Sunday, April 29, 2012

Path to Peace in Syria

Bring peace to Syria will be as difficult as everyone wants it to be. From the very beginning the breakdown of peace was only helped to grow even more chaotic. Here we are today and once again the United Nations is going to take the blame for a peace operations failure.
Right of the top the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council fought each other instead of work together. The western countries (United Kingdom, France, Republic of the United States) are as much to blame for the breakdown as Russia and China. Each country has played politics with more of a domestic attention towards their own countries than they have towards Syria. That is the absolute reality. This entire situation could have been avoided if the will was there, yet it was not.
That lack of will was so clear from the outset that the current situation was as predictable as the sun shining. The immediate call for regime change was and still is the largest mistake made by many of the world leaders.  This mistake brought about many other mistakes. There is no good reason why only thirty Observers on the ground now. There is no good reason for supplying military equipment to opposition forces. There is no good reason for training forces outside of Syria and supporting their efforts to return to Syria.
What needs to be done now?
·         The ceasefire agreement still needs to be a point of focus. With that the Observer force needs to get on the ground as soon as possible in numbers of at least a thousand, more if possible.
·         Foreign journalists are good secondary observes but they can also be used for propagandist purposes. This is where people (like me) have to sift through all the information, find the sources, biases and reality. Truth can be manufactured and that needs to be deeply understood.
·         All border crossings and points of entry need to be locked down as tight as possible.
·         Arms embargo needs to be enforced and the complete disarming of all forces started immediately.
·         The world leaders need to support the legal structure of Syria and its constitution. The current government is the only legitimate leadership structure and that is the only avenue open for discussions.
·         The 26 February referendum results need to be a focal point of peace talks
·         A large peacekeeping force needs to be operational in conjunction with the Observer Force
These points are going to be almost impossible to implement, if it all. We know that the world leaders from outside Syria have only made things worse. Now we have to end that method and start within Syria.
As we look at the body count rising and the cities destroyed, we have to keep in mind that both sides of this must share equal responsibility. As internationals we must adhere to the current laws of Syria. Also we must focus on solutions and a future of peace. The current government of Syria has to be convinced that a peacekeeping force is not a breakdown of sovereignty. A peacekeeping force is there to strengthen the sovereignty of Syria.
Currently we are all embroiled in the chaos of violent conflict. Such a state clouds the mind and cements the cycle of hatred. As you read or watch the news take that frame of understanding and look past the blame and shouting that fills most media reports. We must tell our own governments to take such a view but first we must take that step. As you begin to see past through the cycle of hatred you can look to other wars like Palestine and Israel. Thus begins a new effort and path to peace.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Syrian Mess

Within the past three weeks, Syria has become more complicated. With Observer Forces going in to monitor the ceasefire, the call to protest and the formation of a new opposition group, Syria is running head long into stagnant chaos.
From the outset of the ceasefire we knew there were going to be breaches. In all honesty neither side (Syrian government or any opposition group) is trustworthy. Due to that, the claims about who is breaking the ceasefire can not be trusted, nor should it matter.  The only fact that needs to be heralded is that people are still fighting, from all sides.
The Observer Force is slow in being fully implemented. This is caused by the Permanent Five members of the United Nations Security Council dragging its feet. To be blunt, the entire situation in Syria was avoidable had those five worked together instead of playing politics from the outset. Now we are up to our waist in chaos. Nothing we can do about the past so let us focus on solving the situation.
There is a new group titled Transitional National Government seeking legitimacy. As events unfold there will be others as the bickering about who is legitimate and who is not. The reality is there is only one legitimate government and they are in power. It is not only the government in power, every other opposition group is also power hungry.
As it stands now, I do not see a way out of this situation unless a large peacekeeping force is brought in. The Observer Force is being implemented too slowly for what ever reason and with each day the ceasefire becomes less and less meaningful.  Furthermore, I have no idea why outside groups continue to illegally support the opposition forces with military equipment. Such countries should be held to account by the United Nations Security Council.
Another step forward is to grab hold of the 26 Feb referendum results. Those results are a bedrock for rebuilding Syria and yet no one is mentioning them. Those results were voted on by the people of Syria and called for electoral change. Why has no group bothered to press for those changes to be made? Why is it only focused on the ousting of the current government violently?
We have been witnessing how the opposition function and this is through the use of violence as well. With that in mind there is no clear peaceful solution if any of the current groups take power.  The best possible way forward is for a massive peacekeeping force to enter and patrol the entire country. While that is being done the constitutional talks can take place.
This will be a long process and more people will die before it is all over. This entire situation is a mess mostly because the leaders of the world have been fighting each other instead of working on a solution.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Afghanistan, what a mess.

Sadly the future of Afghanistan is looking to be as peaceful as it was in 2001. Already there are those that point to past wrongs that need to be answered. Now of course those wrongs need to be healed but the greater need is for the violence, war and general chaos to stop. To do this there needs to be a great effort from the regional leadership. Such a strategy has never been used to its fullest potential.
For the past ten years the use of weapons to bring peace in Afghanistan has failed. I wish it were not a failure but the reality is very evident that peace is far, far away.  Anyone that says the Afghanistan war has been a success is blind, stupid, ignorant or just lying. The reason for the failure is due to poor leadership.
At the outset of the war, the Taliban made it known that they were willing to fight for decades, not just one, many. The International Security Forces (ISAF), were fractured in both the ideology of military strategy and the ideology for going to war. These fractures lead to serious issues of commitment within the coalition forces. All these combined set the stage for a failed war. Today we are seeing greater attacks from the Taliban within Kabul and throughout Afghanistan.
What can be done now? We need to come to the realization that Afghanistan is back to square one. The regional peace may actually be worse than it was in 2001. Also we have to grasp the fact that Pakistan is itself embroiled in many battles. Next we have to ask where are the other countries that border Afghanistan?  They need to be at the table for peace as well. These are China, Iran, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
These countries all have a vested interest in peace. Some may feel they are less so but that is for each of them to decide. The reality is the region is in chaos. A path forward needs to be mapped out because at present there is no idea or plan for regional peace.
There is one common element and that is no one wants the return of the Taliban. Much like the Nazi party, few of us see little reason for their existence. Most of us see the Taliban as a cancerous organization yet we have no medicine for its cure.  For peace talks to happen there has to be common ground. We know the Taliban has one condition to peace and that is the complete dismissal of the RUSA forces. The Afghanistan government has asked the RUSA to leave. They have stated that their date of exit 2014. That leaves the peace talks with the Taliban stagnant. Sadly a military effort will still be needed for an unknown time, perhaps for ever.
Basically we are left with the fact that the regional powers need to formulate a plan. They all need to engage in a common element of regional co-operation. The most important element is the need for action that is going to bring peace. The rhetoric and lies have to end.
Now we have to ask, Are the people in power now the right people? Who else is there that can be trusted to bring peace? Lastly, how do we fight a ghost which is the Taliban terrorizing an entire region?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Syrian ceasefire

Finally a Syrian ceasefire agreement has been put in place. If history teaches us anything, we will have continuous breaches of the agreement and few complete breakdowns. There is no sense in debating who is at fault because the reality is both sides are. The one area that is of concern is the breach of the international border.
In truth, how that breach came to be will be a mystery. What we do know is that refugee camps have been safety zones and recruitment camps for rebel forces. Also we know that Turkey is on record supporting the opposition forces. With those two realities it is very easy to calculate that the camps in Turkey are opposition strong holds and military equipment is passing through this border.
What is the current government of Syria to do? Their neighbour is openly supporting the opposition groups and calling for the current leadership in Syria to step down. This situation is one that breeds mistrust and weakens the possibility of peace.
The only people that should be listened to are the Syrian people. Right now many media outlets are a mouth piece and the information is highly questionable from both sides. Most foreign news outlets focus on the Friends of Syria which openly supports more weapons, violence and the fall of government. The media inside Syria is state run and equal in bias as the opposition. Each point of accusation is one that can be made towards both sides.
With the ceasefire agreement there is to be an Observer Force. Now it is beyond my comprehension why such a force is still waiting for approval for the United Nations Security Council. This Council knew months ago of this condition and yet is only now putting the force together. This force should have been on the ground two minutes after the agreement went into force, not days or weeks.
When the Observers do land in Syria there will be more opportunity for balanced information. Again the opportunity will be there, let us hope that both sides allow the Observers to do their jobs openly and without hassle.
As mentioned before, Turkey is fast becoming a thorn in this situation. Turkey has called upon NATO to assist with border protection and security. To me NATO has about as much credibility as the Syrian government. Many of the NATO members have called for and supplied military equipment to opposition forces. Due to that fact there is little trust in NATO to be fair or equal in its operational ideology.
At the moment we have a very difficult spot when it comes to international intervention/observation. The people will all have issues of credibility that come to the task of intervention. However the focus has to be on the process more so than the people. With that understanding the ceasefire agreement needs to be strongly supported by all sides.
The next step is to focus on the discussion for peaceful society. The call to protest that was given by opposition forces was wrong. Such a tactic only ignites the flames of hatred. The call should have been for discussion of peace not protest. The focus of the discussions have already been pointed out and agreed to by the people of Syria and the current leadership. The referendum of 26 Feb is the starting point.
There is always a way towards peace. However it takes a great deal of effort to look past the injustices people feel have been incurred. The chance for peace is here if the people have enough wisdom to work together. Sadly it has been my experience that the desire to seek revenge will win for now. I sincerely hope the ceasefire agreement holds forever.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Strengthen the borders

Over the past number of years I have been developing the idea of using Peacekeepers for border security forces.
The security collapse of Libya is the largest contributor of the Mali government being taken over. The loose border around Iraq has made weapons flowing like water across those borders. We have known that the Syrian border has been breached many times as military equipment is carried through. Now we have the further breakdown of the Syrian border as fighting has occurred across the Turkish/Syrian border.
There are also the border issues along the Democratic Republic of Congo. The roads from Eastern Congo that connect with the ports in Kenya and Tanzania are routes are known to be used to transport illegal minerals, weapons and other contraband items. The exact same reality is taking place along the Afghanistan border. Weapons and drugs are crossing these borders.
As the borders become strong the noose can be tightened on the violence. The tightening by security forces can close in on the areas of violence and set up perimeters. This will limit the weapons if not the people fighting from entering.
Now this is not a new tactic of thought, obviously. We have borders and they must be patrolled, they have to be patrolled. We are seeing the results of poor border management in areas of conflict. In reality I have gone through more security checks going across the Canada/RUSA border than I have crossing almost any other border and those two countries are siblings.
Such a tactic will not stop all flow of weapons, militia or contraband items. However it will slow the transfer of such resources that fuel violent conflicts. It is a step towards the dream of ending violent conflict.
As I have mentioned before, the world is insane and such a tactic will not be utilized because it costs too much. That is the reality. No one knows how much each person is worth on an individual basis but when we start talking about entire nations and countries, the price of peace usually is said that it cost too much. Although in reality peace is better for economics than war ever has been or will be, in the long term.
It is a very important matter to understand that phrase, “in the long term”. Peace is very much a long term solution and task, where as war is a very short term solution. The issue of border security is also a long term solution as it can never be left unattended.
There is a great deal on information on this topic if you search Sector Security Reform. Every country knows this and we use this ideology daily. An example is the build up of security measures at airports due to the violence experienced. For some reason such efforts are not used in the most critical of situations, which Syria is dealing with now.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

South West Asia

As with any situation of peacebuilding, the regional reality must be taken into consideration. Regional stability is as important as the stability in any given country. Such an argument is clearly rooted in a theory known as the “domino theory”. Basically this theory points out that if one country falls into chaos it is likely that the surrounding countries are likely to fall as well. The reverse is also possible, if a country takes a firm grasp of peace the surrounding countries are more likely to become peaceful as well. Of course there are many factors, one being size. A small country of a few million people would not have much impact on a large country that has a population in the hundreds of millions.
One such example where neighbouring countries are very similar and can influence each other are the countries of South Western Asia. Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran are the most notable in this political region. The others are Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan.
Each of those countries are experiencing a society that has endured violent conflict. This experience has impacted the region to a point where it is difficult to say that it is a peaceful region. Further to that each country has a population that have been nomadic throughout history so they have a deep history of shared culture and trade.
There is usually a thought that this region has been at war for hundreds of years. However that is an outsider looking in. Being a nomadic people they would have had regular contact with other cultures. Given the fact that many cultures exist, cooperation and peaceful relations must have been the norm.  However the nomadic culture is a difficult one to meld into a society such as the modern static world of property boundaries and city limits. As an example, European countries have been fighting the cultural identity of the Roma people for decades.
The south west Asian region is one where a governing system needs to be invented. I am not sure we have a system in place that will adequately deal with the cultural needs of these people. To me this is a very positive element for peace because only the people of this region can say what governing system they want.
The British tried to implement a system in this region, Russia tried and now a consortium of countries are/have taken another shot at it in Afghanistan again. The United Nations along with a great many peacebuilding organizations have offices and programs throughout the region. What is not immediately understood is that each and every model is based upon best practices and results based evidence.
Such evidence is great information but it has the capacity to stifle new thought. Each past experience will point to successes in the very recent past. Using such methods of understanding push aside the reality of existence these people have built for thousands of years.
Most of this region goes unnoticed. For example few people know that Kyrgyzstan allows both Russia and RUSA to operate military bases within its borders, very rare situation. Oil pipelines are being mapped out to traverse across the region as are other trading infrastructures. The mineral reserves are in the infancy of being explored. Add to these realities that the people are looking at a future where the eyes of world will be pointed at them.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Syrian path to peace

Who started the fighting? That question is one that is often put to the world when we seek to bring order to the violence. In reality when the violence starts it rarely matters who started the fight. The first order of business is to stop the fight. However, we are hearing that question all too often in the case of Syria.
The recent fighting has now crossed into Turkey. Again we do not know who fired across the border first. Anyone with a small amount of tactical knowledge will understand how easy it is to stage such an event. A small group of five people can lure a tank within range, overtake it while ensuring it is operational and then fire all rounds off. Honestly, at this point it hardly matters as we can be sure that neither side will adhere to a ceasefire agreement. This is leaving the world few options. The one option that needs to be thrown out is the arming of the opposition forces. Arming the opposition will only ensure the chaos continues, death toll rise and more instability within the region.  
If the world is so concerned to bring peace to Syria, send peacekeepers, observers, medical aid and food aid. Enforce an arms embargo, tighten the borders as much as possible and put equal pressure on every side to stop killing each other. These are the measures that must be taken. However, I do not hold out much hope for such measures being taken.
It has been reported a great many times that the opposition a fragile coalition. There is less support within Syria for the opposition than the current government. Furthermore, the opposition is composed of known international terrorists with very little desire for peace. We also know that if the current leadership within Syria falls there will be a major power vacuum. That vacuum will be filled many groups all fighting for power. That is a scenario worse than what is currently taking place in Syria.
If the current leadership falls, Syria will be a haven for weapons smuggling in that region. Iraq is already a prime route for such. Syria will only provide more avenues for the destabilization of the entire region. Looking forward that would lead to attacks on Jordan, Israel, Iran, Lebanon and Turkey. Of course that is pure speculation as it points to a “what if” scenario. Yet that reality must be front on mind when looking at the current push for the leadership in Syria to step down.
At the moment there is no credible leadership to take its place. Despite what the Friends of Syria say. The world has been told that options in Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan were better than the old leadership. In each case those regions are no better today than they were fifteen years ago, perhaps worse.
As brutal as it seems, the current leadership in Syria must remain if peace is the true goal. The world needs to focus on the 26 Feb referendum that called for political change. That is the foothold for peace. It is a legally binding process that the people of Syria have asked for, the current leadership has endorsed and the international community would be wise in pursuing.
There is still a major need for peacekeepers, observers, humanitarian aid and international journalists to have access within Syria. None of these should be seen as a breakdown in sovereignty. To the contrary, such measures should be seen as a boost to Syrian sovereignty. There is an international campaign being waged inside Syria to topple the government and the international community should help to bring that opposition.

Peace in Malawi

Within the past few days Malawi has successfully transitioned leadership of the president. The former President Bingu wa Mutharika died while in office (literally). The constitution provides for the Vice President to resume power, Joyce Banda. This transition went as perfectly as if such an event happened in Czech Republic.
Joyce Banda has become the first woman leader of a Sub-Saharan country. Further to that she is a strong advocate for human rights, which is a serious concern for any country. This is all very new and the hope for peace to remain is strong in her voice. That strength can be felt even in the news clip above. This success of peace is one to celebrate. However the pull of power is great and Joyce Banda has enemies.
 When you are embroiled in chaos the urge towards hatred and destruction is a strong pull. On an individual level you may be having a dispute with someone. You fight to ensure your stance over the others. For the most part the entire reason you fight is because your ego has taken a hit and you need to secure your confidence/authority over another. Rarely is the fight about anything that made the escalation to violence warranted. It is these moments of life that we need to be aware of, acknowledged and countered peacefully.
In Malawi there is a strong pull for peace to remain with the knowledge that chaos is near. That chaos needs to be kept in mind so that you know where the fight is waging from. At this point in Malawi, those that wish to take power can be succumbed through talks.
From all reports Joyce Banda is a person that can be trusted.  If you have read other postings of mine you will know that a person who is trusted to be peaceful can be a liability. This trust is seen as a weakness to others that are quick to use violence. I understand the use of violence and Joyce Banda may have to use violence to eliminate those that choose to destroy the peace within Malawi. This is the reality of life. It is clear that Joyce Banda does not want violence, however her enemies may. Now we must ask what are her options to ensure peace remains in Malawi?
For the coming years, Malawi is a case study of peace in Africa. We have the opportunity to observe a rare moment. We can observe how she works to build upon her trust, how she builds the peace to such a degree that no one would have a need to destroy it. For me this is a moment to learn about peace as Joyce Banda is walking into unknown territory.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Kenya Elections 2013

Once the model of peace in East Africa, Kenya fell into turmoil in 2007 during the electoral process. Since then, there have been a number of changes to the process and the distribution of electoral boundaries. The next election in Kenya will take place 4 March 2013.
From now to that date is a crucial period. This period is a point where political rhetoric will increase, opposition to the current leadership will challenge every move and the people will be encouraged to rise up. Each of these events are positives for a healthy and engaged people if the emotions and actions are managed properly.
All too often we view elections as a defined moment of government process. It is true that there is a defined window in which we must vote. What has come to be a reality is that people use that window to educate themselves on complex and far reaching policies. The reality is that elections are no time to debate policy because the time frame is too short and the issues are too complex. What comes to pass as debate morphs into sound bites, catch phrases, photo opportunities and smear campaigns.
With one year to go before the next election in Kenya, there needs to be a strong civic engagement effort built upon the need for controlled opposition. The entire group of parties and leaders that are involved with the leadership of Kenya need to come out now with a unified voice which speaks to the need for order.
The leaders need to be unified in their speech when it comes to protests, demonstrations and electoral integrity. Each leader needs to support the people to share their ideas in a positive manner. Furthermore the leaders of Kenya need to exemplify this in their own actions.
Peace is an environment that has to be prepared for and maintained. It is not a situation that comes bursting into reality as chaos does. The 2007 riots in Kenya proved how quickly peace can be lost. Once again an irresponsible leadership that promotes physical opposition quickly bring chaos which takes years to rebuild.
To bring an end to such a reality the people of Kenya have to be reminded that they are responsible as well. The government is the people and the leaders will prey on the mindset of the people. The people have to be educated to see the reality of their power to tell leaders who call for violence to step down. Violence is not to be tolerated and the best way to oppose violence is to stand peacefully in solidarity against those that call for the use of violence.
East Africa is once again building a peaceful society. Kenya is a major component in that region. The next year will be a turning point for peace.  

Syrian referndum of 26 Feb needs to be the foundation for peace.

For a society to remain peaceful the people have to take responsibility to ensure that environment. With each person, the leaders have to be more diligent in their efforts to remain trustworthy and honest. When issues of difficulty arise the need for peaceful dialogue is at its utmost importance.
During times of difficulty ideology will clash. This is a fact of reality and the root of most violent conflicts. For a society to remain peaceful there needs to be the voice of reason. The voice needs to be someone that will stand up and point out the common elements of understanding, goals, ideology and the reality that each person cares about the future. That person needs to have the trust of the people though. In Syria there are few people that have that trust and even fewer people standing up to voice the commonalities of the conflicting parties.
Who do we have standing up to speak of peace in Syria? The Friends of Syria have acted in a manner which is more an enemy of Syria than a friend. The current leadership in Syria has a tenuous grip on any perceptions of being peaceful. As for a single person, there is only one person that has any form of trust or credibility and that is the United Nations envoy, Kofi Annan.
We need to ask why the results of the 26 Feb referendum have so quickly been forgotten about? Why have the Friends of Syria not pressed upon those results? Why have the Friends of Syria continually called for more weapons? Why have the Friends of Syria worked so hard to discredit the current leadership in Syria knowing that such a tactic will only prolong the violence. Why have the Friends of Syria worked so hard to discredit Russia and China, when those two countries have only called for peaceful discussion within the legal framework of Syrian and international law?
The Friends of Syria have equalled the current leadership within Syria in terms of prolonging the violence. If peace is the return quickly, the Friends of Syria must change their tactics to be more aligned with Russia and China. The call for a universal ceasefire, weapons embargo, highly enforced border security to the point of almost lock down with only food and medical aid to be allowed in and strong pressure to get all sides into discussions.
The phrase “all sides” deals with only the people within Syria. The only outsider taking part in the discussions should be the United Nations envoy Kofi Annan, no one else, not one more person from outside. This is a Syrian process and it is theirs to manage. The international community can assist by providing peacekeepers to ensure that law and order are maintained. Journalist and ngo’s can also enter so that the rebuild can start and is monitored.  
The discussions already have a foundation with the 26 Feb referendum. That process indicated the need for a new constitution as well as a new political system. The world needs to support that process. The world needs to look at the reality within the Syrian population two years ago. The country was on a path to peace. As always peace does not arrive quickly enough for some and so they resort to violence. That is the reality which is lost in all of this.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Friends of Syria, Not

Truth is the first casualty of war. To prove that point again we have the situation with the Friends of Syria and the Syrian National Council. Both of these groups have very little support inside Syria. Both these groups are engaging in activities that are breaking international law and neither of these groups have been serious about finding a peaceful solution to the violence in Syria.
The Friends of Syria have continually called for the need to provide military support to the opposition. This action alone will only support further violence. Furthermore, why is it that the Friends of Syria do not included anyone from the current government in Syria?
Next, you have to question the actual support the Syrian National Council holds within Syria itself. We know that one of these groups that support the Syrian National Council is Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda is an enemy of most of the Friends of Syria yet in this situation they are partners. Such logic is unexplainable.
The last report which spoke to the internal support of the Syrian National Council barely acknowledged 15% of the total population. Even within the Syrian National Council there exist divisions. This Council is a spur of the moment ad hoc group at best. The thirst for power is equal to each point of opposition they hold for the current leadership within Syria.
The United Nations envoy to Syria has made great strides to put in place a cease fire agreement, which neither the Friends of Syria or the Syrian National Council have indicated the opposition forces will adhere to. However there is a strong call for the current government to adhere to the ceasefire agreement.
Sadly, the future is quite clear that there will be no ceasefire on 10 April. If such a reality exists I will be completely shocked, I hope I will be.
What of the Russia and China? Both these countries have continually called for the violence to stop, the weapons to sanctioned, external groups to leave Syria and for both sides to sit down and hammer out a way forward. The Friends of Syria have derailed both Russia and China as enemies of the opposition and killers of the United Nations Security Council resolution. That resolution was killed because it only called for the government to cease fire, sought to bring down a government which would have created a power vacuum and put in place a system doomed to increase and prolong violence.
This media campaign to paint the Friends of Syria and the Syrian National Council is a giant lie. It is glossing over the current illegal activity of supplying weapons and military aid. It is false in its accusations that Russia and China are against a peaceful resolution and it is false that Russia and China are supporting the current party of rule in Syria in its efforts to continue fighting.
Syria is in a very difficult situation and the Friends of Syria are making it worse.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

With friends like that who needs enemies?

Syria and Libya are on similar paths, although Libya is a few months further ahead. Both are flirting with death. With each bullet fired, chaos wins and peace dies. The frustration with those that continue to increase violence fuels the desire to let war reach its pinnacle as soon as possible. Of course these desires should be restrained.
 Living in a country that has a leader which is not to be trusted is very difficult. No amount of goodwill can be built, you always feel a gun pointed at you, discussion seems useless and the system corrupt. When life gets to such a state violence quickly becomes the only way a person can feel they have done something to express their disgust.
You see, that is what people need. People need to voice their displeasures. There has to be an outlet for the pressure of emotions. There has to be an option for a way out. People can not live in hopelessness. People will fight, kill and accept death themselves if there is no hope. Hope is needed so much that we have created religions so that people have something to hold on to when life is seen as pointless. To some degree this has backfired and now we have people fighting about which religion is the best one to believe in. Pure insanity.
A leader that lacks credibility yet holds the larger share of physical force is a leader that will use fear and violence to retain power. Such a leader knows they do not have the intelligence, compassion or right to stay in power. The only way to keep their power is to use fear and violence. These leaders do not have to be rulers of countries, they can be warlords, gang leaders, religious leaders or anyone. How many families are forced to live in terror because of such a person?
Within Syria we have many such people. No matter what they call themselves, whether it be the Syrian National Council, Friends of Syria or the Revolutionary Syrian Freedom Front. These groups show their true character in the continually call for increased weapon support. No amount of weapons will solve this because no weapon can work without a person to operate it.
As I mentioned above there is the point when a person can no longer live in restraint. That point is a reality, yet it is all too often used for the weak minded. We are seeing the weak minded come together in the Friends of Syria coalition. We are seeing the weak minded in Libya that are still fighting.
Peace takes great courage. We need more courage in Syria and Libya. We need the voices of peace not only for the people within these countries, also for the regional countries. Leaders that are peaceful and are trusted to be so, have opposition yet the opposition understands there is no need for violence. Again I must state the stupidity of those that counter with the fact that a peaceful person leaves themselves open to violence. That line of thought is a reality but we are trying to build a world where such violence is obsolete, are we not? With friends that have such a mentality, who needs enemies?