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Is it possible for the US to clean up the mess in Syria?
The Syrian National coalition (SNC), the Syrian opposition group, has withdrawn from any further talks with the Syrian government and from participating in Friends of Syria meet in Rome. It gave the apparent inaction by international community to the events in Aleppo a reason for this where scores of people were killed recently because of the Syrian military attacks.

The SNC is recognized by the 137 countries as the legitimate representative of Syrian people though not their government. The Syrian conflict has made thousands homeless with more than 850,000 Syrian refugees crossing the borders and staying in the neighboring Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq. These governments are finding it difficult to cope up with the refugee crisis. According to one UN estimate around 5000 people cross Syrian borders everyday. With time the conflict has turned out to be a civil war between Alawites, supp The Obama administration has distanced itself from participating explicitly in the war. To be fair to Mr. Obama the situation is very messy and if the US participates then it could create instability in the Middle East and the North Africa. The US intervention could catalyze events which would point mostly towards destabilizing the region. Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Tunisia, Pakistan and Afghanistan could be directly affected while others could be indirectly affected. The US taking sides of the Sunnis could increase inter-sectarian conflict.

The non-intervention, on the other hand, would not be any better situation either. The changes would happen slowly but they would happen. That’s for sure. Such changes would be significant, permanent and irreversible. Such changes would be all pervasive encompassing politics, economics, society and religion. Its imprints would be permanent. The slow changes could turn out to be more soothing and adaptive, at least in short-term than cataclysmic changes which occur because of the intervention. But then non-intervention is unlikely to relieve the pain and sufferings of Syrian people as opposition may not have sufficient arms and ammunition to overthrow the incumbent regime.   

The fact is that Syrian society has changed permanently with the one division rarely believing others unless and until permanent peace is brought in. The same is true for other Islamic societies which have undergone changes and are going through the revolution. The fact is that people would not tolerate authoritarianism and dictatorship any more. In case the first revolution is not fruitful for many, the consciousness demands the second revolution. The ever changing consciousness with consumerism induced nationalism would never let all accept regression and reversions. People would be in conflict with each other depending upon the distributions.

The second revolution, if it at all takes place, may make Islamic societies more or lesser rational, depending upon the way they are handled internally and externally. Making majorities, minorities, or vice versa should not be the objective of any US administration but when majorities are openly, clearly and distinctively demanding a change which is possible for the US to bring about without much moral, legal and ethical hesitation, then it should try to support majorities. Those majorities should be supported without hurting minorities. The US should not see all Christians in the region as its brethrens. Shariah or laws derived from it would be the norm in the Middle East and the North Africa, whether the US accepts it or not.

It does not mean that desirable changes are not likely to happen. Also, if plan for Syria is properly thought and executed then it could avoid undesirable changes to occur. The US should believe in Russian Federation but should not rely completely on Putin administration’s consent on ousting Bashar al-Assad, the disgraced Syrian leader. True, the situation in Syria is very messy and the US should take all precautions before entering the conflict but the fact is in spite of fearsome possibility of cataclysmic changes because of its intervention, the window of opportunity to save Syrian people from the tyranny of Mr. Assad may soon close. The Syrian opposition could soon very well be controlled by the elements from al-Qaeda and other hardliners and Syrian government be much influenced by Iran and Hezbollah.

The above may be very horrible situation for any American administration and the increasing possibility of Iran going nuclear may complicate the situation. The US can take Russian Federation and China into confidence, if required and then possible. But the US should take a firm stand of protecting all civilians—be they Sunnis or minorities. It should plan and execute a smart and short military action against Mr. Assad’s regime. It should enforce no-fly zones and protect the ‘liberated’ parts by air-patrol. It and the rest of the West should provide all humanitarian assistance to the people trapped inside the war zones.

In order to secure and safeguard the chemical weapons, Mr. Assad and his family could be offered amnesty in the form of exile provided he cooperates with the international community. The US should never abandon communication with any group and divisions in Syria and should make clear to Sunnis there that it would not accept chemical weapons of Syria. If the US does not act within short period then the Syria could be permanently Balkanized into minimum two parts with Mr. Assad and his followers creating a separate ‘Alawite state’ protected by chemical weapons, missiles and Hezbollah operatives. Such a state would rob off all the military capabilities of the second Syrian state and the second state could be bitterly divided as well. It would be very chaotic situation for the Middle East, and would definitely contribute to the amorphousness of Islam.

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