Post Tagged with: "Syria"

Iraq, Syria and the MidEast – what is to be done?

Iraq, Syria and the MidEast – what is to be done?

The essential fact of the sectarian conflicts (internal and external) that have characterized the MidEast for decades has been the artificial boundaries left behind by empire and the colonial powers. The basic question facing any political approach to restoring peace would be whether to seek to preserve those boundaries or […]

Syria – missed opportunities and future perils

Syria – missed opportunities and future perils

One cannot deny that action in Syria is long-overdue. The question that remains –  which is currently being debated by Western power-brokers – is what form such action should take.

Islamic State in Iraq-Syria – the standards of world law

Islamic State in Iraq-Syria – the standards of world law

The UN Human Rights Council Special Session on Iraq was a major advance for world law as for the first time, a non-state actor is held responsible for upholding universally-recognized human rights standards.

When fighting terror produces ever more radicals and sectarianism

When fighting terror produces ever more radicals and sectarianism

At a time when Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria is on the cusp of being accepted as just another effort in the general “war on terror,” it is advisable to question the likelihood that a (Shia) “partisan” war on (Sunni) terror could well become a breeding ground for more “radicals” on […]

Kosovo, Ukraine, Syria and Iraq

Kosovo, Ukraine, Syria and Iraq

The struggles by ethnic and religious groups left behind by empire cannot be resolved by outsiders. These competing groups need to find their own way – even fight their own way – to arrive at boundaries and arrangements they can live with. Any foreign intervention risks alienating one side or […]

Whose peace are we building?

Whose peace are we building?

There is a reason why military and foreign intervention doesn’t work. These interventions thrust “solutions” onto the people of the country intervened in. These “solutions” are the intervening power’s idea of what the ideal is, and are not necessarily the ideal for the people with whose country the intervention occurs. […]

Time to do a deal with Assad?

Time to do a deal with Assad?

The military options for the West vis-a-vis Iraq and the IS are limited without some ability to operate permissively in Syria. This would require movement toward a political settlement to the Syrian civil war and an arrangement with Assad. We would need to work with those we find in power […]

Syria and the ICC

Syria and the ICC

There are arguments that to prosecute is to interfere with the right of self-determination of the Syrian people. However, when there is evidence of mass atrocities, with clear ideas as to who is responsible, the prosecution cannot be considered to be “taking sides”. 

Winners and losers in the Balkans wars – lessons for Ukraine and the Levant

Winners and losers in the Balkans wars – lessons for Ukraine and the Levant

Absent genuine geopolitical interest in another country’s conflicts, the West should stay out of others’ civil wars lest it risks exacerbating them and contributing to chaos through elicitation of false hopes.

Stop making war business

Stop making war business

Peace journalism is key for ensuring that conflict is accurately and appropriately reported, with its genesis and circumstances fully explained, and that local peacebuilding ideas and solutions get the visibility they deserve. 

Negotiating the Syrian crisis – a compromise remains far off

Negotiating the Syrian crisis – a compromise remains far off

The trajectory of the Geneva II negotiations – either towards convergence (resolution) or divergence (non-resolution) – will affect the outcome of one of the most violent and protracted conflicts in the Middle East.

For Syrian refugees child marriage is a necessity

For Syrian refugees child marriage is a necessity

Research by women’s right organizations purports that the prevalence of child marriage is not due to lack of awareness about the concerns of the practice, but due to the social prejudice that girls face. While reports are inconclusive as to the rate of increase of child marriages among refugee populations, […]

Local pressure for peace mounts in Syria’s civil war

Local pressure for peace mounts in Syria’s civil war

In the chaos of Syria’s civil war local peacebuilders are finding ways to bring respite for tired civilians from suffering and danger.

Temperance in the Arab Spring – averting catastrophe through great power politics

Temperance in the Arab Spring – averting catastrophe through great power politics

The world’s most politically volatile region, the Middle East, has been stabilised through the collective common sense of three Great Powers – the United States, Great Britain and Russia – applying regressive yet pragmatic foreign policy.

Syria – women, peacework, and the lesson from Bosnia

Syria – women, peacework, and the lesson from Bosnia

Below the radar of the forthcoming Geneva-2 peace talks, Bosnian and Syrian women are holding meetings to discuss the lessons that must be learnt from the failure of the Dayton Agreement. However, without the voices of those who have the greatest stake in preserving peace in their countries, peace agreements […]

A waiting game – Syria through the lens of conflict transformation

A waiting game – Syria through the lens of conflict transformation

Looking at Syria through the lenses of a few selected Principles of Conflict Transformation can offer new suggestions for peaceful actions as the fatigue of violence continues to grow. 

Palestine (and Syria) and Kosova

Palestine (and Syria) and Kosova

Regarding existential, zero-sum struggles it matters which side has more options.

Syria – no deal, really

Syria – no deal, really

That Syria has been on a downward spiral since 2011 is not news. Any solution for Syria must not be limited in scope. Tackling chemical weapons is only one part of the entire deal. If a middle path between the use of force and non-action can be carved, using just […]

Syria and a possible UN approach to chemical weapons

Syria and a possible UN approach to chemical weapons

The UN would likely play a key role in verifying and overseeing an effort to put Syria’s weapons under international control. But the UN Security Council can only work if the two remaining superpowers put their backs into it.

Chemical weapons in Syria provide an opportunity for making peace

Chemical weapons in Syria provide an opportunity for making peace

Aiming to “transform conflict” would inject new energy into the diplomatic process around Syria, by finding new common interests between adversaries.

What I saw in the war

What I saw in the war

Reporter Janine di Giovanni has been to the worst places on Earth to bring back stories from Bosnia, Sierra Leone and most recently Syria. She tells stories of human moments within large conflicts — and explores that shocking transition when a familiar city street becomes a bombed-out battleground.

What should the US do on Syria?

What should the US do on Syria?

For the US to act as part of the international community and through the UN, it must commit itself in this particular case – and in general – to a diplomatic strategy of building common perceptions and sharing understandings.

Syrian military intervention – Washington’s “well-oiled” operation

Syrian military intervention – Washington’s “well-oiled” operation

The United States has only to gain from the likely military intervention which will give it unrestricted access to Syria’s oil reserves, with a larger control over the neighbouring oil producers and trade routes. The intervention comes at an opportune time for the superpower when the global economy has forced […]

R2P and International Law

R2P and International Law

The responsibility to protect is an international responsibility and not the exclusive burden of any one country, not even the US. But the use of force now or at any time should be left to the Security Council to decide. President Obama should now earn his Noble Peace Prize by […]

Changing the justifications, intentions and limits of military action against Syria

Changing the justifications, intentions and limits of military action against Syria

Since the August 21 chemical attack in Syria the international community has refocused its attention on the Syrian quagmire, with the three key western protagonists, the US, UK, and France, preparing to take it upon themselves to react regardless of UN Security Council sanctioning. Their justifications, intentions, and scope of […]