A cycle of failures

A Syrian girl chants slogans during a demonstration in Idlib, north Syria. Syria's main opposition group said nearly 800 people have been killed in violence across the country in the past week which saw some of the bloodiest violence in the 16-month uprising against President Bashar Assad. (AP Photo/Local Coordination Committees in Syria)

So far the meetings held in capitals around the world to discuss the situation in Syria have been exercises in futility and failure, the results of which had been written on the wall before they even started.

They have served only to give the regime more time to implement its security solution, which has meant the deaths of hundreds every week.

The meeting of world powers in Geneva over the weekend was rather an exercise in ambiguity and vagueness, not to mention a masterpiece in semantics. Its resolutions were able to make everybody happy, thanks to their openness to interpretation.

This comes as no surprise. The key players involved in such meetings have made their stances clear, and have made equally clear that they have no intention to deviate from them.

Effectively, nothing was agreed, since all involved interpreted the wording of the statements according to their point of view. Efforts to improve the plight of the Syrian people were not moved forward one inch.

Rather, the preparations and noise surrounding the conference overshadowed the carnage that was actually taking place. As world leaders met to share their opinions, hundreds were killed by a regime that has introduced every possible weapon into the battle. Obvious though it was to the rest of the world, the bombing, shelling and strafing clearly failed to reach the ears of those in Geneva.

The ambiguity wrought by the vagueness of the statements from Geneva also rendered them illegitimate in the eyes of both the opposition and the regime.

They are merely another set of statements to add to the pre-existing pile of empty words that have been uttered by the international community of the situation in Syria.

Rather than finding a solution that might produce concrete change, the biggest achievement of these meetings is to beget other meetings. Such gatherings are purportedly aimed at finding an end to the bloodshed, but might serve better as a discussion on why they are unable to do so.

If the international community is to continue to be of no real help to the Syrian people, they should at least be honest with themselves and stop being partners to the killings by giving people more hope that they are working to find an end to this ordeal.

What is hoped is that the world might save their breath and set about trying to find a real solution to the bloodshed. Cancel all meetings; the result is written on the wall. Should they, as they appear to, want the Syrians to solve their own problems, the resulting conflict must at least be on equal footing.

Therefore, let them arm the people so at least they can stand on their feet and have enough resources to confront the unlimited firepower of the regime.

For too long now empty talk from the international community has competed with the increasing volume of the shouts of pain in Syria.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on July 02, 2012, on page 7.




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