Jewish Journal


July 5, 2012

by Shmuel Rosner

July 5, 2012 | 4:13 am

Kofi Annan meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad. (Photo: Reuters)


Where Are the Middle East’s Revolutions Heading?

Der Speigel looks at the state of the Arab world 18 months after a Tunisian protester’s act of self-immolation sparked a wave of revolution across the region.

The hope that the Arab world would become democratic as quickly as Eastern Europe did 20 years ago has not been fulfilled. But fears that the countries of North Africa and the Middle East—from Morocco in the west to Oman in the east—would sink into chaos one after another have also not materialized. Instead, the picture is more confusing than ever.

Will Syria be Kofi Annan’s tragedy redux?

Writing in the Washington Post, Paul Wolfowitz and and Mark Palmer ask if the former UN chief will be able to avoid repeating the horrors of Srebrenica in Syria.

Writing on this page last week, Annan urged all parties to avoid “further militarization of the conflict” in Syria. That ignores a central lesson from Annan’s own Srebrenica report, that the international community should have confronted the perpetrators of violence with an effective threat of force. Today, we are seeing some of the same weaknesses identified in that report: the “pervasive ambivalence within the United Nations regarding the role of force in the pursuit of peace”; an “institutional ideology of impartiality even when confronted with attempted genocide”; and an effort to “keep the peace . . . when there was no peace to keep.” Negotiations — however well-intentioned — are again providing an excuse for inaction and buying time for the Assad regime to continue the killing.

Daily Digest

  • Haaretz: Former CIA chief urges release of Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard

  • Ynet: Report: Iran oil tankers ‘floating aimlessly’

  • Jerusalem Post: Assad: Peoples’ support saves me from Shah’s fate

  • New York Times: Oil Backed Up, Iranians Put It on Idled Ships

  • Washington Post: The faces of the dead in Syria’s unrest

  • Wall Street Journal: Turkey Finds Pilots’ Bodies Following Downing by Syria

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