Kenner piece on Rosen Syria doc,HD misses critical ingredient:Costs of deepening failed strategy of 3.5 years
Dave has a thoughtful and helpful piece here on Nir’s recent report and the HD public comment etc. It’s great of course that – finally – these ideas are getting traction – far far too late for many, sadly.
The recent work is of course the culmination of ideas that some have been arguing since the beginning of the conflict in that critical and unfortunate summer of 2011 period when – incredibly – Obama, most EU states, many “conflict mitigation” groups and of course Neo-LiberalCon interventionists incorrectly declared that Assad was a walking dead man, in a “slow motion suicide” (ICG), that a “controlled collapse” was desirable (US Institute for Peace no less!) and probable and, differently, that Assad had crossed a “redline” – and that therefore the diplomatic area of negotiation and conflict mitigation was to be radically cut down to a narrow and exceedingly obtuse (and now one can say deeply irresponsible and immoral) window: transition out or die.
Always remember what one Syrian activist told Nicholas Blanford in May 2011 – maybe 2-3 million syrians might have to die for freedom. This should be front and center when we evaluate the syria catastrophe and the policies that were pursued at the highest levels.
Dave attempts some criticism of the ideas contained in the report(s) – which many who predicted the Assad collapse long ago or who would like to see such an outcome for deeply counter productive ideological reasons have attempted over the years.
But he asks a secondary question as his tour de force: “But can either Rosen’s or de Mistura’s plan actually bring peace to Syria?”
Dave leaves out a consideration of the current alternatives in evaluating this new/old option and therefore leaves the unknowing or knowing reader without critical context to actually properly judge the real merits of a fundamentally different approach.
He also leaves out any analysis of why and how we now can see how the original controlled collapse approach (or the more radical “fast and wide scale militerazation+US military role” approach) was so deeply flawed strategically and morally.
Without this framework, one cannot understand fully the need for what de Mistura and Nir and apparently HD are arguing and which should have been the course a long time ago: The conflict in syria between the regime and the opposition needs to be mitigated NOW, not accelerated further, and it must be done without the old pre-condition of Assad stepping down.