Peter Clark

 

There are two views: 1) what I think is likely to happen and 2) what I think should happen. 1) As things are at present the prospects for resolution are very low. Conflict has become a way of life for most parties. There are enough arms and resentments for the conflict to go on indefinitely. The Lebanese civil war lasted for fifteen years. 2) What should happen is to encourage talking and listening to all parties, to assume that nobody is beyond the pale and to think (at present) only in the long term. How do the various parties see Syria, given its multicultural make-up, its human and material resources, in 2025? How does one strive to get there? Even here, there are currently irreconcilable positions: the repudiation of the internationally accepted borders; the lack of legitimacy of any of the parties in the conflict. In some ways, it is necessary to reach a way of living with the unacceptable. The situation may be different after a year. What is clear to me is that the resolution lies in the hands of Syrians, and that "western" intervention will add to the problems and settle nothing. There is a case for neighbouring countries to get involved - they already are. The end of the Idi Amin regime in Uganda followed military intervention from immediately neighbouring countries. 

 

Dr Peter Clark OBE is a consultant, writer and translator. He has degrees from Keele University and the University of Leicester.

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