Thursday, December 29, 2011

Informed yet still ignorant

While the world of peace and conflict has many avenues, the past two years have showed that an equal concern circles around greed– money.
Neither a bullet nor a dollar can harm you, alone or in tandem.  Both have to be passed through the hands of a person.  In reality the person is the focus for the creation of destruction.  In the past two years we have seen more destruction caused by the financial system than most current wars combined.  Just as the world was sent into a whirlwind of chaos during the 1929 stock market crash caused by greed in the RUSA, the current financial storm is a sibling born of the same mother.
The EU is dealing with a major crisis that in any normal situation would have been laid at the feet of the one that caused it.  The RUSA is responsible for the financial crisis and the world has let them off again.  What is worse is that the crime is still taking place and the criminals are running free.  All this tells me is that if you are going to commit a crime make it the largest crime the world has ever witnessed.

The sub-prime mortgage scandal hit Iceland so hard that it defaulted on loans.  Greece was next and the house of cards began to fall.  Oddly enough though the criminals were hardly even questioned about the massive ponzi scheme. Someday the world will watch a movie about how the RUSA stole more than a trillion dollars.  I am sure if you dig deep enough you will find other blogs that research this area.  My area is more bullets than money.  Although the two are often mates. 

I do know that the mainstream news sources are about the worst places to get such information.  It is a tight race for who sells out quicker, the media or the audience.  One lesson I have recently recalled is that you never try to change one persons mind, it is easier to change a million.  You see people are easily lead when in groups.  Alone they are free of mind, persuasion and influence.  How else could you explain why the world allowed the RUSA to steal such a large sum of money at the same time they illegally invade Iraq?

We let them off for an illegal invasion of Iraq, countless human rights violations/assassinations and we are letting them of on the largest fraud in history.  This is the largest news story of the decade and most of us are too busy staring at phones and ipods to see what is going on around them.
I wrote in an earlier posting about the courage of the Russian people to see their own death and face it.  They changed twenty years ago.  I wish the world had half that courage to see what is going on and face it.
Occupy whatever space you want, revolt however you choose but for the love of all that is peaceful, please do not tell me you care and then plug in an ipod, scan your text messages, watch whatever reality series is popular and sip energy drinks.  I have been tired of such bullshit before cellphones were popular.  What is worse is that the pile of shit has only grown.
The world has been bending these past few years under the weight of financial chaos and the war on terror.  Both of these have been started by the same country.  There will be a point where the world breaks and everything falls apart or it will spring back, throwing everything into the air.  Either way we are in for some really interesting times.
The world needs to change.  We have lived with the status quo and it is beginning to fall apart.  I do not know what the next few years will bring.  I do know that if we venture with the same ideology as we have these past 60 years it will be turbulent to say the least.  However, with enough courage and resolve we can make serious improvements to how the world operates.  We need to decentralize the power of the United Nations Security Council, International Monetary Fund, World Bank and impose a global system of minimum economic wage.
For now, there are just enough good things to keep the world in hopes.  Despite the image there are occurrences such as the Jasmine Revolution and the Occupy movements.  More so, there are the personal moments of love which are the best and the strongest.  Those personal moments are worth all the shit we slog through.  Someday you hope that after all the effort something or someone will make it all worth it.  At least I hope that day will come. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Transitional chaos in Libya

The people of Libya have completed another phase of revolution.  The violent overthrow of the past government is complete.  Now the new government is in the dire situation of producing results demanded by the people.  The first demand is to bring law, security and predictable government more quickly.
In the pursuit of those demands the new government of Libya has asked the international community to release the financial sanctions put upon Libya.  What is surprising is that the financial sanctions are still enforce while the weapons sanctions have been lifted.  Think about that piece of idiocy for a moment.  A country that is well stocked with weapons to the point where stock piles are found daily is allowed to bring in more weapons.  Yet the money to run government, police, hospitals, schools, transit and a host of other infrastructure is still on hold.  Who makes the decision to lift the sanctions – UN Security Council.
It is even more absurd when you hear the list of priorities for the return to peace.  Number one is the locating and documenting existing weapons in Libya.  Second is the reintegration of the 75 000 fighters into society.  Third priority is to quell the rise in gang violence.   
There were enough more guns and ammunition to oust the last leader yet they need more to secure the peace?   In addition, you will not have any money to pay the police, military, doctors, teachers or government agencies to run these operations.  To be fair, there are funds made available.  It is just frustrating to see that weapon sanctions get lifted before financial sanctions. 
As the Libyan government deals with the transition, the public needs to be engaged as well.  The people need an outlet to express their experiences.  There needs to be a reintegration program on a mass scale that the entire society can go through.  In the past these have been called Truth and Reconciliation Commissions.  No matter what the name is, such programs are needed. 
The biggest test is going to be the elections, which are supposed to take place next June.  Already people are becoming agitated with the slow progress of transition.  This is to be expected as a violent revolution is a very highly intense atmosphere and peace is not.  People want change now and that is impossible.  What needs to be done is to engage with the people.  There needs to be mass discussions on the vision of Libya.
These discussions will allow the people to vent off the anger of what appears to be slow progress.  Having a person in place for the people to scream at, take that energy and produce positive feedback.  This is the realm of community development.  It may be the smallest of items that will bring the anger to a level that is acceptable.  Perhaps the local market has been destroyed or the schools or mosque or even a popular community area.  Whichever it is, a discussion with the community will provide answers. 
One thing they certainly do not need is more weapons.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Peaceful leadership

On the surface of peaceful leadership there are a few indicators that should be adhered to.  One such indicator is the will of the people to die in large numbers for change in leadership.  On a more peaceful level, the will of the people to protest in very large numbers for weeks is also an indicator that leaders need to take great awareness of.
We have to ask why the leaders strive to rewrite constitutions and understand the answer provided in as peaceful a way possible.  However, it is true that such efforts to retain power can be power grabs and nothing more.  The person doing the grabbing is blinded by their own self-importance.  On occasion that power grab is solidified when opposition becomes violent.  The violence only strengthens the case for stability in government leadership to remain in power.
Of all the peaceful protests that have resulted in a change of government, peaceful demonstrations have been the greatest weapon.  No leader can violently put down a peaceful demonstration and come out looking as though they did the right thing.  The element of citizen restraint to remain peaceful can be difficult.  Even more so when government incites the violence itself by planting forces in the crowds just to start the violence.
Peace is a difficult route.  Yet when you take examples from the most uncomplicated situations peace seems so easy.  Carolyn Handschin-Moser wrote in an article titled Dignity: Cornerstone of the Culture of Peace a perfect example.
Two women were out with their children one day.  Somehow the two boys started throwing rocks at each other in anger.  What would you think if both parents advised their kids to throw bigger rocks to solve the problem?  Shock and awe was the term used by some.  As simple as that example is, that is the exact manner in which most countries act.
With the above example, the world is witnessing some major political changes.  North Korea shares the top of that list with Russia.  How will the people and the government deal with the coming months?  In other places such as Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and Yemen the transformation continues as well.
Right now in the DRC, the political leaders should begin their campaign for succession.  The current leaders should start to educate and prepare for the next election.  The preparation could involve open debates, strengthening the independent arms of government such as the electoral commission and depoliticize the court/law system and education system.  If the people are not educated and prepared we will see similar events during the next election as we witness now.
I know how simple my ideas seem to be.  However I have experienced the brutal difficulty in applying these simple ideas.  Peace, it takes a courageous heart to stand up and practice when faces with the largest rocks.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Russian Transformation

25 December 1991
 Twenty years ago Russia took a very courageous step.  That step ended the Soviet Union and began Russia.  Also it was courageous because the leaders knew they would have to deal the image of losing the cold war, even though the cold war had only a small part to do with it, the cold war was just collateral damage.As we near the date of 25 Dec 2011, we will hear a great deal of garbage about how the RUSA won the cold war.  Those that believe Russia lost the cold war are lazy in thought, poor students of history and easily swayed by propaganda.The history of Russian reform had very little to do with the cold war.  The reform of Russian politics and economics lay squarely at the feet of corruption and a very large gap between the people of Russia and the politicians that lead Russia.  The largest enemy to the Soviet Union was itself, no other entity.
The Soviet leaders of 1980-1990 knew the internal enemy was real and they could see the corruption of Soviet politics killing Russia.  Something had to be done so they came up with perestroika and glasnost.  These two programs were intended to end the corruption and lessen the gap between the people and the political leaders.  This step was courageous in every way as it promised to end a luxurious life style for political leaders and build a stronger middle class. 
The transformation is still taking place in Russia.  The Russian people are wonderful people that have been loyal to their country and the politics of communism.  They had lived the realities of corruption and in the late 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s their desire for an equal opportunity to achieve dreams took priority over status quo.  Thus the leaders of the day embarked on change unlike the world had seen in centuries. 
It is no small fact that very few countries could ever go through such a dramatic shift in economics, politics and society as peacefully as Russia has.  They have endured the stigma of losing the cold war and bending to the ideology of the RUSA.  These two stigmas are false stigmas.  The world would be better to see the history for what it is, not what one side proclaims it to be.
I truly admire the Russian people for their courage and peaceful ideology.  Their rival enemy RUSA would crumble under such a courageous step and that fact is what makes the stigma of losing all the more bogus.  However I am sure that many people will object to my view.  That is a point where I will always side with the peaceful issue of Russian transformation.  Perception and opinion be dammed, reality is that Russia had a greater enemy within than from outside
I wish the Russian people all the success as they continue on from their historically courageous step.
Na Zdorovie

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Peaceful game theory

Last night I got into a discussion on what game theory is.  Now I have been a student of theories my entire life, as I see it.  All that information got snarled up before I could say a word, so it was not easy to define game theory in a flash. However I did realize that we were playing a card game so I used that as my analogy.
Game theory is the study of strategy used to get results.  It is a plan to win a chess game, to win a hockey game, an election, war or even to get a job.  The strategy you employ (whether you know your strategy or not) is the game theory you use to obtain your goal.   Everyone uses game theory.  One of the most popular theories is fight or flight.  That has been changed to fight, freeze or flight due to the fact that some people get so nervous that they can do nothing but collapse/freeze.
When we have events such as the Jasmine Revolution, we can look to see what the theory was and map it out.  Did Mohamed Bouazizi know that his actions would spark the Jasmine Revolution, would cause a number of other events in Libya, Egypt, Syria, Yemen and the Occupy movement all over the world?  You would have to believe that he did not.  However his own personal actions had been rooted in the theory that if he set himself on fire the government would take notice and make changes to the current system.  That was his game theory and he was right.
Now this is a very simple example of game theory.  There are much more complex psychological strategies which have been studied.  Yet the currents and streams of thought on the subject all deal with plans that a person or group uses to achieve a goal.
Game theory is often studied along with the art of decision making and information gathering.  These three elements are all part of strategy.  You need the right information to make the best decision so that the correct strategy is used.
For example we can ask why a government would rather shoot its people than allow protesting.  The initial reason is to gain control of the populous.  Governments feel threatened by large mobs of protesters so that mob has to be put down.  That is one level.  The other level is the personal one where the person in charge, Prime Minister, President or General also feels that their life is in danger or their job.  This personal level hinges on dignity, power and self-image.  The leader feels that the people should be grateful for the life provided and a large protest is a slap in the face.  Also the leader sees a possibility that they will be ousted from power so that has to be fought.  Next there is the image that no one else has the right to hold the position that the leader now holds, it is theirs and the mob is trying to steal it.
How leaders deal with these perceptions is where game theory comes in.  They must ask themselves, what is the best method to end the protest, to retain power and to regain the admiration of the people.  Shooting them is a popular choice because it does work, for a time.  Shooting and killing is the theory employed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Burma, Columbia, Libya, DRC and the list goes on.
For peaceful examples we have Poland Solidarity Movement 1980, Czechoslovakia Velvet Revolution 1989 which lead to the peaceful 1993 seperation of the Czech Rebublic and Slovakia, and the Ukraine Orange Revolution 2004.  Each has taken place in the last few decades.  We can go further back for examples of peaceful revolutions yet these are perfect enough.  As you can see the use of peace as a strategy is a successful game theory and it often results in a stronger country.  Of the peaceful examples Ukraine had a number of setbacks, yet the initial game theory of peaceful demonstration worked. 
That is a quick summation of game theory.  My theory in the game of understanding is that by using such broad examples it is easily understood. 

Just as I was writing this I have learned that Vaclav Havel has died this morning.  He was the person put up as the leader for the Velvet Revolution. Rest in peace my friend you did a great job, we need more like you. 

Egypt, peace was taken away

Complete breakdown in peaceful transformation.  At some point there had to be an equal group of citizens and government forces that caused enough damage for the situation to deteriorate into the use violence.  At the moment we are in the status of blame.  Who did what to cause the other to use violence?
We all have a desire to find the people or person responsible for the chaos that cripples relationships.  When the relationship involves a people and those that lead, the chaos is deadly.  At some point there was a breakdown in the vision that linked the hopes of the people and the hopes of the leaders.  The massive rallies this past summer were truly inspirational.  The people had peacefully taken the leader out.  The military stood down and would not fire upon them because they knew as individuals that peace is much easier when physical violence is not a threat.  However that understanding of peace broke down.
There are a number of elements that breakdown.  The Egyptian riots have broken down due to the death of trust, the desire for power, the loss of dignity and too many visions of how Egypt should progress.   
We know that someone in a position of great responsibility/power gave orders to shoot.  Someone that provided enough push to the right people so that the military would fire upon the people.  It is odd that the military did obey the orders this time when they had stood down before.  This is the exact leadership that Egypt will have for the coming months or perhaps years. 
Wisdom tells us that all decisions ultimately come down to one person.  Someone has to make the decision to act.  Now that is the birth of conspiracy and truth finding.  In reality it may have played out that the one person was a foot soldier who panicked and fired a shot.  That first shot can quickly get lost in cacophony of the ripple effect.   I am not saying that is what happened in Egypt but it has happened.
Looking back to Yugoslavia just after Tito died; we have a map to how a country that was ruled by a dictator slowly breaks down.  In 1984 the world was invited to Sarajevo for the Winter Olympics.  Within a few short years those same stadiums were used as shelters from war.  At the time no one could tell who was working behind the stage.  Right now we know who is in charge in Egypt, but are there others working underneath as well to ensure chaos reigns for the time being?
When such a game is played the end is only a prediction.  Death brings new twists of fate.  In chaos fate swirls around picking at random.  Right now Egypt is within the grasp of chaos, much like Syria.  The beginning provided so much hope for peace.  Now we are living on the edge of complete failure for Egypt.  Why is it so difficult to not shoot, kill, destroy each other?  Why do people so easily give up on peaceful relations?  Egypt had peace within its sights and now we are further away than we were one year ago. 
Well, all we can do is work even more than we have in the past to ensure that the threat of violence is not part of the children’s day.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Iraq and Afghanistan

These two countries are in a similar state today yet in 1999 that was not the case.
Ten years ago Iraq was on its way to becoming a peaceful country.  The president was predictable and co-operative enough to provide for stability.  There was a great hope in the region that the world was comfortable with the balance of power and progression of peace.  Then along came the RUSA and bombed the hell out of that entire security net.  The world should never let this fact be idle chatter. 
Afghanistan is different than Iraq.  Ten years ago the people of Afghanistan lived under constant instability for decades.  Today the situation is the same.  The people live with daily threats of violence, political instability and the chaos of an unknown future.
These two wars are still being fought yet the main combatant is leaving because they can no longer handle the cost – mentally, physically or economically.  In short they lost all will and capacity.  In this act of leaving now the impact will not be fully felt for years.  The violence in both Iraq and Afghanistan will increase as the power vacuum take shape.
This is the reality we must prepare for.  Iraq and Afghanistan will be lawless, violent and brutal places to live.  Ten years ago we had peace within our sights in Iraq.  A stable Iraq is a dream right now as much as a stable Afghanistan is.
Where do we go from here?
That question is very difficult to answer.  I do know that we will be living with the stagnation of chaos for some time, years for sure, decades possibly.  Peace in both countries will now be in the care of a very fragile national government with the assistance of patch work NGOS.  Peace will be fought for using a chaos of organizations with no singular clear vision or plan.  The people will be torn in a great many directions as they seek certainty.  All the while the United Nations will be seized with the issues in both countries and that is where stagnation of chaos will supplant itself for years to come.
If the five members of the Security Council actually had a collective mind, one that was built on co-operation and peaceful discourse of civilian life, we would have a vastly different world.  I do think there would still be wars but not on the scale of what we have today.
Looking back in history we can equate the two situations to Vietnam 1975, Cambodia 1975, Burma 1960 and even Afghanistan in 1989.  If peace were the ultimate goal in either of those countries the world would be a vastly different place.  We can always wonder what life would be like if the policies of Soviet Russia(1978) met with the policies of the RUSA in 2002?  Both wanted the Taliban out, both wanted a peaceful national governing system, both wanted an independent Afghanistan and both wanted enough to send its own soldiers.  Peace is not always the ultimate goal, revenge and dominance usually is.

Iraq and Afghanistan are areas that produce more violence.  Soviet Russia had sought peace in Afghanistan during the 1980's only to provide a venue for a RUSA proxy war.  The result is what we have today.  The same situation in Iraq/Iran in the 1970's played out as proxy wars.  Today we should have great concern for what both Iraq and Afghanistan will progress into.  Mostly this concern is due to a very weak resolve of world leadership. 

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been won by the people that are there now and will be there next year.  Sadly I must say that even my home country of Canada has lost its first war in Afghanistan due to politcal mismangement and political cowardice.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Fear, Security, Power, Rights and Dreams

When a government uses fear to control, uses threats of violence to persuade and speaks to the need for the use of physical force to defend freedom, we are all in for chaos and hell.
There is no greater threat to peace than physical violence.  There is not greater threat than an insane person with the capacity to use violence.  Right now all I can see are the ones that have the capacity to use violence are the ones that are insane.
As individuals we are all very much alike.  As we begin to form groups we lose a little bit of our commonalities.  These groups we gravitate to become insulated and the fear of the other starts.  Russia is now in the midst of such a battle, Libya has gone through such a battle and may have a further war developing due to the desires of group power struggle.  Europe is going through a very difficult time and the causes are so complex that a solution is lost due to the search for blame. 
In these situations, the words that divide us have become so vague that mistrust builds exponentially.  We are experiencing a nuclear explosion of mistrust around the world.  It is difficult to find a government that is trusted by its people.  This mistrust builds fear, which is met with a need for security, which is secured through a show of power, which is justified through our right to protect, which was developed from a dream that we should live peacefully. 
We are caught in a prisoner’s dilemma.
That is why I wrote about game theory a few days ago.  We are involved in a game of Russian roulette.  There is only one strategy in that game, be in or out.  To phrase it another way as it was once stated, with us or against us.  Such a game is pure chaos.  To be part of such a game acknowledges that you have no hope for the future; it is an all or nothing end game.  The problem we face is that the leaders are at the table playing roulette yet they are pointing the gun at the citizens.  In turn the citizens know that the gun only has a limited number of bullets so fire away.  This is the enduring spirit of the dream that peace will prevail.
We have seen peaceful demonstrations all over the world, many that were countered with bullets and all with some degree of public disdain –such as the occupy protests in Canada.  The part in which the peaceful protesters play in this game is very dangerous.  The protesters know they can be killed but they also know that a just society is possible.
In Egypt and Tunisia, ultimately the soldiers would not fire upon people.  We had seen this same peaceful resolve during the Russian August coup in 1991 and I believe that we have witnessed the same resolve in Russia during the past weeks.  Libya was not so lucky, neither is Syria, Yemen or the DRC.
We are indeed living through an interesting time period.  The political games that are now taking place have deep connections to history.  Political lines are being redrawn, new identities being forged, flawed ideology are being brought to light and discarded, hopefully the result will provide for ideology and strategy for peace.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Respect Electoral Process

Where I live we are going through a debate about governance.  How much is too much, is the current system working as well as it should, what are the options for change and do we have the right people in place to manage any change?
These questions are exactly the same questions being asked of politicians in Russia, DRC, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Syria and every other country to be honest.  There is another factor to consider though, which is the trust we have for debate to be handled with great skill.  Do we have people that will say damaging remarks, even if it the remarks are true?  Then, after the damage is done still feels justified in their actions?  A person that acts in such a manner has no real understanding of peace. 
Peace is about respect for the other.  Knowing how your actions will impact and managing the information you want to get across.  In the case of Syria, the government is actively killing its people.  What is the message there?   The opposition party in DRC made note that violence was going to happen no matter what the result were.  In Russia, there are demonstrations about fraudulent voting procedures.  What is the message there?
In each case we have failures of various degrees in governance.  A strong leader will understand the coming issues of violence and relate the message of peace through words and actions.  A strong peaceful leader will allow opposition to their policies in an open format.  A strong peaceful leader will see and understand the need for rivals to exist.  A strong peaceful leader will have a plan in place to hand over leadership and that plan should be made known.
A strong peaceful leader will have respect for the process of governance.  They will have the ability to communicate with wide spread impact, with trust and with courage to face the threats of defeat peacefully.  These elements are missing in many of our leaders today.  There is a lack of trust that those in power can manage peacefully.  There is trust that the current leaders will act violently and they rule by fear not agreement and support.
There comes a time when leaders have to be given weak support with the knowledge that there is no next time.  Russia and Putin may have that situation in place now?  The people want to see life improve and this has not happened since Putin came into the Kremlin.  He may get his wish and be President again due to possible election fraud but he must understand that this should be his last term.  This should be his last chance to make improvements.  He should not run again.  Doing so is a slap in the face to the people of Russia and the process of governance.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

DRC & Russian elections

Elections are great to observe.  Right now both Russia and the Democratic Republic of Congo are in the process of elections.  Both have their issues with demonstrations and opposition parties.  One main difference though is the level of violence.
Russia will have a peaceful election compared to the DRC election.  Public opinion in both countries wavers yet at the base of this is the need for peaceful demonstration.  Even though both countries are mentioned the circumstances in each are vastly different.
Russia is going through a process of economic change.  During the 90’s the economic environment swung wildly too far too fast.  This swing created a gangster economy that undermined the dreams of the leaders that began the economic change.  Today Putin must manage the history of Russia with the reality of today’s Russia.  This management is the largest issue that faces Russia today.
In the DRC the largest issue is violence.  Political leaders are actively inciting violence, people are dying in demonstrations.  The electoral process in both countries are being called into question.  For what it is worth I cannot think of any election that has not been called into question, even in Canada there are some that believe the electoral process is unfair and needs to be changed.
Both of these countries will be fun to watch as the election process continues.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Political Game Theory

Anatol Rapoport was a Russian scientist that lived in the RUSA and then in Canada where he died.  His mind crossed many subjects of science, those being biology, psychology and mathematics.  While he lived in Canada he became heavily involved in peace studies.  In his time he developed strategy for what is known in political studies as game theory.  He is a wonderful human that is not very well known.

I mention this man because today the people of Russia are in the process of voting for a new government.  Now I have always enjoyed reading about Russia and the people.  To me the governments that have controlled Russia are no better or worse than any other government in the world.  What I feel is that the people of Russia have gone through some really terrible leadership, which brings us to the current people seeking power.

One method of measure for a great leader is how they develop others to take over.  Succession planning has not been a strong point for the political leaders of Russia.  It is difficult to trust the entire political system when the leader holds onto power so tightly.  Do the vast majority of citizens in Russia trust the government?  To be fair, I would say that a strong portion of Canadians do not trust our government either.

Plus we have to think of the opposition parties as well.  They may be as untrusting because they are seeking to oust the current party.  With that we have a situation where the trust in political debates is very low.  Add to that the need to make the other party seem useless is a function of the entire election campaign.  I think about all of the things that I know are going on and trust is a major component which is taking a beating.  The level of intent to get the next shot in and cause pain is increasing.  It is like implementing a cease fire agreement but yet the two sides still continue to fire away knowing that it is doing more harm.  That is a situation in which my own mind and heart are truly confused as to the reason for causing more harm.

What does it do - really?  Why cause more harm?  Is it the lack of causational thought where the person that fires the shot, only sees the shot fired as being the death blow to everything?  I guess that is it.  There is no thought process beyond the shot being fired.  There is no thought of impact or future return fire.  The game of tracking "who has the most hits wins" is a bullshit game but I must agree that it is the most popular game played in politics.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


The United Nations sees Syria as a civil war.  By making such a statement as that will keep the Security Council out of the responsibility target.  I guess Libya was more than a civil war? 
To be honest and truthful, I know that the United Nations Peacekeeping offices cannot be the answer to every situation that comes to be.  However, why do we have to have such dichotomous political statements?
Why is it so hard for the world to say that what is going on in Syria is a crime against its own people?  There are 4 000 killed already.  The number of killed will grow with the knowledge that the UN will not allow intervention.
The larger danger is that the situation is quickly becoming too chaotic in Syria.  In such a state there are vast opportunities for both legal and illegal trading of weapons and stockpiling.  The opportunity for terrorists in the region to collect weapons is now improving daily.  Not that there already exists such opportunities but the doors are even more open now. 
What we are witnessing is a perfect storm of hatred being stirred up.  Syria has always been a country living within the mix of chaos.  Yet at the moment we have a situation where a complete collapse may occur.  If Syria becomes a failed state the world will have to do something then.  That situation can be entirely stopped if the world would have the courage to stop such idiocy.
The question will arise about when to intervene, well I think 4 000 dead is about as good an indicator as you can get.  In addition, we have to take into account the region is volatile at the best of times.  Syrian politics has an impact on every other country in the region. 
To me, it is a sad reality that the permanent five members of the Security Council can rarely act as a cohesive team.  These five are a disgrace to the entire UN system.  Each one will step on any small nation, provide weapons to any rebel group, look the other way as each other carries out illegal operations and support those actions by abstaining votes. 
All the while soldiers and civilians are killed as they follow rules and try to make their own lives meaningful.  Well, as I said before, not every situation can be dealt with.  I just wish the world showed more resolve than what is being shown.