Syria, Syria, Where Goest Thou?

Each day the figures grow more horrible as to the number of dead people in Syria or the destruction of homes and public facilities that provide food or water or electricity. The death of Abdukl Qadir Saleh of the Tahrid Brigade has demonstrated the inability of those fighting for or against the Assad regime, to weave their way through the maze of contesting groups bent on death and destruction. Saleh for a time attempted to persuade competing groups who seek to overthrow the Assad regime to cooperate in this endeavor. He definitely failed to achieve that aim. Al-Qaeda clashes with secular forces who clash with different secular forces who are in conflict with Muslim fundamentalist forces and so on. Most probably we have passed a point at which a certain form of cease fire might have been achieved and now are at a new point. Russia seeks to become the mediator of record whose goal is halting the current conflict.

However, although we might be at a point in which “halting” is possible, we are far, far from “ending the conflict.” No powerful mediating force is present in Syria. Most probably any solution would have to be obtained by powerful outside forces creating a compromise upon those fighting and using the weapon of denying aid to compel some form of compromise. In other words, President Assad is here for the immediate