Syria failure no loss for Annan’s legacy
by Rampholo Molefhe
esolution of the war in Syria would have added very little to Koffi Annan’s stature as an international diplomat of African origin. In any case, he should have had the sense to know that a peaceful resolution to that war was more or less a foregone impossibility.
The key factors in the Syrian conflict could be summarised as:
· The oppressed people of Syria who are hungry for freedom and the oppressive ruling oligarchy led by the Assad family
· The contest between the Arab nations in the region for economic and political influence much of which depends on the relationship between those countries and the western imperialist countries. What remains of the Eastern bloc pseudo-socialist countries – China and Russia – also want a decisive say
· The competition between the Western and Eastern countries for oil and other resources, mainly political control of the anti-Assad forces that are likely to triumph in the long run. This contest plays itself out mutely at the United Nations, but more crudely in the conduct of the war between the rebels and the government of Assad.
· The historical enmity between Israel and the Arab-Islamic countries.
· The underdeveloped countries and former colonies and the developed countries and neo-colonialists.
The primary contradiction is between the people of Syria and their government. Some 20 to 30 per cent are irretrievably poor. The poor have little or no say in the governance of the country. A large portion of the educated youth who form the overwhelming majority of the population are out of work and are unlikely to get it in the present economic circumstances of the country. Women are marginalised from the political and economic process. There also exists a legacy of ethnic and religious discrimination.
The combination of these form the recipe that has led to the intolerable frustration of the large majority of people who have finally resorted to the last option; mutinous resistance to the ruling elite and Assad’s government.
This recipe shows itself in one way or the other in varying intensities in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Syria, having already swept through North Africa, in Libya, Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt.
The dictatorial nature of governance in the Arab nations has arrested economic growth for education, jobs and productivity, only managing to create wealth and prosperity for a handful of the family gangs that run these countries.
In the conflict between the citizens of Syria and Assad’s regime, Western countries see an opportunity to buy into imminent political change so that they might gain access to oil and the mind-set of the people.
In the process, Israel will remain the supreme consort in the region for the upkeep of western values, but much more crucially, the economic interests of the West.
The Obama election campaign, still riding on the pyrrhic murder of Osama Bin Laden, cannot risk another of the unresolved wars such as in Iran and Afghanistan. The European countries are faced with the ugly prospect of the collapse of their financial systems, and indeed the very system of capitalism.
They seek identity with the resistance movement by using the international press to play up the ‘murder’ of the people of Syria by the regime. In so doing they seek to claim some moral high ground above that of the Assad regime even as they prop up the vicious regimes in Bahrain, Qatar and especially Saudi Arabia.
The CIA and other organs of the violence of the US administration also sponsor the popular resistance with weapons to the extent that they will employ mercenaries and Osama’s Al Qaeda to bring down the regime of Assad.
This short cut was learnt from the Tony Blair-George Bush axis that invented the notion of ‘regime change’ by manufacturing evidence of ‘weapons of mass destruction’ in order that they should attack and unseat former ally, Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Blair is now an advisor to Barrack Obama.
Analysts speaking on Press TV expect more than a popular insurrection of sorts. They anticipate something of the German type ‘blitzkrieg’ wherein the rebels will be armed with huge weapons and trainers so as to make short work of Assad’s stubborn regime.
The Syrian people will pay with their lives for the exercise.
And in the midst of all this, Kofi Annan proposes a six-point plan to bring the ‘human carnage’ to a stop to prepare the ground for ‘a political solution’! Isn’t that the height of naiveté? Or is it a deliberate ploy to buy time for Western countries led by the US and Britain to prepare the men, weapons and field conditions to prosecute the ‘blitzkrieg’? Both could be part of a dual strategy by the US and Britain to present themselves as advocates of a peaceful resolution in Syria whilst also stoking the war that would guarantee them ‘friendship’ with the rebels in the new government.
Either way, Annan should have been aware from the onset that the minimum and non-negotiable demand of the rebel Syrians would have been the abolition of the Assad regime. The Annan solution seeks only to legitimise the oppressive regime of Assad contrary to the resolve of the rebels; a non-starter.
Annan entered the fray when humanitarian considerations had long expired. The real problem in Syria is not that ‘people are dying like flies”. The solution lies in the answer to the question: “What are the Syrian people sacrificing their lives for?”
Inevitably, there will be the appearance of a coincidence of interests between the Syrian insurgency and the western imperialist countries; the British, French and Americans.
They are made to meet in the short run for mutually exclusive purposes. The popular uprising seeks expansion of democracy – more jobs, education, good health, proper homes, water and a viable defence against Israeli terrorism – whilst the Euro-American imperialists seek destabilisation of Arab or Islam based unity, oil and military domination of the region by Israel.
The new democracy born of this insurgency will in the long run have to reckon with the exploitative nature of this ominous flirtation with the westerners who will be quiet willing to subvert any political and economic progress that might be gained by the popular uprising if they do not get the oil, the women and a balance of military power that favours Israel. They will turn Al Qaeda, the mercenaries, Saudi Arabia and Qatar against the new democracy.
Annan should have known that the Americans would not have permitted the invitation of Iran to the search for ‘a political solution’. The Americans want to sabotage Iran’s nuclear based energy programme in order to stifle economic growth there, thereby inciting the Iranians to civil war.
Finally, it can only be concluded that Anna failed African diplomacy by his very participation in a peace process in the Middle East that was loaded in favour of Assad’s tyranny and against resistance to it by the oppressed.