Saturday, June 16, 2012

Peace In Due Time

"We call on the international observers to work for the immediate implementation of the Kofi Annan plan and ceasefire in order to stop the killings in Syria or to return to their home countries."  The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

They are indeed in the process of 'returning to their home countries'; at the very least returning to the base from whence they were deployed by the United Nations as an observer team of hundreds of foreign nationals.  Their observational post in Syria is kaput, finished, done with.  The United Nations has taken the final step of recalling them, citing the very obvious fact that their very lives as objective observers are in the balance.

They have been toothless, incapable of even 'observing' the atrocities committed both by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and by the Free Syrian Army.  Government forces have the upper hand, they are in possession of weaponry that the belligerent upstarts cannot have acquired - not yet.  Furthermore, government forces have the inestimably forceful assistance of their colleagues from Iran and from Lebanon; the al-Quds faction of the Republican Guard and Hezbollah terrorist group respectively.

Calling on the international observers to work for the immediate implementation of the defunct international plan to put a stop to the escalating violence, must have been spoken with tongue firmly in cheek.  It was always obvious that despite Bashar al-Assad's assurances, and the responses of the Free Syrian Army that neither would abide by any peace-aspiring, battle-settling guidelines imposed upon them from the outside world. 

It was delusional at best to place any hope in the possibility that the presence of neutral observers would be the start of a solution to bringing two resolutely brutal and equally entitled-feeling adversaries from striking blows to attain their individual ends; the government to retain its power, the insurgents to mount their bid for equality and freedom from the tyranny that has oppressed them for many decades.  Each side brings their own perspective, and neither has any interest in collaborating toward a peaceful end.

Peace will be achieved when one side or the other prevails, and it looks increasingly as though the regime will not.  Behind the insurgents are other forces, all of them anxious and determined to write their agendas in full living colour on the end result of what is becoming a full-fledged war of attrition, a fully civil war.  The U.S. ambassador to Syria and his colleagues have been meeting at the state department with a senior member of the Free Syrian Army.

The rebel group has presented a "target list" of supplies they would very much appreciate being made available to them.  That list is heavy on weaponry that would include anti-tank missiles and state-of-the-art machine guns, along with surface-to-air missiles.  The strenuous efforts on the part of the U.S. administration to badger, coax, bully and shame Russia into moving along with the rest of the Security Council in condemning Bashar al-Assad has gained them little but frustration; Moscow will not relent, not yet.

And should the U.S. administration themselves relent and agree to provide the rebels with the requested armaments they will be deliberately enabling a more deadly surge in violence, after having excoriated Russia for latterly providing additional Helicopter gunships to the Syrian regime to aid in its battle with the insurgents. 

"The intervention will happen.  It is not a question of 'if', but 'when'.  The Libyans are willing to provide the anti-tank weapons, others are prepared to pay for it", according to an unnamed source. That senior Middle East diplomatic source has made it clear that any such weapons supplied by Libya would be paid for by Saudi Arabia and the government of Qatar, along with 'private donations'. 

The weapons, in fact, have already been assembled and are ready for shipment, in anticipation of the inevitable intervention that will be the final answer to the al-Assad regime.

Turkey, which agitated for the supply of weapons to the Syrian rebels is not quite prepared to permit its territory to be used as a supply route for fear of Syria mobilizing their Kurdish population against Turkey, since Turkey is more than adequately beset by Turkish Kurds mounting violent acts of assaults against Turkey, in agitation for a homeland of their own.

As for reports that heavy anti-tank weapons have already reached the Free Syrian Army, these rumours have been sturdily denied.  The rebels, they insist, remain armed only with RPG-7 rocket-propelled grenades against the grim ferocity of the regime which has untold stockpiles of heavy weaponry. The emphasis here on their vulnerability facing up against a well-armed force.

 Not to mention the dread specter of other potentials; the as-yet-unused, but available stockpiles of biological weapons.

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