring countries, unlike Iran, possess developed weapons, and extremism plays an important role in revolutionary acts. Poor and uneducated people are extremely subject to exploitation. Some extremist parties’ combination of new technologies with the improper interpretation of Islam makes the world less safe.

Amidst all this, the Syrians must try reaching a real solution for their crisis. This solution must be reached by the Syrians themselves without any foreign interference be it from Iran, Russia, Turkey, the U.S. or any western or eastern country. The only perfect role these countries can play is the role of the impartial mediator making efforts to bring together the parties at dispute in Syria to help them reach a peaceful settlement that guarantees the country’s unity, prevents the expansion of the civil war and founds the suitable atmosphere to restore security and stability.

If some of the parties at struggle in Syria are currently willing to use chemical weapons and kill people, including women and children, in cold blood, it’s thus not ruled out that a decade from now, we may witness the use of small nuclear weapons in regional and international disputes. If the civilized world does not find a solution for the problem of the spread of mass destruction weapons, it’s not ruled out that we may witness the destruction of whole cities in one second. The problem in Syria must open the world’s eyes to more dangerous problems. The international community must work to resolve this problem before humanitarian disasters, worse than those we recently witnessed in Syria, happen.

This article was first published in the Saudi-based al-Watan on Sept. 13, 2013.


Camelia Entekhabi-Fard is a journalist, news commentator and writer who grew up during the Iranian Revolution and wrote for leading reformist newspapers. She is also the author of Camelia: Save Yourself by Telling the Truth - A Memoir of Iran. She lives in New York City and Dubai. She can be found on Twitter: @CameliaFard

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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