[Marxism] Geneva Conference

Carl G. Estabrook galliher at illinois.edu
Fri May 24 22:44:13 MDT 2013


http://www.lrb.co.uk/2013/05/23/patrick-cockburn/is-it-the-end-of-sykes-picot

...Fear of widespread disorder and instability is pushing the US, Russia, Iran and others to talk of a diplomatic solution to the conflict. Some sort of peace conference may take place in Geneva over the next month, with the aim at least of stopping things getting worse. But while there is an appetite for diplomacy, nobody knows what a solution would look like. It’s hard to imagine a real agreement being reached when there are so many players with conflicting interests. Five distinct conflicts have become tangled together in Syria: a popular uprising against a dictatorship which is also a sectarian battle between Sunnis and the Alawite sect; a regional struggle between Shia and Sunni which is also a decades-old conflict between an Iranian-led grouping and Iran’s traditional enemies, notably the US and Saudi Arabia. Finally, at another level, there is a reborn Cold War confrontation: Russia and China v. the West. The conflict is full of unexpected and absurd contradictions, such as a purportedly democratic and secular Syrian opposition being funded by the absolute monarchies of the Gulf who are also fundamentalist Sunnis.

By savagely repressing demonstrations two years ago Bashar al-Assad helped turn mass protests into an insurrection which has torn Syria apart. He is probably correct in predicting that diplomacy will fail, that his opponents inside and outside Syria are too divided to agree on a peace deal. He may also be right in believing that greater foreign intervention ‘is a clear probability’. The quagmire is turning out to be even deeper and more dangerous than it was in Iraq.


On May 23, 2013, at 10:34 PM, Clay Claiborne <clayclai at gmail.com> wrote:

> ...I would like to offer an alternate view of the motivations of Qatar and
> Saudi Arabia for supporting democratic revolutions in Libya and Syria,
> which i will be developing more fully in a blog
> post<http://claysbeach.blogspot.com>on Arab nationalism. The short
> answer is that it is very important in
> justifying their monarchies and wealth to the Arab nation. This also why
> they have strongly supported the Palestinian cause - or is that because
> they hope for a pipeline through Israel?
> 





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