Kofi's Cure-All

Except that the U.N. envoy's snake oil sells the Syrian people short

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In response to the Syrian government’s war on its own people, the United Nations sent in its crack diplomatic corps last February, armed with short-range shoulder-fired gobbledygook.

Amazingly, the high-minded gibberish of special envoy Kofi Annan’s six-point “peace plan” proved completely useless – and was even weaponized by the Syrian government, which has used the peace plan as cover to continue its brazen fratricide for all the world to see.

Two major problems with Kofi’s Cure-All:

First, his six points essentially asked Syrian President Bashar Assad to simply become a different person.

All Assad had to do, in Kofi’s mind, was to commit to stop the fighting he started; commit to “an inclusive Syrian-led political process to address the legitimate aspirations and concerns of the Syrian people,” which neither he nor his father before him has ever done; “ensure timely provision of humanitarian assistance to all areas affected by the fighting” – in other words, for Assad to begin to care about the people he’s been waging war on; and release “arbitrarily detained persons, including especially vulnerable categories of persons, and persons involved in peaceful political activities” – in other words, be a totally different type of ruler.

Oh, and “ensure freedom of movement throughout the country for journalists” and “respect freedom of association and the right to demonstrate peacefully as legally guaranteed.”

In short, Kofi told Assad, “Just stop being evil!” That’s not a peace plan. That’s a Disney script!

The other problem with his cure-all is that it was packaged as a peace plan to begin with. It aimed for a cease-fire, with the hope that that would somehow fundamentally change Assad and his goons.

Peace is not the absence of hostilities. Peace is inseparable from freedom and dignity and respect and the rule of law. You cannot achieve those things merely with the laying down of weapons – particularly if it is only one side laying them down.

On the other hand, sometimes – paradoxically – you can achieve those things, the precursors to peace, by taking up arms. The planet is riddled with examples of peoples who had to first fight for their freedom. Do you suppose that lasting, true peace is available to those under the tyrant’s thumb?

It’s sad to say, sadder to see – but the violence in Syria may just have to play itself out. The Syrians want to be free. Their government won’t let them get there peacefully. What choice do they have but to stand up to a menace that calls itself their leader?

Ironically, peace might have been possible if the U.N. had sent aid in to the Syrian people rather than the gobbledygook of diplomats – if the Arab League and the rest of the world had stood with the Syrian people and used the weight of a verifiably united globe to loosen Assad’s iron fist from the Syrian people’s throats.

Instead, the world stands by and watches as the Syrians cry out for help and for freedom. And the diplomats wonder why. Why didn’t our sweetly-written fairytale work?

As one news report put it Friday, Kofi Annan had to acknowledge that, quoting Kofi himself, “Syria was headed down a path of ‘brutal repression, massacres, sectarian violence and even all-out civil war’.”

Really? It’s only headed down that path? Isn’t that path already well-trod and littered with bodies?

The Los Angeles Times noted, “Annan urged world leaders to make it clear that failing to comply with the plan would carry unspecified
consequences ...”

Look out! Unspecified consequences are raining down on us!

That’ll sure scare the heck out of them in Damascus.

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southernguy08
499
Points
southernguy08 06/11/12 - 06:58 am
0
0
Kofi
Unpublished

About as useless as a milk bucket under a bull. But then, so is the U.N.

faithson
5158
Points
faithson 06/11/12 - 07:55 am
1
7
cynical

foreign policy criticism of this nature does nothing to help us understand the circumstances on the ground. A basic tenant of the right, support the use of violence as a means to an end is a bankrupt policy. I wish the right could see the errors of their ways, Iraq being a case in point.

JohnBrownAug
1962
Points
JohnBrownAug 06/11/12 - 09:08 am
7
1
The basic tenet of the right

The basic tenet of the right is to understand the UN is an ineffective organization that often works against the best interests of this country and western democracy.

harley_52
23459
Points
harley_52 06/11/12 - 09:31 am
7
0
Excellent Editorial. If

Excellent Editorial.

If there is a more useless organization in the world, I don't know what it is. The United Nations accomplishes nothing, save some VERY EXPENSIVE humanitarian activities rife with corruption and misdeeds committed by thugs wearing blue berets.

Expressing "outrage" is about as tough as the U.N. gets in dealing with ruthless, murdering, torturing dictators, and even to take such a bold, courageous step as that often requires not a majority, but rather unanimous vote of the Security Council. That's usually impossible to get.

The United States has paid the largest share of the U.N.'s funding since the organization began in 1945. Our share is now higher than it has ever been. In return, we get nothing but grief. Our enemies block most any action we seek to accomplish and they do it while condemning us and the way we live.

People like Assad, Sadam Hussein, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Idi Amin, and their fellow travelers aren't cowed by empty statements of "outrage" by the U.N., nor by their threats of "unspecified consequences." The U.N. has time and again proven itself to be a toothless tiger which neither earns, nor gets, the respect of these ruthless dictators who torture and slaughter their own citizens with impunity.

southernguy08
499
Points
southernguy08 06/11/12 - 10:05 am
0
0
FAITHSON
Unpublished

"I wish the right could see the errors of their ways..." Faith, your liberal lapdog has been in the WH nearly 4 years and his party owned both houses of congress until 2011, and still owns the senate. And yet, the country has gone DEEPER into the crapper! And, its all the fault of the right? Yeah, I'm laughing.

Bizkit
31545
Points
Bizkit 06/11/12 - 11:24 am
3
0
Since WWII both Dems and Reps

Since WWII both Dems and Reps have contributed to violence Korea, Vietnam, etc.. etc. etc. To insinutate that violence is the path of the right is either naive or politically divisive. Wasn't it a Progressive Obama who increased the presence in Afghanistan (which is unbelievably idiotic), but I guess it all about his weird ideology of "fairness". We shoot boot the UN off American soil and tell them all to kiss it good-bye.

violence is the way of the right is either naive or politicially insincere

faithson
5158
Points
faithson 06/11/12 - 03:01 pm
0
3
pray tell...

biz, I remember well the discussion before desert storm and who was promoting armed conflict. I also remember well the neo-cons push for war with Iraq... As a party over the years it has been the pro-military, exceptionalist republicans I remember as 'hawks'. Of course there always have been the hawkish democrats who usually hail from states that have a military presents. armed conflict and 'violence' are synonyms in my theasuras.

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