The Death of Diplomacy in Syria

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Citing the intransigence of the Assad regime and the lack of unity in the UN Security Council, Special Envoy for the United Nations and the Arab League Kofi Annan resigned his position effective at the end of the month. The former UN Secretary General is quitting at a time when violence in Syria has exploded into a full blown sectarian civil war, with atrocities being committed on both sides, and the major world powers now committed to their own proxy war, backing one side or the other in an increasingly chaotic and violent conflict.

Annan’s resignation also signals, for all intents and purposes, the end of diplomatic efforts to halt the conflict. Ban Ki-moon, the current UN Secretary General, says he will name a replacement for Annan but no one in the international community expects the next envoy to have any more luck in halting the violence than Annan did. There is a desultory debate in the UN General Assembly over a Syrian resolution that is already so watered down that in order to get a majority vote in that powerless body, sponsors have removed a demand for President Assad to step down and dropped a call for sanctions on Syria.

Meanwhile, the war has escalated almost exponentially since the blast that killed 4 key advisors to Assad on July 18. The emboldened Free Syrian Army (FSA) is tenaciously hanging on to positions in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city and the country’s commercial center, as government forces are shelling, bombing, strafing, and terrorizing the city of 2.5 million people. More than 250,000 refugees have poured out of the city and the FSA is pleading for humanitarian aid to feed and shelter the multitudes.

Annan’s futile efforts to stop the violence in Syria are added to other failures in his career that include an inability to stop the massacres in Bosnia in the 1990s, the Rwandan genocide where 800,000 were murdered, the tragedy in Darfur where upwards of 450,000 were killed, and Iraq’s oil for food scandal that hit close to home when his own son was accused of profiting from Saddam Hussein’s multi-billion dollar bribery schemes. Each of those horrific events occurred either while he was serving as Secretary General of the UN, or head of the world body’s peacekeeping efforts in Rwanda when he failed to act to prevent the slaughter of Tutsi tribesmen.

But Annan has a point. His mission was doomed from the start because the Security Council and the world community was unable to come together to address the tragedy. The lion’s share of the blame for that can be placed directly on Russia and China, whose vetoes of Security Council resolution after resolution gave Bashar Assad cover to carry out his war against his own people. But there is plenty of blame left for the United States, the European countries, and the Arab League, who clung for months to Annan’s moribund “peace plan” despite a mountain of evidence that it had failed almost as soon as it was negotiated last April.

This failure to face up to reality moved Senator John McCain to launch a powerful, accusatory speech on the Senate floor in which he pilloried the Obama administration for it’s faith in the Annan plan, which he said was “doomed to failure” from the start.

Isn’t it foolish to base your policy and non-intervention on the belief that somehow a former secretary general of the United Nations’ mission would succeed, when it was clear that the Syrian people were not going to be satisfied with the continuous barbarous regime of Bashar al-Assad?

McCain advocates arming the FSA — something the administration still says they are not prepared to do. Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One, “Our position has not changed: We provide non-lethal assistance to the opposition,” adding, “We don’t believe that adding to the number of weapons in Syria is what’s needed to help bring about a peaceful transition.”

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  • Larry

    First Rule of a civil war in another country: It's their civil war, let them have it.

    Second Rule of a civil war in another country: See First Rule

  • Terry

    I know I should be upset about the innocent lives being lost, etc, etc, but the arabs have roasted themselves on the spit of antisemitism and genocide for so long now that I really don't care. Let's see who is left standing in Syria and deal with them. They'll be no different from the chinless one, just new faces carrying out the same atrocities.

    Why do they deserve western intervention? Has Libya suddenly become a fount of demmocracy, tolerance and rule of law since NATO wasted lots of money helping rebels whose identity they still aren't sure of!! Same story in Syria. The arabs will never change. They were handed democracy on a plate in Iraq and still they murder each other there.

    Could be an islamic problem. What was that stuff about the religion of peace?

  • melvin polatnick

    Freedom to a true Muslim means an open path to the Mosque. There shall be no leader but Allah; the will of the people will be expressed by Sharia Law. Satanic rulers must be removed; Islamic anarchy will become the holy order.

  • ★FALCON★

    I have to admit – I'm surprised Annan resigned before the entire region was engulfed in flames. This does spoil his track record of causing mass starvation, genocide and famine. Someone must have threatened to take away his 72 male virgins.

  • cheese_burger

    According to Google, Syria is 80-90% Muslim. Therefore, all good Infidels should do everything in their power to prolong the Muslim-against-Muslim genocide. Infidel nations should feed both side equally with heaping helpings of armaments, rage and hatred against their fellow Muslims.

    As long as Muslims are busy killing each other, they will have less time and energy to kill actual human beings.

  • flowerknife_us

    Both sides seem inclined to murder each other indiscriminately. We watch yet another season of the Family Feud. The Battle of the Clans. Watch the sponsors twist and turn in their efforts to pick a winner from born losers.

  • Amused

    Um…Lets see ….did anyone EVER think Assad would step down ? Has ANYONE , ever stepped down? The Sudanese Regime is STILL murdering . Kofi Annan thought ghe UN would initiate some sort of military action by now [ OF COURSE COMPRISED MAINLY OF THE US ] but that didn't happen , so it's rendered both Anan AND the UN – what else is new .
    The US SHOULD stay out of this period . But wait ? Who are the Rebels ? Do we know /Should we know …and what if they are the bad guys , and WORSE , what if the bad guys start supplying the rebels …….no one 's got acrystal ball here .But Wait ..the bad guy countries are supporting Assad …
    What to do ….what to do ? EASY ! NOTHING ..1st Poster got it right ..

    BUT ……we're not gonna do that , we're gonna have another Right/Left shiitflinging contest . No one's ever gonna know what a rebel victory will bring , but one thing is for sure ….if they're calling for Sharia now , what result can possibly be expected ?

  • Horace

    Rick Moran's article has a strong lean towards helping the Jihadis throw out the secular Assad. What is he going to say when the Euroweenies and Obama, and our alternative left – Mc Cain and Lindsay Graham's support of these Islamist maniacs brings on an even worse dictatorship? Sharia happens?I guess he is happy with Libya's al Quaida gang and Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood as governments.
    Wake up Rick

    • ziontruth

      RIckNO always suffered from the disease known as Allahpundititis—being too moderate for a professing conservative's well-being, the auto-immune syndrome of cutting the other side (the Left and the Muslims) too much slack, thinking they're honorable, rational people just like his side, you get the gist.

      It's sad to watch right-wingers succumb to this disease while the Marxist/Islamic unholy alliance is full of evil conviction and the zeal to carry it out.

  • amused

    Oh dont worry about Moran . If Obama is dumb enough to get militarily involved ,Moran will make a 180 .

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Assad step down and walk to a gallows if not torn to pieces by the crowd, yes and all of your clan
    ready for mass graves. Assad has no where to go and as he represents his clan, it is no simple
    thing to change leadership, it is like "just say no"………….right, the American media is out to lunch
    with reporting on this blood bath, the strongest always rules in Islamist lands and all others must
    submit or die. Islam has one modus and Syria is a mycrocosm of what the world will look like
    as Sharia grows in presently less occupied Nations, watch Syria, the future model for Europe.

    • mlcblog

      Thank you for breaking it down. I just cannot follow all the news all the time…

  • Drakken

    The more these islamaniacs slaughter each other the better it is for us in the West, if these idiots who are for intervention want to stop it so bad let them go there and get a healthy dose of reality, they won't be missed.

  • Silverfinger

    The only thing I want, any sane person should want, is how to ensure that this "war" will last for a decade. Men, women, children, I have no compassion; the more muslims, the more that get killed, all the better.

    The tragedy will be the end to the Christian communites, unless the West can arrange their exit and let the muslims go at it for as long as possible.

    The objective should be to contain them, and all the Palestinians to get in there and get killed. If any WMDs are found to be shipped out of this pot, those vehicles are bombed asap. If the weapons are triggered, only muslims will get killed so that is still a plus.