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Syria: Give War Another Chance?

Kinda sad when the U.S., the West and their corporate media lead the fight for war and against reconciliation in Syria. (More Nobel Peace Prizes likely in the mix!) Once again all the pro-civil-war, pro-terrorism statements are being voiced by U.S. and Western officials, and their media are as biased as ever against peace and for more death and destruction. Not to mention Ban Ki-Moon … and the rebels themselves: “To date, opposition leaders have refused to consider any form of negotiations or compromise with the regime.”

Despite the predictable response, once again Syria’s Bashar al-Assad has presented a national reconciliation process leading to democratic elections, and the proposal is instantly rejected by the rebels, the U.S. and the West (and this is presented as ‘normal’ and ‘honorable’ in the corporate media). On Sunday Assad described his three-part plan:

Phase I would … entail making contact with the full spectrum of Syrian society, political parties and administrative bodies. These would include “all forces inside and outside the country who are interested in a solution,” he said.

In Phase II, the current government would chair a “comprehensive national dialogue conference” with these groups with the goal of drafting a national charter.

This document would uphold Syria’s sovereignty and unity, reject terrorism and “pave the way for the political future of Syria,” said Assad.

The charter would be put to a national referendum for approval.

Parliamentary elections would then be held within the framework of the constitution to form a new government that would represent all segments of Syrian society. …

In Phase III, a new government would be formed in accordance with constitutional law.

Now, what exactly is wrong with the preceding? Well, that’s pretty clear: it’s not a proposal for immediate regime change, which is the first and only demand of the rebels and their sponsors. Those sponsors unfortunately include the UN’s Ban Ki-Moon, who said he rejected Assad’s plan because it did not include “a political transition and the establishment of a transitional governing body with full executive powers that would include representatives of all Syrians.”

But Assad’s plan allows for transition, if that’s what Syrians vote for in elections. In contrast, Ban’s suggested path is anti-democratic, not allowing Syrians to choose “representatives of all Syrians” in any sort of election.

Me, uh, I’m for democracy … guess that ain’t cool anymore.

A final note on one of the imperial media lies about Assad’s Sunday speech, that he had “dismissed any chance of dialogue with the opposition.” In fact Assad asked for dialogue with the opposition, but lamented “that his government had not yet found any partners willing to back a solution to Syria’s ongoing crisis.” And who can deny his description of the violent opposition as largely Western puppets or terrorists? Or deny the good sense of his desire to dialogue with “the master not the servants”? And, finally, isn’t the opposition at the moment, as it has always been, badly fractured and riddled with sleaze?

Finally, a bit of optimism. In part because regime change in Syria by and for the West was never a very coherent plan, there are hints of peace despite its latest knee-jerk rejections. And after all, if the choice is really between “‘Somalia-ization’ of Syria Or a Political Settlement,” then whispers that the U.S. is secretly negotiating with Russia on a quiet, peaceful, end to the civil war might be true. Certainly almost all Syrians prefer peace to their present hell. Instituting a democratic transition that would lead to democratic governance and, if the Syrian people will it, Assad stepping down would also be real nice.

It’s just particularly cruel to fight against peace now, when both sides seem exhausted, and the winter is cold and food scarce in both government and rebel-held areas.

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