We should turn the crisis over into an opportunity, writes regional analyst and Ekklesia associate Dr Harry Hagopian. With Russia on a back foot and Syria clearly anxious about the Western reaction, is it not possible to coerce the Syrian regime to sit at the negotiating table for a Geneva II style of negotiations that could usher in the transitional period. Do we not owe it to the people of Syria to try it, he asks?
Premier Radio, the national Christian radio station, is beginning a new regular slot analysing the Middle East and North Africa with Ekklesia associate and regional expert Dr Harry Hagopian – starting tonight (29 August 2013).
The performance of the young US State Department spokesperson on BBC Newsnight this evening (27 August) was extremely chilling, not least for the insouciant way in which a series of necessarily probing questions about a military strike on Syria were simply waved away with stock remarks like, "we'll factor that in".
Starting with 25 January 2011, symbolic date of the Egyptian revolution, and 30 June 2013, the symptomatic date of a ‘coup’ or ‘second revolution’, the internet has been full of observations, cogitations, explanations and justifications about events in Cairo, Ismailia, Suez, Alexandria, Sinai and other parts of this history-rich country. Ekklesia associate Dr Harry Hagopian looks at what is happening, and the varied responses it has elicited.
As in the case of Palestine, and unless the international community oversteps its most prurient interests and comes together to help Syria emerge from its current violence, we could well end up with a failed state that is not too distant from the Somali experience, says regional expert and observer Dr Harry Hagopian. We could indeed witness the fragmentation of the country, as many Syrians currently claim is slowly, inexorably happening. Yet there is still room for manoeuvre and hope.