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September 27, 2017

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No outside intervention will bring and end to Syria strife

The Jasmine Revolution, which started in Tunisia, is highly contagious. Dictators have been ousted from Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, albeit there are no signs that the Arab people may be able to enjoy any time soon the four fundamental freedoms U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed for a democracy during World War II. The next victim may be Syria.

What began as a political uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in Syria 16 months ago has spiraled into a complex conflict bordering on civil war, like the one in Libya against Moammar Gadhafi. As Assad's loyal army and secret agents started carnage against the civilians there arose international concern about the violence which has so far killed at least 10,000 men, women and children. Kofi Annan, a former U.N. secretary-general, was appointed U.N.-Arab League peace envoy for Syria and imposed a cease-fire in April. But following the Houla massacre and the consequent Free Syrian Army ultimatum to the Assad government in Damascus, the cease-fire practically collapsed toward the end of May. The Free Syrian Army, supported by Turkey, resumed nationwide offensives, and last week, Syria shot down an unarmed Turkish F-4 Phantom reconnaissance plane, prompting Ankara to call a NATO meeting on the incident. Assad considers Turkey a cat's paw of the imperialist West to do him in.

Turkey, a NATO member, does not want to take retaliatory military action against Syria alone. So a "Coalition of the Willing" — the United States, the United Kingdom and France — will meet through NATO in Geneva to probe the possibility of repeating the Libya scenario to intervene under the "Responsibility to Protect." Well, the scenario worked in Libya and Gadhafi was removed, after all. It is only natural and tempting to argue for an intervention in Syria to get rid of Assad, the accidental heir to his dictator father Hafez al-Assad who ruled Syria with an iron fist from 1956 until his death in 2000.

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