Syria: Peace Talks and Gasoline



“Our priority is to promote understanding rather than ideology, strategic outlook rather than simple reporting on events and to reveal causes rather than its consequences”…NEO, Moscow


… by  Yuri Zinin     and  New Eastern Outlook,  Moscow

[Editors Note: NEO has given me editorial approval to publish selected articles from its foreign affairs journal. Yuri Zinin is my first posting from NEO’s large writing stable of geopolitical scholars, primarily from the Institute of Oriental Studies and the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.
This is all part of our long range goal to make VT a home for not only high quality but a wide geographical variety of opinions on the key issues facing us all, we both agree, and disagree. Yuri is a senior researcher at the Moscow Institute, the diplomatic school for Russia’s  Ministry of Foreign Affairs…Jim W. Dean]


Why would America throw its credibility away on Syria?
Why would America throw its credibility away on Syria?

The staggering amount of aggressive actions against the Syrian regime implies that the United States are not going to settle the matter with nothing but guns.

I remember as if it was yesterday the summer of 2002, when I discovered myself by the virtue of fate to be a journalist for one of the Russia’s major information agencies – RIA in Iraq.

The big picture that is taking place today around the Syrian conflict has a striking resemblance to the events that occurred 11 years ago in a different country.

The media did its best to portray the Iraqi elite to be ruthless nuclear aggressors. The Iraqi authorities  received different commissions on a weekly basis in order to prove that they were not developing anything even remotely as dangerous as a nuclear charge. They did manage to obey a long list of restrictions and regulations just to evade the inevitable – a military intervention.

There’s no telling anybody how well did this story end for them, even though there were no clues of the prohibited uranium enrichment activities anywhere to be found. But what could have possibly been done about it ten years after the intervention that has torn this country apart.

The scars are running deep on the Iraqi soil. The last 24 hours took 48 Iraqi lives after a series of suicide bombings and assaults that swept across the country. The death toll is running towards the 3.5 thousand people mark murdered in Iraq this year alone. Iraq is snapped back to the grim days of 2006-2007, when in the midst of the allied invasion people died by thousands. As they do today…

Once the brutality is unleashed, it is hard to get back into the bottle
Once the brutality is unleashed, it is hard to get back into the bottle

The Arab world is paying a handsome price for the newly acquired “democratic values” brought from afar. And the price for those is measured in blood of the Arab people, no more, no less.

The outcomes of a forced regime change are numerous: a halt to any economic developments for decades, spreading violence and chaos, and finally – the invasion of Islamist militants.

Today an official excuse for attacking Syria is the hysteria about the chemical weapons that were allegedly used by the regularly military forces against the rebels and, moreover, the civilians. There’s no hard evidence to back these claims up, but there’s really little sense in providing those, since the United States seem to know better.

The Syrian officials allowed the UN commission to investigate these dreadful chemical attacks, which demonstrated the President Assad’s good will. Moreover, the commission was presented with a report that showed the evidences of the rebel chemical warehouse operating in the outskirts of Damascus.

Blow after blow, the blame is showering down on the heads of the Syrian officials despite the fact that all disinterested sides recognize that the Assad regime would hardly ever resort to chemical weapons in this conflict.

It’s noteworthy that since the very beginning of the Syrian conflict which started around two and a half years ago the governmental forces have been accused a countless number of times for being responsible for the mass murder episodes across the country, none of which have ever been proven true. The independent observers have voiced these facts over and over again.

At the same time the suicide bomber attacks which the Islamist rebels are particularly fond of, leave nothing behind itself except for the defaced urban landscapes and piles of the deformed human bodies, leave the Western politics and media vaguely uninterested.

Syria is now a car bomber's paradise
Syria is now a car bomber’s paradise

Some military professionals believe that claims of the actual combat usage of chemical weapons in a modern city warfare may be called idiotic.

At the point blank ranges there’s a strong probability that a landscape peculiarity or a weather change can brought more damage to the friendly troops than the enemy ones.

Moreover such a step for Assad regime is equivalent to political suicide. That will make all of the Assad’s supporters abroad, however scanty they may be, to turn back on him, leaving the doors for a peaceful settlement of this conflict shut.

Any direct military intervention against Syrian is up to no good, since it can lead to the uncontrolled chain of events that can destabilize the Middle East.

Against a background of the recent developments in Egypt where the shock of the hundreds of citizens dying in the clashes governs the minds, against the thriving terrorism in Iraq,the widening gap between the opposition and the Islamists in Tunisia, and then the destabilization tendencies in Libya which has become the main stash of the illegal weapons flows, Syria seems better off alive than dead.

Attempts to settle the conflict by implementing more force reminds men of the unfortunate firefighter that tries to extinguish a fire with gasoline.

Yuri Zinin, senior researcher at MGIMO, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.

Editing:  Jim W. Dean

Red Square in Moscow - 1801
Red Square in Moscow – 1801


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