Wednesday, 4 September 2013

The Dignified rush to war, Syria and the talking Cure.

For the first time, I can remember, the BBC had some footage from inside the French National Assembly covering the vote on Frances participation in any US attack on Syria, the US had a committee meeting today, which will recommend a motion to the US Congress on Monday.
Various people have used this to claim it demonstrates that Britain still has influence other than the use of military power. I'm not going to disagree but it is more a show of the power and influence of debate and reasoned argument.
Through the medium of televised debate pressure is brought to bear on Assad as no one is defending him or his actions. However the pressure will only last as long as the debates continue but it must continue in public with the constant gravity given by lives being in the balance and the sound of arms being readied in the background.
While it is unlikely that it will be headed by Assad it will be heard by his backers, the anonymous men behind the throne who will decide when Assad has become a liability.
Peer pressure is not just something that works at schools or for bad ends, the constant talk is what has moved Putin to raise the possibility of Russian involvement. The Chinese are motivated by the need not to lose face but if and when the arguments are made consistently and well the position will come when face is best saved by realising the facts on the ground have changed and there is no dishonour in changing position.
Of course Assad's regime will realise this and work very hard to steer clear of crossing any lines but that assumes that the public and political face of Syria is the face of those pulling the trigger. Eventually either the international community will act and Assad will fall or the hidden powers in Syria will pre-empt any action by removing Assad.
In either event those truly responsible not the just the public faces must be taken to task otherwise they will still be pulling the strings.
Syria was created by the west in the wake of the collapse of the Ottoman empire the west can therefore also undo it and allow the locals to remake the territory in a way that reflects the communities, this will be even harder to sell to some than an attack would but Syria is no more natural self determined union than the Soviet Union was. It is full of ethnic tension and conflict and is at the root of the problems.
The same is true for several other states in the region who will see their days as numbered with the de merger of Syria they can be expected to fight tooth and nail to stop it but it is a requirement for long term peace. The same talking cure we are now experiencing must lead the solution.

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