The NY Times: cutting off the oxygen for negotiations
Look how Karim Fahimy’s piece in the Times today has a headline which suggests Assad is simply unreasonable and intractable – and therefore the pro-war hawks argument wins out – but then this is followed immediately by the recognition that the Assad conditions on dialogue are similar to most of the opposition: i.e. stop the violence then talk is possible!
No Talks With Syria Opposition, Leader Tells U.N.
But then the piece reads:
Mr. Assad told the United Nations envoy Kofi Annan that such talks would be fruitless as long as “terrorist groups” were operating in the country.
“No political dialogue or political activity can succeed while there are armed terrorist groups operating and spreading chaos and instability,” the state news agency, SANA, quoted Mr. Assad as saying
— This is sadly a part and parcel of the narrowing of the field of policy options that has been gaining steam almost since day one of the protests in Syria. Now the ONLY discussion in the West is between the HARD INTERVENTIONISTS and the SOFT INTERVENTIONISTS… i.e. two sides of the same coin.
As I wrote here, this is a disasterous course both morally and strategically.