Last week Russia slammed Hillary Clinton in her remarks concerning Syria. Fine, everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Russia also stated that Clinton’s comments (which I will not be focusing on) directly contradicted what the U.S. and Russia agreed upon over how to handle the crisis in Syria back in June. Ok, so maybe Washington adjusted their stance on Syria since then. According to Russia, “Washington and Moscow had both agreed in Geneva to support setting up a transition government that would be decided by the Syrian people as a first step for ending the 20-month crisis.”
Wait, what? …
Sure, elections have become the prescribed remedy for any country fraught with instability, which mind you doesn’t always work. However, that is not the bit of the article that gave me one of those “pause” moments that one sometimes experiences when they hear, see, or read something that short circuits their logic. Is Russia really suggesting that Syria should vote upon whom they wholeheartedly believe would be a responsible and trusting person in government? Russia? The same country which saw its own political crisis just last year during their election? The same country where allegations of voting scandal were running rampant one year ago? Alright, I’m always open to hear Russia’s ideas when it comes to politics.
Russia and the U.S. thought that Syrians would be able to create their own “transition government” back in Geneva this summer. This government could possibly be the precursor to ending the violence that has been all too prevalent in Syria according to The Daily Star, a Lebanese new outlet. I don’t mean to rain on Washington and Moscow’s parade but if Syrians cannot respect a cease fire that was implemented for Eid celebrations just this past week then how can they expect to decide on whom to put in their country’s place of ultimate power. Even if this would be a “transition government” what if the “transition President” (or ruler) finds their newly given power to be exactly what they’ve been missing their whole life? In other terms, what if they abuse that power? Would there be another crisis? Furthermore, what would all of a sudden stop the currently violent Alawites and Sunnis from going at each other as they have been for almost two years now? Would these two groups respect the decision Syrians come to about whom should be in power?
There are too many unanswerable questions. I do not see how the U.S or Russia could have seen a “transitional government” for Syria, at this point in time, as plausible even. There are too many variables that one could not even begin to predict for a transition government to work as was proposed in Geneva.