Wednesday, September 11, 2013
The Shortest Path to Peace in Syria
By Nicola Nasser*
Jubin M. Goodarzi,
Goodarzi’s conclusion is worth highlighting amid the thick smoke screen of “chemical weapons,” “civil war,” “responsibility to protect” and the “dictatorship – democracy” rhetoric of the US – Israeli propaganda, which is now misleading the world public opinion away from the core fact that the current Syrian conflict is the inevitable outcome of the 45 - year old Israeli occupation of the Syrian Arab Golan Heights in 1967.
Israel, protected by what President Barak Obama repeatedly describe as the “unshakable” support of the United States, is still maintaining its military occupation of the Golan as a “bargaining chip” to enforce upon Syria, irrespective of the regime and who is ruling in Damascus, the fait accompli which was created forcefully by the creation of the State of Israel in Palestine in 1948.
The US support to dictating the resulting fait accompli to Syria manifested itself first by empowering Israel by US arms and tax payer money to gain the “bargaining chip” of the Golan Heights, then by protecting the ongoing Israeli occupation of this Syrian territory.
The “bargaining chips” of the Sinai peninsula and the West Bank of River Jordan proved successful by dictating the Israeli terms on the signing of the “peace” treaties with Egypt in 1979, with Jordan in 1994 and the Oslo peace agreements with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1993, but failed so far to produce similar results with Syria and Lebanon, which remain in a “state of war” with Israel, mainly because Damascus still insists on making peace according to international law and the UN resolutions.
Instead of building on al-Assad senior’s constructive approach,
Washington made every
effort to pressure him to accept the “Israeli” terms of peace: US sanctions were imposed on and the
country was condemned as a state sponsor of terror because of hosting the
political offices of anti - Israeli occupation Palestinian and Lebanese
resistance movements. Syria
Only months after its invasion of Iraq, the US concluded it was very well positioned -- and Syria very well cornered between US occupation in the east, the Israeli occupation in the west, the Jordanian, Palestinian and Egyptian peace accords with Israel in the south and the Turkish NATO member in the north - - to pressure Syria into submission.
On December 12, 2003 the Congress passed into law the “Syria Accountability Act,” the main purpose of which was to disarm
Syria and deprive it
of all its defensive means and “resistance” allies, long before the eruption of
the ongoing current conflict in .
The act demanded the withdrawal of the Syrian forces from
ignoring the fact they were there upon the official request and blessings of Lebanon and the US
themselves and the Arab League to secure and help it recover after
the civil war. Lebanon
Their withdrawal has become indispensable only after the Israeli invasion of
in 1982, in the hope the invasion will dictate a peace treaty to Lebanon, which would have left Syria a peace pariah among the Arab immediate
“neighbors” of .
No surprise then the Israel Syria –
alliance was formalized in March that year with a series of bilateral agreements.
The Iran US invasion of in 2003
only accelerated their strategic cooperation. Iraq
More importantly, the act banned Syria’s engagement “in the research, development, acquisition, production, transfer or deployment” of “weapons of mass destruction,” “biological, chemical or nuclear weapons” and “medium and long range surface – to - surface ballistic missiles,” of course without any reference to Israel’s acquisition of the same and more.
Egypt’s signing of its “peace” treaty with Israel in 1979 deprived Syria of its regional strategic Arab partner in the 1973 war and the collapse of the former Soviet Union deprived it of its international one a decade later, leaving the country off balance.
To strike a defensive alternative “strategic balance” with
has become the overriding strategic goal of . No Arab substitute has been available.
The revolution in Syria
in the same year came as a God – sent breakthrough. The Iran Syria – alliance was cemented ever
since. Dismantling this alliance has become the overriding US – Israeli strategic
priority as well. Iran
finds an Arab strategic defense alternative to Iran
or until the United States
decides to mediate unbiased peace making between Syria
and Israel, the bilateral
Syrian – Iranian alliance will endure, unless Washington
decides to repeat in Syria
its failed invasion of ,
which all indications render a mission impossible. Iraq
To end the Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights and other Arab Israeli – occupied lands is the shortest US – Israeli path to dismantling the
– Iran alliance and to peace
and the region. Syria
That only would ensure that
Syria will shift its outward focus strategically
from looking for strategic balance with to liberate its occupied
land to the development of its society internally. Israel
Ending decades of confusing the “national interest” of the United States as one and the same thing as that of Israel will for sure lay a solid ground not only for a Syrian but as well for an Arab - US constructive and just relationship built on mutual respect and common interests within the framework of international law and the UN charter.
This is the only and shortest path to peace in
Syria and the Middle East, the time saving recipe and the less
expensive in human as well as in economic resources. Herein the can secure its
regional “vital” interests “peacefully” without dragging its people and the
region from one war to another incessantly. US
Peace and injustice cannot coexist.
* Nicola Nasser is a veteran Arab journalist based in Birzeit, West Bank of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories. firstname.lastname@example.org