Many who know the Syrian rebels and their psyche or know the Syrian opposition with its different extended branches would have stood by their beliefs that theÂ Kofi AnnanÂ mission of peace was doomed from the start.Â No SyrianÂ would have agreed to a concept of merging the opposition with a government of terror to extract a rabbit from the Annan”™s top hat. True that the political solution pursued by Annan was the lowest common denominator in an otherwise difficult situation, and even though it was the only acceptable solution to the veto wieldingÂ powers represented byÂ RussiaÂ andÂ China, those fighting with guns for survival and facing unimaginable odds were and still are really the ones who decide their fate. Kofi Annan and the UN mission failed miserably because it aimed at satisfying unreasonable demands set by one powerful Security Council Member rather than find common grounds that would have included the desire for freedom people were dying for every day.
Barring a breakthrough in the fighting with a clear winner, the UN can only try and shoulder its responsibility. This week, it named another peace envoy to Syria. Oh and what a choice that was!! Instead of concentrating on defining the mission within the parameters of what is acceptable to the Syrian people, the UN chose to define the mission within the parameters of the personality of the envoy. It’s the UN version of Halloween’s Trick or Treat but the treat is far more poisonous than the trick.
Former Algerian UN diplomat Lakdar Brahimi has been named successor to Annan. The Syrian government was quick to welcome him, and if I had to guess, for two reasons: Assad is on the brink of seeing his father’s vision totally collapse and Brahimi sits squarely in the “resistance” camp Assad, Iran, and every other rogue nation adopts delightfully to spite the west and especially the success of America.
With this appointment, the UN continues to trick the Syrian people with a solution we won’t fall for; with Brahimi’s appointment, the UN is treating Syria, Iran, and Russia by establishing Brahimi’s anti-Semitic tendencies on the very side the Syrian people are fighting against at this moment. Arab Nationalism is on life support and the UN sends an envoy with a bag of the same old, same decrepit ideology to solve a problem that erupted because of that ideology. Bravo UN. You break your own record every time you step to the mat.
Not all is cheerless and gloomy though. Brahimi will throw the same bait as his predecessor by calling on the good nature of Syrians to find a solution. The mistake he may make is to highlight the “resistance” component in an attempt to bridge the gap. That may or may not be by design or strategy but if Brahimi adopts the same line as Assad to rally Syrians behind the same dead solution Annan pursued, Syrians will bury the “resistance” doctrine and all its messengers for eternity. No one in Syria today wants to hear empty rhetoric. When I talk to the FSA leadership, foremost on their minds are weapons, weapons, and more weapons. The Syrian people do not see diplomacy as a viable alternative to fighting their way to their own freedom. They have sacrificed too much to simply agree to a half-baked solution that would shackle their children and their future. No way Jose…
The UN may believe that it can rely on the low morale of the Syrian rebels to conclude a deal. In fact, after 18 months of killing, both sides may be tired and their energies sapped. Brahimi’s job may simply be centered on doctoring the psyche of both sides to bringÂ rapprochementÂ and balance to the equation. But this strategy relies on low morale, fear, and tired souls. Reel back to the aftermath of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 when the Sailors of Konstadt attempted to mount a rebellion against the same Bolsheviks they helped bring to power and theÂ resounding answer by the people of Russia was a “Nyet”. They were tired of wars and chose instead to yield to a new form of a harsh dictatorship rather than wage another war of salvation.
But Brahimi will discover that the morale of the rebellious fighters is a non-issue in this war. Syrian anger is being fed on a daily basis by the atrocious actions of the Assad regime. Assad is trying to break the backbone of the rebellion by breaking the family unit in the Syrian society able to cement its members into a cohesive resistance force (That’s why women and children are targeted deliberately), but by pursuing this strategy the Assad regime is not realizing the positive impact it is having on the morale of the people. The more Assad attempts to break the family, the higher the morale to fight him to the last drop of blood. So, if Brahimi is listening to Assad or Russia on this score, his mission is as good as dead. Syrians are not yesterday’s Soviets.
Overall, the FSA is getting enough weapons today not to lose but not enough to win. This status of suspended balance is destroying Syria slowly. Its impact will echo around the Levant for many years to come, not only in terms of sectarianism but also in terms of economic hardship, the very fuel feeding the flame of the extremist Muslims. If you think the US messed-up in Iraq because of domestic political considerations, wait and see the mess Obama is going to leave behind in the whole region. It may even be worse than Jimmy Carter yielding to the Ayatollahs during his presidency.