Thursday, July 26, 2012

Before we criticise Russia and China over their stance re Syria, consider this.

Syria continues to slip towards a humanitarian abyss as the rebels fight against a repressive regime. The UN continues to debate various resolutions and Russia and China continue to veto any proposals. What a bloody mess and if reports are correct, another massacre is on the cards as tanks and troops gather near Aleppo, Syria’s second largest city.
One fact we can state with certainty is that the people will suffer; the ones trapped between warring parties. The present regime is not going to go willingly and the rebels are not a united group with a coherent plan for a post- Assad Syria. One does not have to look far in the Middle-East to see what the possibilities are for nations trying to rebuild after decades of despotic governance. Often the conditions for a democratic renaissance are either completely lacking or shallow to say the least. No matter who wins it is going to take a great deal of time and effort before we see stability and a government supported by the majority of the people.
China and Russia have been criticised for their stance in the UN; they continually veto motions calling for regime change or increasingly harsh sanctions. They played for the same sheet, re Libya and other nations in the area. Their concerns are not without merit. Too often the West and its allies has embarked on spurious military interventions; the results not always being beneficial to the recipient nations. If the purpose of the vetoes is a ‘call for caution, then is that all that bad? Clearly the 'bomb the crap-out-of them' approach has not brought good results, other than a short-lived military ‘victory.’
Unless a real engagement with the Syrian people is part of the process then any intervention is doomed to failure. In the end, it is only the Syrian people, with support, who can sort out the issues this country faces. Therein lays the problem. I disparate collection of groups is facing a desperate Government and history tells us that we are in for more blood-letting. My fears for Syria grow by the day. Before we criticise Russia and China for refusing to be part of yet another ‘coalition,’ we should look at the lessons from the past.
What is it that we must do that is different? Sorry—I don’t have the answers, just more questions. What I do know is that Russia, China and rest of the UN, along with representatives (even from the present regime) must come together. Talk is cheap but the actions resulting from that ‘talking’ must reach a consensus.