Sunday, July 1, 2012

Another one (to bite the dust?)

Earlier blog posts, summarized by the November 2010 entry 'Getting to agreement', highlighted the illusory nature of a number of the Obama administration's "achievements" in which parties with substantial disagreements came together to "agree" on a common document and course of action. Examples included Copenhagen 2009, the 2010 NPT Review Conference, the 2010 New START agreement, 2009's UN Resolution 1887, and 2009's "Tegucigalpa/San Jose" agreement.

This blogger summarized the 2009 NPT conference as follows: "The bottom line? A final document that could be accepted unanimously by the various parties. However, no "real" agreement, since each of the opposing camps focused on the part of the agreement that was palatable to them. The U.S. led the way in selectively picking and choosing the parts of the document that it liked, thereby vitiating the final document..."

Fast forward to today, and another intractable problem... Syria. From 'International deal reached on peace for Syria' we read "... World powers meeting in Geneva have reached an agreement on a way forward to end the violence in Syria ..." Since all the attendees at the 'Action Group' signed on, one might conclude that the "agreement" (go here for the Action Group for Syria Final Communiqué 30.06.2012) apparently bridged the gulf between the U.S. position (unambiguous that Assad has to go) and that of China and Russia (no external interference in Syria), and that the parties agreed on the way forward. Well, perhaps not!

Kofi Annan agreed that it was up to the Syrian people to determine who should lead them, quickly adding however, "I would doubt that Syrians... would select people with blood on their hands to lead them." In this he presumably was referencing the Assad regime...

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said "How exactly the work on a transition to a new stage is conducted will be decided by the Syrians themselves... There are no demands to exclude from this process any one group. This aspect had been present in many of our partners' proposals. We have convinced them that this is unacceptable."

The Chinese Foreign Minister said "... outsiders cannot make decisions for the Syrian people."

Hilary Clinton said "Assad will still have to go,.. What we have done here is to strip away the fiction that he and those with blood on their hands can stay in power."

The bottom line? Another "agreement" that is sure to bite the dust!

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