Faint hope for Syria

2013-03-10 08:37

Paris - After two years largely on the sidelines, the international community is finally showing signs of taking action on Syria's escalating conflict but analysts say it may be a case of too little too late.

Foreign efforts to stem the country's conflict have been paralysed since March 2011 protests against President Bashar al-Assad sparked a crackdown, armed uprising and eventually a full-blown civil war.

The rising tide of violence - with more than 70 000 killed and one million fleeing the country - has done little to push foreign powers to overcome deep divisions on how to tackle the crisis.

"The diplomacy has very clearly not kept up with the situation on the ground," said Salman Shaikh of the Brookings Doha Centre, describing the Western and Arab nations backing Syria's opposition as a "Coalition of the Unwilling".

But analysts saw moves since last month, including British and US decisions to supply direct aid to rebel fighters battling Assad's regime, as tentative steps towards a new international response to the crisis.

"Things are starting to move... I have the feeling that people are starting to wake up," said Joseph Bahout, a Middle East expert and professor at Science Po in Paris.

Less of an impasse

"We're at less of an impasse than we were six months ago," agreed Christopher Phillips, a lecturer on the Middle East at the University of London. "That sense of urgency has ratcheted up."

Phillips said US President Barack Obama's election to a second term in November has freed his administration to act in the face of Syria's worsening humanitarian crisis.

Obama's newly minted secretary of state, John Kerry, gave the first sign of a US shift last month by announcing food and medical aid to the rebels and an extra $60m million in support to the country's political opposition.

Experts said the move was hardly a game-changer, but did send an important signal.

"The direct financing and recognition of the Free Syrian Army is an evolution in American thinking," a French diplomatic source said. "They have broken through a barrier."

Britain went further on Wednesday, announcing it would send non-lethal military aid including body armour and armoured vehicles to the rebels.

"The fact remains that diplomacy is taking far too long and the prospect of an immediate breakthrough is slim," Foreign Secretary William Hague said while announcing the aid.

  • Jaco Whoosh Pearson - 2013-03-10 09:01

    We are pathetic as a race. Governments always seem to rape it's citizens and the rest of the world just silently consents. If some president or dictator is being a bastard, why be all diplomatic about it? If harm comes to inocent lives why not help out? What the hell does NATO and the UN do anyway but just talk and protect only British and American interests... Sad

      Jo - 2013-03-10 09:39

      It's funny how no one every lays the blame on Russia and China for vetoing the UN resolution that was needed to go in and stop Assad.

      Anthony Varekamp - 2013-03-10 09:44

      . It most certainly is very sad, that the world, has no interest, whatsoever, when a violent thug turns on his 'own' people. Who; Fires rockets into apartment blocks! Shoots live amunition at unarmed, women and children, from out of gunship helicopters! Drops bombs, including cluster bombs, onto residentail areas. And with this , bombs 'his' country into rubble. and while the ever so violent lunatics of the left, come with all kind of fantasy stories , of the West's involvement, in reality, they have done no more than holding monthly tea parties of the 'friends of.....' A COALITION OF THE UNWILLING==========FOR SURE !!!!

      Fidel Chavista - 2013-03-10 09:57

      Jaco&Jo, Nato was established for the defense of western Europe, and it should stick to that. The western propaganda machine will have you believe that the Russians and Chinese are getting in the way when in actual fact they are being quite sensible about finding a solution to the problem. One day soon the Europeans will wake up and realise that they cannot simply blunder into any part of the world simply because the US says so. With the USA gone rogue as they roll out their sly, long-nurtured plans for forging the world in their image, one can only praise the "gods" for Russia and China's independence of mind and steadfast refusal to become bystanders at best, lackeys and collaborators at worst. Whatever ulterior motives they may have, at this point in history, there is only one nation disfiguring the world. China and Russia are just trying to uphold decency and fairness in ME

      Anthony Varekamp - 2013-03-10 10:42

      Fidel Bullsista/Pingpong, DECENCY ???? Protecting a mass murderer, whose family hijacked a country, and for the last FIFTY YEARS been terrorizing its population!!!! !!!

      Jaco Whoosh Pearson - 2013-03-10 13:39

      Fidel, all governments suck. Agreed America is the worst since their corporations do their takeovers for them while using UN influence to destroy sensible trade barriers. Their war on the world is so subtle that no one notice what a vast Imperial force they have become. But still, if someone would have just sent in a team and execute all these maniacs piliging their own countries and at least help get a stable transition government (with no alterior motives) in place and get the country up and running that would be great. But that is about as likely to happen as superman suddenly showing up.

      Anthony Varekamp - 2013-03-10 14:05

      Fidel Bullsista/Pingpong, ""Nato was established for the defense of western Europe, and it should stick to that"" don't know what you are talking about. The AU very often, asks Nato to assist them in moving peacekeepers, civilian policemen, and other personel around our continent. HUNDREDS of flights are undertaken and THOUSANDS of personel is moved around Africa!! That is besides the transporting of emergency aid!! BUT, HEY, WHO CARES ABOUT AFRICA !!!!!!!!!! Most certainly NOT our resident...ANTI WESTERN EVERYTHING !!!!!

      Fidel Chavista - 2013-03-10 14:38

      Jaco, can't certainly argue with your positing, preaching to the converted so to speak!

  • Fidel Chavista - 2013-03-10 09:47

    "the international community" A euphemism for the west!

      Fidel Chavista - 2013-03-10 10:35

      Who has been terrorising the world in the past ten years. Here's a clue, US incorporated and their Wahhabi allies in Saudi Arabia who fund all sorts of Jihadi scum in the world, from Jakarta to Abuja!

      Anthony Varekamp - 2013-03-10 11:14

      Fidel Bullsista/Pingpong, No, No, don't CONFUSE the issue!! The Syrian people have NO interest in the claptrap of the lunatics of the violent left, Nor what's happening in Jakarta, nor Abuja!! They demanding, THEIR country back, which was hijacked by a violent family of thugs! They demanding thjat this family gets out of THEIR country. But the problem is that NO ONE wants them, nor Russia, not even anyone in South America!!

      Fidel Chavista - 2013-03-10 11:15

      "lunatics of the violent left"....blah blah blah..... Have you no shame, repeating the same worn out stupid specious boneheaded dumb rhetorical line on every thread! Get some new arguments please, perhaps then I might engage you!

      Anthony Varekamp - 2013-03-10 11:36

      Fidel Bullsista/Pingpong There is no sense to 'engage' with a lunatic of the violent left, as their mind has NOT CHANGED in the last SIXTY YEARS!!! It is the same, mainly anti American, calptrap, we have been hearing over and over and over and over again! Almost; word for word!! Year in , year out!! The lunatics of the left=========The HYPOCRITES OF THE WORLD !!!! Pretending to care about the poor and the unfortunates, but in the meantime supporting; TYRANNY AROUND THE WORLD. Where ever there is unimaginable violence, anywhere in the world, the lunatics of the left are ALWAYS AND ALWAYS there !!!

      Fidel Chavista - 2013-03-10 14:40

      The lunatics of the left=========The HYPOCRITES OF THE WORLD, blah blah blah...

      Anthony Varekamp - 2013-03-10 14:48

      Patrick, Those two 'thumbs up, can only come from you, it is hard to believe that there are any readers on this site, who appreciate such language. The week before last, you proudly told me; ""Anthony , stick your western carrot up your filthy rectum"" Even these news24 clowns, did not find it necersarily to remove this FILTH. I can only come to the conclusion, that your mind is f.cked up with syphilis!!!

      Anthony Varekamp - 2013-03-10 17:39

      . Fidel Bullsista/Pingpong and 'intelligent' Patrick Modern Leftits; ""They are baffling people. They talk about human rights, and yet ally with sexist, racist, violent, gay-murdering, human-rights-hating fascists. Their central belief seems only to be that America, and Israel, and the white man, must be wrong. All of their decisions are based on that false axiom. As a result, they are enemies of the free countries, friends of third-world tyrants, and enemies of the suffering people all over the world who are forced to live under tyrannies"" .

      Anthony Varekamp - 2013-03-10 18:20

      Patrick/Lesego, Are we in SA, not fortunate, that to get MAJORITY rule , we did not have to depend on weak ones like you, because as a supporter of MINORITY regimes, we would still be stuck with the Vosters and Bothas!!!

      Fidel Chavista - 2013-03-10 18:20

      So this is your new argument....pathetic!

      Anthony Varekamp - 2013-03-10 19:12

      . Fidel Bullsista/Pingpong---Patrick Lesego How sad that both of you don't realize, that you got sucked up in the worlds most dynamic religion, which is not Christianity nor Islam, but LEFTISM!!! Shame !!!

      Anthony Varekamp - 2013-03-10 21:29

      Patrick Lesego, There are plenty leftists making lots of money, like supplying arms to this assad terrorist, or drugs to the Chavistas!!!

  • Bradley Ruiters - 2013-03-10 14:17

    William Hague - a mixture of hypocrisy and stupidity. The NATO proxy armed gangs raping and pillaging Syria are murdering innocents causing people to flee their homes. The solution? Give these terrorists millions more in support. Amazing logic that resonates with only the truly brainwashed among us.

      Anthony Varekamp - 2013-03-10 14:40

      Bradley, Not even the Russians and Iranians, who support this assad terrorist, talk SUCH claptrap

      Fidel Chavista - 2013-03-10 14:41

      Preach Bradley!

      Anthony Varekamp - 2013-03-10 19:22

      . Fidel Bullsista/Pingpong---Patrick Lesego, Notice both of you are quite frustrated this evening, so I have asked the editor to post an article re Israel!! THAT should do the job!! Both of you can spew out your HATRED AND FILTH, and than go to sleep, with a smile on your faces!!!

      Fidel Chavista - 2013-03-10 19:59


      Anthony Varekamp - 2013-03-10 20:07

      Patrick Lesego, You boooooored, Did this Russian chic , now also dumb you. To sleep with her, you did not want to put R5,- airtime in her phone ????? Shame!

      Anthony Varekamp - 2013-03-10 21:02

      Fidel Bullsista/Pingpong, Wow, WHAT a week this has been for YOU !!!! Packing an overnight bag, for your flight to Caracas!! Your hero gone, watching the totally sick manipulation, of emotions of the Venezuelans, by some freaks , calling themselves the government of Venezuela! Than what only a lunatic of the violent left can do; dress the part !!! New name, new flag, and than, spewing it out!!!!! It did not matter how absurd your comments were, as long as it were 3800 words per day. Fortunately, you had the help from Maduro and other idiots.. The praises for Chavez were getting more insane by the day, He was even compared with Jeses Christ...........................!!!!! And than those scary armed Chavistas, who were beating up and assaulting anyone. who was not crying !!! So, after the funeral, you got the heck out of this crazy place. No, not a flight back to Africa! There is not much to report there, just the Americans saving MILLIONS of African lives! Bastards, why don't they mind thewir own business!!! So a direct flight back, to Damascus, being on the frontline, which is watching SANA in the comfort of your hotel room. Wow, it is not easy being a political bullsh.tter !!!!!!

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