By Jan Oberg
This Sunday morning, I stumble upon this article on BBC’s homepage – the French foreign minister is “pessimistic” about the negotiations to be held in January in Montreaux, Switzerland about Syria. This is a slightly expanded version on what I jotted down on TFF Facebook:
• Look: First you simplify the conflict beyond recognition, the usual two parties: one side with all the good people and one side with all the bad people – the type of conflict analysis that has proved to never work anywhere (but you learnt nothing from Somalia, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, or Libya).
• You set up the Friends of Syria – but with such friends, who need an enemy?
• You act as if you have noble motives but never recognize that the French, British and other interventionist and war history in Syria and surroundings is a main reason behind today’s terrible situation. And of course you never mention the words oil and gas.
• You say you can’t talk with the President, a main party to the conflict.
• Then you support some bad guys against some other bad guys and ignore civil society.
• Then you pour in weapons to have the maximum number of people killed and fleeing.
• Then you undermine the only realistic peace effort, that of Kofi Annan, forcing him to resign.
• Then you act surprised that Al-Qaeda & Co. appears on the scene.
• You consistently antagonize Russia which does have an influence on Assad and keep Iran out as a relevant mediator.
• Next, you threaten war on the country but – oh shoot – only France (France, look at this link, is Mr. Fabius an idiot?) and Denmark think it is a good idea.
• Then you get it wrong with the chemical attack, blaming Assad before anyone had investigated it.
• Next you arrange negotiations that ignore 95% of the Syrian people (civil society).
• Next you forget that you should have a cease-fire and some monitoring or ceasefire-keeping mechanism on the ground.
• And you ignore the basic role of thumb that negotiations is the last stage, the result of, comprehensive consultations and dialogues with numerous parties before you go to Montreux.
And then You are surprised and pessimistic that perhaps these negotiations won’t be a success !!
Is that because you really always wanted peace so much? Or are you just systematically behaving as conflict illiterates, doing more harm than good?