A plea from Luc Debieuvre for a negotiated settlement in Syria:
two years (and more than 80,000 dead) later, Al Assad is still there. The rebellion, like it or not, will not prevail. Iran and its local ally Hezbollah are more present than ever. Russia will not repeat the Libyan mistake and jihadist terrorism will not make it. To believe that “the more moderate rebels need help”, as the Economist writes, just misses-out two elements: Nobody is able to control the distribution of arms and whatever happens, Russia will stand firm. The European agreement on lifting arms embargo is at best a negotiating tool as everybody supplies arms through different channels.
Fighting, thus, did not work and diplomacy was not pursued.
But negotiate with whom, exactly? The rebels who can’t stop fighting or be slaughtered, or the Assad regime which can’t stop fighting until the rebels are slaughtered? One side or the other has to win, unless a third party goes in to enforce the peace — with extreme prejudice.
Ain’t gonna happen.