Childlike belief that Assad would talk himself out of power may have done more damage than doing nothing.
Did anyone actually expect the Geneva conference with the warring parties in Syria to end in anything other than complete failure?
Apparently someone did. John Kerry, who now is embittered at the outcome, Kerry Blames Syrian Government for Deadlocked Talks
Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement on Sunday night that blamed the Syrian government for the deadlock in peace talks but asserted that the United States remained “committed to the Geneva process.”
Mr. Kerry’s statement followed two rounds of generally fruitless discussions during which the Syrian government continued its attacks on rebel-held areas with crude weapons known as barrel bombs, and came as more than 200,000 Syrians remained cut off from humanitarian assistance.
Lakhdar Brahimi, the United Nations special envoy to the negotiations, underscored the frustration when he apologized to the Syrian people over the weekend and questioned the value of continuing the talks.
The main aim of Mr. Kerry’s statement appeared to be to pressure President Bashar al-Assad and to keep alive the hope that a political settlement might be reached in Syria. He was scheduled to fly on Monday to the United Arab Emirates, which is among the Persian Gulf countries that have supported the rebels.
Kerry’s optimism that Bashar Assad would talk himself out of power was naive at best, dangerous at worst. There appears to be no Plan B, as Paul Mirengoff at Power Line notes:
The peace talks weren’t just a non-event; they were another blow to U.S. interests and another success for Assad. Why? Because the non-extremist opposition, which participated at America’s urging, comes away with nothing. Thus, as the Washington Post suggests, it is likely to lose what little influence and credibility it possesses among front-line fighters.
This represents a victory for the extremist opposition, including al Qaeda. And it is also a victory for Assad, who relies on fear of extremist elements in the opposition to maintain power and keep the U.S. at arms length. Indeed, Assad’s representatives have acknowledged that they came to Geneva to raise awareness of the terrorist threat posed by the opposition. Clearly, they did not come to make concessions, not even small, purely humanitarian ones….
What’s next? More of the same. The Post reminds us that the Geneva talks, which we have seen were always destined to fail, “represent the only strategy Obama has advanced to try to end the war.” Moreover, “Western diplomats have acknowledged that they have no Plan B.”
Unless one counts being jerked around some more by the Russians.
The choice is not always between war and peace. Doing nothing in Syria may have been better than peace talks that had no chance of success.DONATE
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