Saturday, October 31, 2015

Syrian Peace

In many of my past posts I have spelled out plans (paths ways) to peace. We are now seeing some of the efforts taking place that should have been taken four years ago. These efforts are sitting down and talking with a broad coalition and the main parties being the military elites. Without the strength of teamwork amongst the elite military power there was no hope for an end to violence. Sadly the violence will have to increase for the short term. The next step is to put people on the ground. There is no getting around this fact. This was a reality four years ago and has only grown since. The team work of United Nations agencies and other NGO’s will have to organize and prepare for a lengthy rebuild. Yet the issue of Assad will be a sticking point, so how do we get past that point? Assad must be voted out by the people. This will give the people the ultimate point of control and allow the process of bringing legitimacy back into democratic society. Now what needs to be understood is that elections can not take place within the next two years. The two year wait allows for people to return, communities to rebuild, power vacuums to settle and a solid education of what the people want for government leadership to take hold. From my experience two years has often been too short of a time frame but it is a target. On a regional scale we must understand that Syria will remain in a state of harm as long as Iraq is in chaos as well. The two countries need to have a strong working relationship focused on mutual peace. Of course the entire region is in the same situation. Since we do not have the courage to encapsulate the entire region in a ceasefire/weapons ban we must work with one country at a time. This will be done by strengthening all borders as strongly as possible. As mentioned in past articles, there will be a strong need for an alternate governing system that focuses on security first and social norms second. What this means is that the international forces on the ground are there to enforce the ceasefire agreement first (weapons checks). The social factors such as education, hate literature, religion, etc… are to be dealt with by local authorities and non military NGO agencies. This is a very simplistic outline as the logistics become very complex, to be truthful it is already very complex. Who goes in, where, when, how are all to be determined. What will most likely take place is that the airport which Russia is currently using will be a staging site. Next Damascus will become another staging point as will Aleppo and Homs. I hope that Syria will return to peace as soon as possible.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Building a legitimate government: From Refugee camps back to communities

In every war zone there is a need to bring security, which is a very obvious statement to make. That security is always viewed as the physical security of controlling personal attacks such as rape and of course gun control. These elements can only be controlled effectively through a legitimate force. In most war zones there is a severe lack of legitimacy to carry out such controls. To use a single word, “trust”. To build trust takes both education and action. As simple as this paragraph seems to be, the complexity is limitless when striving to bring security to any area because of the broken trust. As a peacebuilding effort is put into motion the main issue is always trust. From there that single issue moves into what is often known as “boots on the ground”. How does a policy of peace translate into action? Refugee and Internally Displaced camps are often places of great need and have been known as targets for recruitment of all kinds. Could we begin the work of building community peace from the camps back to the communities? As the people form up to enter the camp they can be filtered as to where they came from. This list can help develop a shadow council of the community people left yet are still very much attached to. Every camp can track this information and begin to filter people together based upon their desire to return and rebuild. For those that have not experienced life in such camps, there is a quick decline in a persons understanding of purpose. Other than just getting through each day life in such camps becomes almost pointless. Building such councils will offer a purpose and hope of returning to their communities. Furthermore those that doe return will have a large portion of understanding what is needed to bring peace back. Such a program would provide a purpose for those in the camps. It would provide a source for government officials when the need arises. Also, such a program will bring a sense of community that has transcended the chaos. Furthermore, such a program would put the power of decision making on the people that lived in the community, not some unknown group of international workers. The above idea is just a thought I had this morning. I have no knowledge of such a program that exists or how difficult it would be. I do know that it would be very difficult to implement. The idea is that such a program would provide a legitimate source of community leadership. With a great connection of communication these people involved would bring immediate trust of any future government. Thoughts?

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Syrian screams for peace dies with each bullet

Loudly chanting slogans of death, destruction along with the burning of flags and effigies are images of what hell is like. The screaming and gnashing of teeth, beating the war drums, using violence as a deterrent, supressing others to impose ideology/will are all experiences we have to look forward to in hell. In hell we will be the suppressed, we will be the screamers and gnashers of teeth. Our focus will be upon each other yet blindly and ultimately the focus is truly upon our own selves. This is the truth and reality of hell. Throughout the years of my work in peacebuilding the wisdom which has constantly come to light is that every protest a person makes, every change a person asks for is a reality which they themselves seek to change within their own mind/world. Such actions are quite masochistic and it is a form of self-acknowledgement to our problems. Sadly it is one of the most ignored symptoms/cries for peace each of us engage in. For example, compare what ISIS members scream and gnash their teeth about to their own actions? You can go down the list of every person, organization and country. Quickly it becomes obvious their actions relate to the subject of their screams and teeth gnashing. It truly is insane. This very moment in which each of us experiences/acts in this manner is living in hell. Understanding our own mind is paramount to peace. Take notice of the changes you most ask for. Take great comfort in the source of your anger. Such is your personal ISIS guide to peace. Difficult as it may be to acknowledge these cries for change, the effort to actually make the change is often the stopping point. Thus begins the cycle of screaming and gnashing of teeth. We lash out in anger to ease the pain of suffering our own minds endure. Eventually, the screaming and gnashing will turn to action if not understood and dealt with. The path to peace is evolution of mind. The evolution takes time and courage. How much of these elements is unknown until the change has completed. At the end is complete awareness of everything. Until then change is our life, anger a useful guide and our choice to embrace both will determine how peaceful each of us are. In the broadest context of Syria what does the above mean? At the outset of the conflict in Syria there was at least three competing methods to a singular goal. The singular goal is and was a peaceful society. The three methods were evident in the actions of the people, the actions of the government and the actions of the rebels. The people acted with peaceful demonstrations. The government and the rebels acted with violence. On the outside/rest of the world, the actions were almost nothing but talk. The simple math shows that two players acted violently, one did nothing and the other player could only take cover as the bullets and bombs slowly increased. In comparison we can look at what happened in Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Tunisia which all had similar experiences of massive public demonstrations. What was different in Egypt than in Syria? The difference is the mindset of the people to know that peace is worth standing up for. That evolution of mind takes place within the leaders at the request of the people. This simple equation is why Libya fell apart, why Syria fell apart, why Yemen fell apart and why the world leaders failed to stop those countries from falling apart. The leaders of the world listened to the screams and gnashing of teeth. Then they acted in the same manner. The leaders could have listened to the peaceful calls but they got caught up in a learned mindset of violence.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Syrain solution

Both Russia and Republic of USA (RUSA) agree to co-command the military operations with the single goal to completely lock down the borders of Syria. Both will not have to put one soldier on the ground. The soldiers/fighters currently on the ground will have the opportunity to hammer out an alliance agreement with a designated UN force command. Also as always a UN force can be made up through a UN peacemaking order from the Security Council. The Assad question is settled with the fact that an election will be held two years after there is a stable and hopefully peaceful society. What a stable society looks like is when people can open cafes, community markets, children can return to school, homes are being rebuilt although there still maybe a few acts of terrorism. The two years of stability will allow people to feel free enough to understand who is seeking election. During the two years the general society will be run somewhat of military ruling coalition of UN officials and Assad. How long will this take? That is always a question that can only be answered this way: War never ends. Peace is always in need of work. As to the end of violence, that will be when the death count falls to a level that is no longer frightening. Furthermore, the end of a violent conflict such as Syria can only be seen when people start to move back into their communities. Next the end is known when a group of school children can play in the streets, walk to school and we see children rest in parents arms because they are tired of playing not out of exhausting fear. When such a reality returns to every community, Syrians can transform to a society of peace instead of fear. After two years of such a reality, elections can be held.