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Geneva II, Syrian peace talks, basically ill-conceived

by Frank Kaufmann, 06/2 /!" #a$e !

%&e international 'ar bein$ 'a$ed inside of Syria &as created a &umanitarian crisis of sta$$erin$ proportions( )stimates of numbers killed in t&e 'ar since *arc& 20!! ran$e from +,000 ,-e.t /entury Foundation0 to !"0,000 ,Syrian 1bservatory for 2uman 3i$&ts0( %&ere are no' 2 million Syrian refu$ees in nei$&borin$ countries, and + million Syrians internally displaced( *akin$ and fomentin$ 'ar is a multi-trillion dollar industry( *any succumb to t&is vilest of all profit-seekin$( 4&at most fail to note &o'ever is t&at peace-seekin$ is an industry of its o'n( !00s of millions, even billions, c&an$e &ands in t&e name of seekin$ peace( For t&ose people and $roups '&o live for t&e sake of peace, or 'ant to be seen or kno'n as suc&, t&ere is al'ays t&e lure to be associated &eroically 'it& t&e tra$edy of t&e &our( %&e comple.ity and intractability of t&e Syria 'ar, for better or 'orse, make t&is 'ar t&e $reat dra', t&e peace seekers5 Super 6o'l( It is understandable for nations, po'ers, civil leaders, and sub7ect area e.perts to be an.ious 8 even desperate 9 to dampen t&e ra$e causin$ over'&elmin$ &uman sufferin$( 4&at is not acceptable &o'ever is for people of t&is stature and caliber to be so careless, t&ou$&tless, and &ap&a:ard in creatin$ 'orld level peace conversations of t&is pressin$ importance( %&is lack of careful analysis and preparation, t&is rus& to &ave bot& $overnment and rebels at t&e table, t&is lust to be t&e $reat and victorious mediator, &as brou$&t about so-called peace talks ,Geneva II0 t&at screamed disorder even before t&e talks started( ;- Secretary General 6an$ Ki *oon invited and dis-invited Iran in less t&an 2+ &ours, eventually bucklin$ under ;S pressure, fores&ado'in$ t&e sure likeli&ood t&at Geneva II 'ill produce mea$er to no results at best( <ebanon &as over one million Syrian refu$ees inside its borders makin$ up a full one-fift& of <ebanon5s entire population( %&is 'ould be t&e e=uivalent of t&e ;nited states takin$ in 60 million 'ar refu$ees( <ebanon5s Forei$n *inister, >dnan *ansour said of Geneva II, ?It5s cra:y t&at t&e Iranians are not &ere 9 &o' can t&ere be a$reement 'it&out t&em@A -ot ?ill advised,A not ?counter-productive,A but ?cra:y(A %&is from forei$n minister of t&e country 'it& ! out of ever 6 people bein$ a Syrian refu$ee( %&e leader of t&e talks, <ak&dar 6ra&imi, ;nited -ations Special )nvoy to Syria, says, ?4e &ave not ac&ieved anyt&in$ but 'e are still at it and t&at is $ood enou$& as far as I am concerned(A 3eally@ 6ein$ ?still at itA is $ood enou$&@ %&is from t&e lead ne$otiator of a 'orld conflict@ -ic 3obertson5s /-- report after day one, ?2is voice seems va$uely to reflect moderate

Geneva II, Syrian peace talks, basically ill-conceived

by Frank Kaufmann, 06/2 /!" #a$e 2

e.asperation but per&aps I am confusin$ t&at 'it& tiredness( %uesday 'as ?not an easy dayA &e said, neit&er &ave t&e past days &e reflected( ?%&e comin$ daysA 'ill be t&e same, &e added as muc& for &is o'n forebodin$ as ours(A %&e -e' Bork %imes after day one reports, ?%&e first face-to-face peace talks by anta$onists in t&e Syria conflict appeared to deadlock on *onday, 'it& enormous differences over t&e basic purpose of ne$otiations(A It is &ard to move to'ard pro$ress '&en participants do not a$ree on t&e purpose of t&e ne$otiations( 66/, after identifyin$ t&at a full t&ird of t&e !! members of t&e -ational /oalition for Syrian 3evolutionary and 1pposition Forces 'ere boycottin$ t&e talks, concluded, ?)ven if some kind of political a$reement is reac&ed, it 'ill be virtually impossible to implement it on t&e $round, $iven t&at t&e talks are an irrelevance to most of t&e ma7or fi$&tin$ forces(A In *ontreau., before Geneva, t&e ;S presented documents to accuse t&e Syrian $overnment of e.ecutin$ and torturin$ citi:ens( 1n day one in Geneva, t&e Syrian $overnment presented documents s&o'in$ ;S military support for anti-$overnment forces( 4it& $affe, after boycott, after differences of t&e basic purpose of t&e talks, after t&e 'eary minimalism of t&e main ne$otiator bra$$in$, ?'e5re still at it,A one can only demand to kno' &o' on eart& it is possible t&at t&e most po'erful people on eart&, t&e most po'erful nations on eart&, t&e most po'erful institutions on eart& could convene so bald a c&aos and dis$race to address a &umanitarian crisis of suc& massive proportions( 2ave t&ese people no s&ame@ >re 'e really e.pected to 'atc& !00s of t&ousands or possibly millions spent on meetin$s so completely 'it&out anticipation, preparation, and sound or$ani:ation@ It is time t&at 'e on a $lobal scale a'aken from t&e moribund &abits and assumptions t&at political fi$ures leadin$ nation states, and a ;nited -ations as a nest suffocatin$ 'it& national self-interest can really be e.pected to produce peace( It =uite simply is not in t&e nature of any suc& $roups to be peace-makers( -one or nearly none of t&e people in Geneva for t&ese talks are peacemakers( 4&ere in God5s name is peace e.pected to come from in talks full of people armed to t&e teet&, and c&est deep in 'ar, 'eapons of 'ar, $reed, and a$$ression@ %&is crisis deserves better( %&e people of Syria deserve better( )veryone kno's t&at t&e 'ar in Syria belon$s to ;nited States, 3ussia, Saudi >rabia and Iran( It is simply and '&olly a non-starter t&at t&e ;S and 3ussia ?&ostA peace talks brin$in$ to t&e table barely representative rebel forces and t&e $overnment of Syria, '&en t&ey t&emselves &ave no s&ared or common commitment to reconciliation( #reparation for true peace talks for Syria re=uireC !(> ;- or ot&er'ise independent mediator/ne$otiator dedicated to step-'ise talks and ne$otiations, '&o is in nobody5s pocket 2(>ll pro.y 'ar mon$er and arms producin$, sellin$, and supplyin$ countries be utterly denied any ?sponsorin$A role, and instead be reco$ni:ed, desi$nated, and treated as common 'ar perpetrators "(>ll party talks be resolutely forbidden until pro.y 'ar mon$ers be put t&rou$& bi-lateral peace talks under t&e aut&ority of a t&ird party ne$otiator( %&is means t&at t&e first Syria

Geneva II, Syrian peace talks, basically ill-conceived

by Frank Kaufmann, 06/2 /!" #a$e "

peace talks need to be bet'een t&e ;nited States and 3ussia( %&e second Syria peace talks be bet'een Saudi >rabia and Iran( )ac& of t&ese t'o sets of adversaries need to si$n treaties t&at all t&eir actions 'ill be for absolutely no ot&er purpose t&an to end t&e &umanitarian crisis in Syria( +(1nce t&e ;nited States and 3ussia are pled$ed to stop perpetratin$ 'ar in Syria, and Saudi >rabia and Iran are pled$ed to stop perpetratin$ 'ar in Syria, t&en all four of t&ese po'ers s&ould be brou$&t into four party talks and all compelled to si$n a bindin$ treaty t&at compels t&ese four po'ers to act only for t&e &umanitarian needs of t&e Syrian people( D(1nce t&ese four po'ers are under treaty, all four to$et&er s&ould meet 'it& t&e Syrian $overnment to learn of its position, to support its efforts to stop all &ostilities, and &elp it to brin$ &umanitarian aid to t&e people of Syria( %&en t&ese four po'ers s&ould meet 'it& t&e rebels and opposition, learn of t&eir position, support t&eir efforts to stop all &ostilities, and support t&eir efforts to brin$ &umanitarian aid to t&e people of Syria( %&ese treaties s&ould include and re=uire all non-Syrian fi$&ters to be deported from Syria and returned to t&eir countries of ori$in( 6(>fter t&e rebels independently, and t&e Syrian $overnment independently si$n treaties and a$reements 'it& t&e four po'ers pled$in$ to cease all &ostilities, and devote all resources to t&e &umanitarian needs of t&e Syrian people, only t&en s&ould t&ere be any suc& t&in$ as ?Geneva IIA t&at &as so foolis&ly been convened in t&is rus&ed, fatuous, and 'asteful manner at t&is 7uncture(

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