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Reason for inaction against Bashar al Assad

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Today’s headline in The Washington Post by Melissa Eddy and Chris Cottrell is that “Rights Group assails inaction on Syria.” Why would the world standby while the Syrian president has committed crimes against humanity and his nation is in a state of civil war? For one thing, the "world" is divided about what to do.

Here is a list:

1. There really cannot be “negotiation” with Assad, only criminal prosecution and elimination from power.

2. The free world nations lack unanimity in how to deal with him.

3. The Arab world has conflicted interests in how to deal with him and Syria.

4. The rebels are not aligned, and themselves are in conflict.

5. The rebels include radicalized Islamists, al Qaeda and related organizations.

(See the annotated list for more details)

Without a viable alternative to the Assad government, and with the Russians and Chinese still supporting the status quo, the situation is at a stalemate. Innocent civilians are killed as they are trapped in a war in which their future depends upon an outcome over which they have no control.

That scenario portends the future of the Middle East until or unless an alternative political organization that is aligned with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights emerges from the intellectuals that reside inside and outside the Middle East. It is time for those who have fled to go home to address the needs of their homelands.

“Rights Group Assails Inaction on Syria

By MELISSA EDDY and CHRIS COTTRELL JAN. 21, 2014

BERLIN — Human Rights Watch on Tuesday deplored what it called the failure of international powers to intervene in Syria, saying the desire to bring President Bashar al-Assad’s government to the negotiating table should not become a pretext for failing to protect civilians caught up in the almost three-year civil war that has claimed more than 100,000 lives.

The criticism, in an annual accounting of human rights records around the world, came a day before international negotiations, known as Geneva II, are to begin in Switzerland, first in the city of Montreux and then moving to Geneva. Separately, a team of legal and forensic experts commissioned by the government of Qatar said on Monday that thousands of photographs showing scarred, emaciated corpses offered “direct evidence” of mass torture by Syrian government forces.

Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, which has its headquarters in New York, said the images were consistent with what his organization had seen when it visited detention centers in Syria. The photographs, provided to the Syrian opposition by a man who described himself as a defector from the security forces of President Assad, highlight the importance of opening up Syrian detention facilities to international inspection, he said.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/22/world/middleeast/rights-group-assails-inaction-on-syria.html?_r=0

1. There really cannot be “negotiation” with Assad, only criminal prosecution and elimination from power.
1. There really cannot be “negotiation” with Assad, only criminal prosecution and elimination from power. www.telegraph.co.uk/AP

1. There really cannot be “negotiation” with Assad, only criminal prosecution and elimination from power.

Unwinding what has been done isn’t easy and may be impossible.

“Syrian opposition leader ready to hold talks with Bashar al-Assad

The internationally recognised leader of the Syrian opposition has offered to hold direct negotiations with the Assad regime for the first time, in a dramatic volte face.

By Richard Spencer, Cairo9:15PM GMT 30 Jan 2013

A spokesman for Moaz al-Khatib, the Damascus cleric who leads the Syrian National Coalition, told The Daily Telegraph he was speaking "in a personal capacity" in making the offer.

But he said the Coalition would discuss the proposal "in the next few days", possibly even Thursday. If it agrees and President Bashar al-Assad makes good on his own offer of negotiation, the proposal could bring the first major breakthrough between the two sides for more than a year.

Mr Khatib posted the offer on Facebook, saying: "I announce I am ready for direct discussions with representatives of the Syrian regime in Cairo, Tunis or Istanbul. I became aware thanks to the media that the regime in Syria has called on the opposition to enter into dialogue."

He said the offer depended on the release of political prisoners, and of exiles being allowed to return.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9838098/Syrian-opposition-leader-ready-to-hold-talks-with-Bashar-al-Assad.html

2. The free world nations lack unanimity in how to deal with him.
2. The free world nations lack unanimity in how to deal with him. www.aljazeera.com

2. The free world nations lack unanimity in how to deal with him.

“No easy answers to Syria crisis, say refugees

“Some Syrians welcome US strikes against Assad's military, others fear the loss of innocent lives.

Max Siegelbaum Last Modified: 07 Sep 2013 19:19

A military strike on Syria does not have unanimous support among those who have fled the fighting [AFP]

Cairo, Egypt - After Nasser Essouarn, a young activist from the Syrian city of Homs, was arrested the first time, he went home and stayed quiet for a couple of weeks. He soon found himself anxious and ready to get back out on the streets, along with other student protesters.

Essoarn, a Sunni Muslim, returned to the protests and was detained again by Assad's Alawite forces, and held for several days. When he was released, he decided his time in Syria was over. He flew to Beirut and eventually settled in Egypt.”

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/09/201395135028955911.html

3. The Arab world has conflicted interests in how to deal with him and Syria
3. The Arab world has conflicted interests in how to deal with him and Syria Frederic Laarargue/AFP/Getty Images

3. The Arab world has conflicted interests in how to deal with him and Syria

"Saudi Arabia walks a fine line in backing Syrian rebellion

by Ben Gilbert January 20, 2014 6:30AM ET

“Western and Saudi officials fear Syria could produce a generation of extremists the kingdom cannot control

Topics: International Syria Saudi Arabia

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Last summer, Badr al Nizi had seen enough of the killing in Syria as the world stood by and did nothing.

The soft-spoken 28-year-old Saudi held radical political views at the time and admits he was against “the Saudi government, non-Muslims and (was) also thinking about going for jihad.”

Agents from Saudi Arabia’s internal police force, run by the Ministry of the Interior, had taken notice of Nizi and the radical group of men he had been hanging around.

So when he applied for a passport at a Riyadh immigration office in July, he raised red flags in a country closely watching any signals that its citizens may be planning to go fight for the rebels in Syria. 

King Abdullah and his government in Saudi Arabia have warned their subjects against traveling to Syria to wage jihad and have forbidden citizens to send money to Syrian groups, apart from the three state-sanctioned charities tasked with providing humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees. A Saudi security official told Al Jazeera that since 2011, the government has seized about $10 million from some 30 Saudi bank accounts being used to send money to bundlers in other Gulf countries such as Kuwait and Qatar, where it is forwarded to more radical groups in Syria.”

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/1/20/saudi-arabia-walksafinelinkinbackingsyriarebellion.html

4. The rebels are not aligned and themselves are in conflict.
4. The rebels are not aligned and themselves are in conflict. Nous Fourat / Reuters

4. The rebels are not aligned and themselves are in conflict.

“Syrian Rebels Battle With al-Qaeda Fighters as Iraq Implodes Next Door

Messy, factional strife in Syria — taking place as al-Qaeda emerges once more in Iraq — is playing into the hands of Syrian President Bashar Assad

By Aryn Baker / Beirut @arynebakerJan. 07, 201416 Comments

There is no surer sign of a liberated city than the release of prisoners. But in the case of Raqqa, in northern Syria, the 50 prisoners in question were not captives of the government, but of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an al-Qaeda franchise ostensibly aligned with rebels pushing for the fall of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Even as ISIS, which got its start as al-Qaeda in Iraq back in the days of the American war, regains territory in the Iraqi province of Anbar, it is slowly being pushed out of its northern Syrian strongholds by a broad coalition of moderate and Islamist groups fed up with its draconian interpretations of Islamic law and its abuses of power.”

Read more: Syria: Rebels Battle With al-Qaeda Fighters as Iraq Implodes Next Door | TIME.com http://world.time.com/2014/01/07/syrian-rebels-battle-with-al-qaeda-fighters-as-iraq-implodes-next-door/#ixzz2r2X4n47p

5. The rebels include radicalized Islamists, al Qaeda and related organizations.
5. The rebels include radicalized Islamists, al Qaeda and related organizations. REUTERS/FADI MASHAN

5. The rebels include radicalized Islamists, al Qaeda and related organizations.

“Syria rebels push al Qaeda back; U.S. open to Iran role

BY KHALED YACOUB OWEIS AND ARSHAD MOHAMMED
AMMAN/JERUSALEM Sun Jan 5, 2014 7:53pm EST

(Reuters) - Syrian rebel fighters loyal to al Qaeda ceded ground near the Turkish border to rival Islamists on Sunday, activists said, in what seemed to be a tactical withdrawal to end clashes between Syrian- and foreign-led opponents of President Bashar al-Assad.

As Syria's civil war gets ever more complex amid a broad regional confrontation between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims, the United States raised the prospect of Assad's sponsor Iran, the Shi'ite power long at odds with Washington and its Sunni Arab allies, playing some role in this month's Syrian peace talks.”

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/06/us-syria-crisis-idUSBREA040DG20140106

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