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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post

Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post









It's morally painful, but the Geneva II talks are the only way to end
Syria's nightmare

Talking with Assad
is the fastest possible route to ending the suffering in Syria. The human
rights abuses must be addressed

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/22/syria-geneva-ii-talks-human-rights-focus?commentpage=1

Calls for Assad or other officials to
face justice at the international criminal court in The Hague have foundered on
the problem that Syria is not a member of the court. Photograph: Reuters
The
pictures are gut-wrenching. Thousands of emaciated, naked bodies with evidence
of torture perpetrated by
intelligence agencies of the Assad regime; leaked to the public just ahead of a
major conference on ending Syria's brutal civil war. In
addition to the hundreds of thousands known to have been killed and wounded in
this conflict, the fate of thousands of political prisoners who disappeared
into regime prisons has always remained in question. Now, thanks to a
government defector, there appears
to be an answer
.


The
documented murders of at least 11,000 detainees, killed in conditions likened
by investigators to second
world war-era Nazi death camps
have come to light and revealed the
unconscionably brutal treatment of political prisoners by Assad's intelligence
services. This is a new chapter in Syria's national nightmare, captured in
excruciating detail.

Thus, on the eve of the Geneva II negotiations to end the Syrian conflict,
these horrific new revelations are grounds for serious moral reflection. Should
the international community even engage in talks with such a viciously despotic
government? Is a negotiated settlement an appropriate response to a manmade
humanitarian catastrophe such as this? To answer these questions, it is worth
remembering how we arrived at these tragic circumstances in the first place.




The
world has been grappling with the escalating brutality of the Syrian civil war
for three years and has yet to come to any real solution. Instead, public
promises of military intervention and threats to topple Assad have been
revealed as empty rhetoric. Assad has crossed every threshold of brutality
possible – up to and including the use of chemical weapons – and
today remains as firmly entrenched in power as ever.




Despite
his regime's flagrant violation of the "red lines" imposed by the
international community, the United States and other powers
have made it obvious through their inaction that military strikes are not in
the cards. Simply put, there is not going to be a war in Syria to topple the
Assad regime as a means to end this conflict. The fact that the Geneva II
conference is even being held – with the
participation of the Syrian opposition
– is a clear signal that the parties
involved have accepted this reality and have already factored it into their decision-making.




The
reason why the international community today must talk to Assad is because the
painful, unjust reality is that there are no other options left available.
Given that Syria is already under intense economic sanctions and the prospect
of international intervention is nowhere on the horizon, it would behoove
opponents of negotiations to offer a counter-proposal for ending this conflict.




While
the moral outrage against entering into discussions with such a brutal regime
is understandable, if the corollary to "no talks" is essentially
maintaining the status quo; that is no solution at all. Syrians are watching
their country being torn apart both by the regime and by religious extremists.
Millions of civilians have been scattered
across the globe
to live in misery as refugees, and the death toll has
reached a point where the UN can
no longer accurately tabulate it
.




The
world simply cannot continue waiting in vain for the Assad regime to collapse
under its own weight, or for a coherent Syrian military opposition to storm
Damascus and put a swift end to the conflict. As far back as 2011, prominent
mainstream analysts have been claiming that "Assad is unlikely to last the
year in office
". It's now 2014, and neither the international
community nor the Syrian people can afford to continue dealing with the
consequences of such disastrous predictions.




Further,
while these
pictures are new
, it hardly comes as a surprise to Syrian activists that
the Assad regime has been torturing and killing detainees. Such practices have
been known
and documented
for years, and have at times even been facilitated
by the United States
as part of its war on terror. As jarring as these new
revelations are, they don't tell us anything fundamentally new about the
practices of this brutal, despotic government.




Nevertheless,
a negotiated settlement with the Assad regime in any circumstance is a bitter
pill to swallow. There is a strong legal case to be made that both he and
senior officials of his government are guilty of war
crimes under the Geneva Convention
. But while there may be no perfect
options left to deal with Assad, there is still an opportunity to put him on
the defensive over these abuses and to help alleviate the suffering of Syrian
detainees.




At
Geneva II, Assad is attempting
to put the focus on "terrorism"
and the fight against al-Qaida
militants. It is incumbent upon the international community to ensure that
immediately ending the human rights abuses of his government is a primary
subject of the talks, and that it remains as a precondition to any broader
settlement. In the words of Nadim Khoury of Human Rights Watch:




There
is only one way to get to the bottom of [government detainee abuse] and that is
for the negotiating parties at Geneva II to grant unhindered access to Syria's
detention facilities to independent monitors.




Such
access should be granted immediately to ensure an end to detainee abuse and
must be a focal point of the negotiations now occurring in Geneva. Assad's previous
agreement to relinquish his chemical weapons after video footage surfaced of
their use against civilians demonstrates that changing the regime's calculus is
possible.




Revelations
of government killings of prisoners offers a similar opportunity today.
Syrians, especially those still languishing in regime prisons, need solutions
now and cannot afford to wait for one to arise unheralded on its own. As even
his most aggrieved adversaries in the Syrian opposition at Geneva II recognize,
talking with Assad today is the fastest possible route to potentially ending
the suffering in Syria. As morally painful as it is, the one thing worse would
be to remain complicit in maintaining this nightmarish status quo.





COMMENT:

Says what may anyone the real culprit
those who aggravated the situation in SYRIA is RUSSIA and its uncouth poodle
Indian authorities supporting that prolonged the massacre . Had they not
supported this genocide committal criminal Assad and his atrocities then Assad
would have succumbed to the pressure and would have surrendered. That would
have saved so much of human suffering and killing that constituted committal of
genocide in Syria by Assad..

If proper analysis is carried out
both the Russia and India Abetted the crime against humanity without an iota of
doubt. Therefore, the UN should be requested to kindly order an immediate
investigation on the incident to start a regular genocide case against Assad
and the two abettors.
 


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