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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

David Ignatius, "Taking a Long View on Syria and the Sunni-Shiite Divide": What Has Ignatius Been Smoking?

As the catastrophic civil war in Syria continues, we are now learning that starving civilians in Homs are eating grass (see: http://amanpour.blogs.cnn.com/2014/02/11/syrians-forced-to-eat-grass-aid-worker-says-deprivation-worst-hes-ever-seen/?hpt=hp_t3). And meanwhile, as Tehran continues to prop up the murderous Assad regime in Syria, Iran's so-called "moderate" president, Hassan Rouhani [you remember, the man with whom Obama had a "historic" phone call in September (see: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/28/us-un-assembly-iran-idUSBRE98Q16S20130928)], just ordered the hanging of a poet (http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/02/11/275220968/book-news-poet-hashem-shaabani-reportedly-executed-in-iran):

"The Iranian poet Hashem Shaabani was reportedly executed last month as an 'enemy of God,' according to human rights groups. Shaabani was a founder of the Dialogue Institute, which promoted Arab culture in Iran. In a statement last week, the human rights group Freedom House condemned the execution, saying: 'His judicial murder underscores two important trends in Iran: Violent repression of ethnic minorities, of which Shaabani's execution is only one among many examples, remains government policy. And the government's human rights record has not improved under President Rouhani. During the first two weeks of January, some 40 individuals were executed; Iran is believed to be second only to China in the number of executions.' Al-Jazeera adds that Shaabani was reportedly hanged along with another man on Jan. 27 and that, 'according to BBC Persian, officials from the Ministry of Information informed the condemned men's families that they had been hanged, and they would be subsequently informed on the location of the men's burial site.'"

Shaabani was an "enemy of God" who deserved what he got? Yeah, right.

On top of all this, we are now discovering that Assad is reneging on his deal with Obama to destroy his regime's chemical weapons arsenal. You will recall that during his State of the Union address, Obama claimed that he had achieved a remarkable foreign policy success involving the destruction of this arsenal:

"American diplomacy, backed by the threat of force, is why Syria’s chemical weapons are being eliminated, and we will continue to work with the international community to usher in the future the Syrian people deserve – a future free of dictatorship, terror and fear."

Obama, of course, was lying. As reported by Reuters in an article entitled "U.S. accuses Syria of stalling on chemical arms handover" by Lesley Wroughton and Matt Spetalnick(http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/30/us-syria-crisis-chemical-idUSBREA0S19720140130):

"The United States on Thursday accused Syria of dragging its feet on giving up its chemical arms, putting at risk a deal to remove such weapons of mass destruction from the country as it splits apart in a chaotic civil war.

President Barack Obama this week touted the chemical weapons agreement as one of the few U.S. diplomatic achievements on Syria, but the State Department said just 4 percent of Syria's deadliest chemical agents has been shipped out of the country for destruction at sea.

The United States has few good choices to force President Bashar al-Assad to comply."

In fact, Assad (John Kerry's "dear friend") is moving his chemical weapons stockpiles to "Alawite enclaves on the western coast of Syria" (see: http://www.jpost.com/Home/Assad-armed-to-the-teeth-stockpiling-weapons-of-mass-destruction-340081).

Yes, Syria is a mess, but not to worry: David Ignatius has a solution!

In his latest Washington Post opinion piece entitled "Taking a long view on Syria and the Sunni-Shiite divide" (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/david-ignatius-taking-a-long-view-on-syria-and-the-sunni-shiite-divide/2014/02/12/5d650b10-935e-11e3-84e1-27626c5ef5fb_story.html?hpid=z4), Ignatius proposes:

"A truly stable future will be possible only with a security balance that can accommodate Shiite Iran and the Sunni Gulf states. To be accepted as a regional power, Iran will have to reverse its nuclear program. The Sunni nations, meanwhile, will have to embrace reforms that can break the power of Muslim extremism. This Sunni empowerment will require a new Egyptian president who’s confident enough to stop jailing journalists, and a Saudi Arabia that’s prepared to move ahead under the next generation of leaders. It’s heartening that the Saudis this week stepped away from the jihadists and backed the Syrian opposition’s peace formula.

Here’s a group snapshot of a more stable future: The United States, Russia, Iran and Saudi Arabia sitting around a table to draft a deal that can stop the Syrian nightmare. The Syrians can’t resolve this tragedy without a strong push from above."

Yup, you heard it right: Given the success of the deal Obama struck with Syria, Iran and Russia for the destruction of Assad's chemical weapons arsenal, they should all sit down again and strike yet another agreement which will miraculously bring about peace in our times.

Me? I have a different solution, albeit not nearly as all-encompassing in scope: Obama should impose a no-fly zone over Syria and parachute food into Homs. Sure, this entails gumption and guts, which could well prove beyond the means of the first invertebrate to inhabit the Oval Office, but something needs to be done urgently to put an end to the suffering of innocent civilians in Syria.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent blog.
    This is what people ought to be reading and not the White House regurgitations spewed daily by the NYTimes opinionaters.

    ReplyDelete