Syrian Civil War – Bashar Assad Ready to Negotiate
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said his government is ready to negotiate on "everything" in proposed peace talks in Kazakhstan but said it was not yet clear who would represent the opposition and no date had been set.
The Syrian civil war has dragged on for far too long. It's been almost 6 years since protests demanding democratic reforms started on 15 March 2011 in the capital of Damascus against the Assad dictatorial regime that has been in power for 35 years, since 1971. The war has led to destruction of cities, a huge refugee problem and the unwelcome influx of war refugees into Europe and America, and the increasing threats of Islamic terrorism which has been rising since the rise of ISIS in Iraq.
This is partly the result of an Obama administration that has little ideas on solving the conflict over the past years; other than keeping the conflict ongoing and stubbornly not seriously talking to the Russians on solving the conflict, so that all sides are satisfied in one way or another. There is hope that the new Trump administration may work with Putin to end the conflict.
One wonders if the Syrian conflict could have been resolved if Obama had not been re-elected, or elected at all. That’s the legacy of Obama – one who looks confident and talks eloquently but fails to walk the talk. His election campaign of “Change” has indeed made America change for the worse. The greatness of America has declined in the face of a more assertive China and Russia in recent years. His weak Middle East policies have in a way led to the rise of ISIS in Iraq. Other people to blame are George Bush and former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. America itself is more racially divided than before despite having a black president for the past 8 years.
As in Afganistan, there is no military solution to the Syrian conflict. No doubt Assad is responsible for crimes against humanity and is very much hated by those who oppose him, but he has strong military support from Russia and Iran and to defeat him militarily is a very difficult task. The solution to the refugee problem and to prevent further destruction to the country, all opposing parties, including their military backers, need to come together and agree to an eventual end to the conflict as soon as possible. A solution is in fact long overdue.
After more than 5 years of brutal conflict, hatred for Assad runs deep. The groups fighting against him are obviously not going to waste their years of bitter fighting just to have him remain as Syrian president even after a peace agreement. The best solution may be to partition the country. Let Bashar Assad continue to rule the areas whose Syrian populations still prefer his rule; and let the rest of the country be governed by those who oppose him. These opposing groups, with different ideologies, have to come together, with United Nations supervision, to agree to hold democratic elections to see who or which party the anti-Assad populations want to live under.
While partitioning the country may be complex and messy, it is still better than continuing a war that has no end in sight; thus continuing further destruction to the country. The huge refugee problem to the neigbouring Arab countries and the refugee influx to the West had caused great alarm to America and Christian Europe, fearful of an increasing immigrant Muslim populations in their midst which do not integrate well and posing more home-grown terrorist threats in the years to come.
The Only Syrian Solution
A partition plan won’t solve everything. But the Balkan example shows it can work.
The Syrian civil war has now dragged on for over five years, killing an estimated 450,000 people. 2016 proved decisive on the battlefield, both in terms of territory and foreign backers. Broadly speaking, the year continued many of the trends witnessed in 2015, with government forces getting a reprieve thanks to Russian air support, and manpower gaps being filled by Iran and Lebanon-based militias.