My dear friend Sean Lee has written a great “open letter on Syria to Western narcissists” over at his blog, The Human Province, later picked up by The Huffington Post. He scratches an itch that’s been bugging me for years. Read it.
The other piece to read this morning is Bassam Haddad’s interview with Democracy Now, which makes the case that American intervention in Syria would be disastrous. Bassam has argued from the start that a political solution is the only way to end the civil war:
The only solution to this is something that is akin to a political solution where the serious international actors, the ones that are powerful, can come together force—literally force—the local players on all sides to actually come together and find a political solution. There is no other solution. There is no military solution to this. And the more dangerous that the chemical weapons that President Obama is discussing is the more reason to actually push for a serious political solution. One wonders, however, if that is indeed desired, as far as desired by these powerful actors, including the United States, and especially the United States.
When I was in Lebanon earlier this month, I must have heard the phrase “Syria needs its own Ta’if Accord… nothing else will end the war” about two dozen times from people on both sides of the conflict. Isn’t it ironic that Ta’if — the long suffering scapegoat of Lebanese politics — is now begrudgingly seen for what it is: a remarkably resilient political solution that has kept the peace in a post-Civil War state for nearly two and a half decades…
To oppose intervention and call for a political solution is reasonable enough, but where does one start? A couple months ago, I wrote a piece that attempted to lay out the terms of a political solution as envisioned by the regime side. I’d be curious to hear the readership’s views on what kind of political solution they would push for, if they had President Obama’s ear for ten minutes in the Oval Office, just before he heads down to the Situation Room to order the first set of missile strikes. If the conversation yields something interesting or surprising, I’ll sift through the best comments and re-post them.
The floor is open.