Tepperman’s Assad piece misses the point: Sadly we are way beyond an equitable solution in Syria
There is much to discount and criticize in here. Most frustrating is the suggestion, emphasized, by the headline, that Assad is too crazy/delusional/deceptive for negotiations of any merit… i.e the old neo-con line on syria that they will never ever get to a productive place that could ultimately produce moral and strategic improvements in the region or for US interests… they just need to be fought.‘s piece on his interview with Bashar
JT merely tries to amplify this even as, thankfully, the pendulum is finally turning (far too late) against this simplistic and shortsighted thinking among decision-makers.
[Of course this trope is most unhelpful when seen from the lens of March 2000 when father Hafez almost made peace with the Israelis but for a few hundred meters of territory around lake tiberius… when famously, “clinton lied and barak got cold feet,” according to the lead Israeli negotiator.]
Indeed, JT argues:
“But behind the cheery aphorisms and the barely-there mustache was a man so unyielding and deeply deceptive — or delusional — that it’s impossible to imagine him ever negotiating an equitable end to Syria’s civil war.”
— Well it is not impossible to imagine negotiations, but sadly the reality is that negotiating with this baby-killing, evil regime (and they are an exceedingly bad regime) will at this point not bring back all the dead and wounded, re build the cities and lives or put back in the box the ISIS menace… or stabilize the Hizbullah-Israel front that is now exceedingly dangerous.
Second and more than this – it will not – it was never going to in fact – lead to an “equitable” solution in the short or medium terms… which JT poses as his goal even though this rings exceedingly hallow.
Indeed, this (negotiated settlement) should have been done at the very beginning of the conflict… it would have greatly delayed democracy for syrians, which they richly deserve but so do the following people deserve “equity:” saudis, egyptians, jordanians, bahrainis, palestinians… etc etc…i.e our allied states with brutal dictators – though not as murderous as assad when pushed (as yet) to the brink.
Either way, an early negotiated solution would have meant that the resulting moral and strategic collapse would have been avoided and a more patient approach to improving the lives and body-politic of syrians might have been pursued over time. One wonders how hundreds of thousands of dead people would have voted in this internationally sponsored referendum?