mercoledì, Agosto 17

How President Assad is fast becoming the only viable option to Syria’s quagmire Suddenly President Al Assad does not look so devilish after all

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Beirut –  Are Western capitals finally owning up to the quagmire they helped create in Syria? Well not exactly but officials’ tone is certainly more concillient than it was only a few months ago, when a very defiant French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, and his British counterpart, Philip Hammond refused the possibility of engaging Syrian President Bashar Al Assad for the sake of defeating terror. “Proposing Assad as a solution to the extremists is to misunderstand the causes of the extremism. After 220,000 deaths and millions displaced, it is illusory to imagine that a majority of Syrians would accept to be ruled by the one who torments them,”they wrote in a joint statement this February.

What a difference a few months can make … Or is it that Syria’s war became too much of  a palpable reality for western capitalism to handle? Could it be that Europe is now willing to break bread with the man it so willingly demonized for the past years to stop the bleeding of war refugees into its territories?

While officials will most likely deny that Syria’s exodus has anything to do with their sudden change of heart,  I doubt anyone will be fooled by this volte-face. If Europe’s stance towards foreign military interventionism remains as liberal as it ever was; its officials advocating wars in the name of democracy building, carrying the human burden conflicts inevitably generate was never part of the deal.

While invasions are indeed lucrative – at least from weapon dealers’ standpoint, peace is a cost no Western capitals are willing to carry; especially when it means having to open their own borders to those made destitute by the NATO military ambitions. And since the demonization and criminalization of refugees will likely take too long to really help curb the ongoing human flow onto Europe, officials are scrambling for a quick fix.

Suddenly President Al Assad does not look so devilish after all. Maybe soon his constitutional legitimacy will be remembered too and those remarks politicians made that Assad’s rule was more dangerous than that of ISIS will be long forgotten – cataloged under temporary political insanity … or will it simply be redacted from the pages of history. Whichever is easier to handle surely!

But let’s go back to President Al Assad’s political absolution. On September 10, British Prime Minister David Cameron called for “hard military” intervention against ISIS. For what seems like forever, Cameron actually put ISIS as Britain’s primary target, moving away from his anti-Assad narrative and injunctions that those “moderates” should be further propped up against Damascus.

He said: “We have to be part of the international alliance that says we need an approach in Syria which will mean we have a government that can look after its people.” Not to be a complete turncoat Cameron added in the same breath: “Assad has to go, ISIL has to go. Some of that will require not just spending money, not just aid, not just diplomacy but it will on occasion require hard military force”.

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