The price of indecision is that the situation on ground only keeps getting bigger and more complex to handle. Better to make a mistake making a decision than to do nothing.
I think of Syria. Years ago, it wasn’t this bad. We didn’t have this large number of displaced persons. Now, we have millions trying to leave the worn torn country. Years ago, the enemy was known and could have been knocked out in one round. But today, who exactly is the enemy? Everyone carrying a gun there is shooting in all directions. Clearly, the International community has lost the initiative of working by civilized principles in Syria. Now, it must do the unconventional to address the problem or this is the beginning of a dreadful international crisis.
I believe a good step towards solving the Syrian crisis is to list out all the major symptoms and tackle them comprehensively. This is my view of what those symptoms are:
1) a chaotic state where weapons are possessed and used illegally,
2) a humanitarian disaster evidenced by the flood of people pouring out of the country per minute,
3) importation and exportation of mercenaries.
These are the major symptoms. I think these are what the International Community should be dealing with as priorities right now. I believe they should be asking, ‘How do we enforce a cease fire, and disarm everyone out there, without any form of discrimination? I am saying it out loud, these gun wielding and grenade throwing fighters have gone crazy. They all must be disarmed, and by force if it is necessary. The way I see it, it’s petty and naive to think that there is an alternative to sending in an international force of soldiers on ground to do this.
The international community should also put into action a plan to safely transport those leaving the country to safer climes. Isn’t it pathetic that these people, though the subject of world news and the topic of many high level state meetings, still make their dreadful trips in rickety boats, and at very high personal costs? Let me just point out some of the bad things that could come out of this. With many undocumented people crammed up in very little space, trying to escape the nightmare in Syria, the risks of spreading dangerous diseases across borders goes up. These people are undocumented. It means, we don’t know their state of health. They are not vaccinated for the countries of their destination. They could easily pick up diseases and become a health threat everywhere they go. Besides all this, leaving this people to do their own travels will put a lot of pressure on coastline states in Europe. Talk about food and monetary pressure. I hear Germany, for example, has a limited amount of people it’s willing to take. So who gets the rest of the people? Coastline states. Those states are battling economic problems at the moment.
So there has to be a coordinated international effort to resettle these people in a orderly and dignifying manner.
And the last symptom there is the issue of importation and exportation of mercenaries. We have heard of how people have been running into Syria to join the war from the Americas and Europe, and Asia. How long would it take for those people to return home with their troublesome experience and training as mercenaries or radicalized ideological/religious fighters? This reemphasizes my first point that a major military campaign approved by the international community should be done to
1) create, enforce and monitor the peace,
2) disarm every single soul there and restore those arms to the government of Syria.
I make that second point carefully. In recent times, we have associated interventions like this with regime change. So yes, I look forward to a regime change once this military force goes into Syria. What’s left in reality of the current regime there? Does Syria look like it still has a capable government that can protect and promote the interests, safety and dignity of its people? A thousand times, NO. Should the regime be changed? Yes. It has overspent it’s usefulness in that land.
I hope action is take taken soonest. I also hope that the world has learnt it’s lesson. In a way, this break down of order in Syria justifies the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. For me, better to remove a potential terrorist than to wait till he has struck before making an attempt. Because if that terrorist strikes, it almost always becomes impossible to flush him out. I imagine what Syria would look like today if they had got a regime change after the chemical weapons saga. In my heart, I feel that beautiful country would still be beautiful today.