In a massive blow to any hope of peace for the civilians of Syria, the Syrian National Coalition’s Acting President, George Sabra announced to reporters in Istanbul that the coalition will boycott the Geneva peace talks.
Just two weeks before the talks are to begin, Sabra told the press “The National Coalition will not take part in any international conference or any such efforts so long as the militants of Iran and Hezbollah continue their invasion of Syria.”
The US-Russian Geneva talks have been in the planning for a long time, and the coalition indicated that they would take part, even though they were demanding an outcome that would mean Assad would be removed from government.
The talks presented some hope for the people of Syria that peace may not be far away, and that the fighting would stop – the killing and maiming of civilians would stop – the rape, torture and beheading of civilians would stop.
If either side were really looking to bring peace to Syria then surely they would embrace the opportunity to find a diplomatic solution in Geneva.
The Syrian National Coalition is as much to blame for the continuing conflict and the suffering of the Syrian people as any other organisation. By constantly setting provisos for taking part in talks they effectively remove the possibility of those talks taking place. It seems as though they move the ‘goal-posts’ each time there is a possibility of something meaningful happening for the people of Syria.
Like children having tantrums, the coalition throw their dolls out of their prams when they don’t get their own way – the problem is that the ramifications are much more deadly and serious for those caught in the middle.
In reality, the Syrian National Coalition is rapidly proving itself to be a shambles of an organisation, with one purpose – to look after their own members to ensure they are in lucrative government positions when the conflict finally ends (or reduces to a degree where they can take some control), or in a position to slice up what is left on the bones of Syria’s carcass.
Alternatively (or as well), the people of Syria could be facing a very bleak future under the tyrannical rule of the hard-line Islamists which make up the majority of the coalition.
The west, particularly Britain, seems very keen to arm the rebel faction, even though its main fighting forces are considered terrorist organisations in Britain and the west.
There is only one reason why Britain and the west would be so keen to arm enemy organisations, and that is if they are going to benefit from it materially.
By either installing a puppet government, or keeping the area unstable, the western interests have a virtual open door to the resources of the area. Not just natural resources such as oil – control of strategic locations in the Middle-East and opportunities for western companies to exploit the region as they have done in other former conflict regions, generating billions of dollars in profit.
The people of Syria are a long way from peace. Support for the coalition is diminishing as the civilian population see the horrific atrocities metred on them by the extremist factions which form a significant part of the coalition forces.
Civilians are subjected to horrific attacks by the rebels every hour of every day, though which the coalition imposes itself through fear and intimidation.
If reports are to be believed, the Assad regime is no better, but at least they are prepared to make some effort and take part in the peace talks in Geneva.
There will be no peace in Syria until the coalition finally starts thinking of the 20+ million who make up the population of the country and starts to put their needs before those of coalition members and their backers.
When the coalition start treating the people of Syria as human beings, and not as political fodder, there may be some real change through diplomatic and political processes.