October 28, 2020

Syria: Where have all the birds gone?

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Syria_Ethno-religious_composition.By Peter Polack

A frequent interval to the gunfire explosions in the many Syrian war videos available on the internet is the occasional silence and interruption of a swooning flight of birds. Houses, streets, towns and cities have been irretrievably obliterated but the birds fly on above the devastation. Recently it has been announced that rebel groups have agreed to negotiate with the Assad regime. This will not end well. The country cannot come back from the civil war unlike the USA and Angola due to the manifest religious divisions that will persevere and the inevitable settling of scores that is an integral part of that culture. There will be no South African reconciliation coming together behind sport and international acceptance led by the quintessential man of peace whatever treaty is agreed. Any peace process will amount to a mere intermission before the serious bloodletting can begin. Safe in his Russian sanctuary Assad will say I told you so to an empty audience. He and other birds of interest will circle above as a country divided by war will become a completely fractured state in geographical and ideological pieces. Libya hindsight regret. Those short term views that currently carry the biggest weight will end up as hollow as the current multinational aerial intervention that have only sent extremists deeper. Telescoping the removal of the current mini Caliphate in Syria and Iraq it would appear that the thousands of fervent displaced fighters will disperse into smaller groups to run the streets of Europe, North America and even the Emirates red. The politicians can only inch towards the necessary even disproportionate hard decisions to protect many from a few. The alternative is the circle of flowers to grave popularized by the popular Peter, Paul and Mary song on a world scale while the birds continue to swoop.

Peter Polack is the author of Last Hot Battle of the Cold War and a contributor to the Encyclopedia of Warfare. His most recent article, Syria: The Evolution Revolution was published in the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center magazine June 2014. He is a part time reporter for Reuters News Agency in the Cayman Islands.

IMAGE: en.wikipedia.org

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