Syria — a modest suggestion

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Philippe ARNOT 
In Boulevard Voltaire October 3, 2015

October 24, 2015
Translated from French by Tom Winter
Tr note: It’s so reasonable, so unlikely, and so sardonic in tone! Once I read it, I knew I had to share . . .


Okay, granted: Bashar al-Assad is a bloody tyrant. Okay, granted: We can not support him, especially since he made the bed for Daech. Okay! All the same, it would be more effective, however, to forget what he is and close your eyes because the urgent deal is to make an end of Islamic terrorism. Yes! 

True, he is a friend of President Putin. Yes! True, President Putin will never let him fall, just to annoy the Westerners who have clearly annoyed him, with Ukraine. Ukraine! ” Good God ! But of course!” as the late Raymond Souplex put it. Here it is, the solution!

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It would suffice to tell President Putin that we’re putting an end to the sanctions right away (which, we mention in passing, were more negative for us than for him, but of course, we will not press that point too much with him) not forgetting to ask him to put an end to his. Then we whisper in his ear that we will now be looking less at what he’s up in this corner of Europe that no one in the west, apart from illumined ones, actually cares about. And we conclude – frosting on the cake – that Crimea has always been a truly Russian land since its annexation in 1783 by Catherine the Great. Finally, all together, we form an armed coalition against Daech, which we face, for once, on the ground.

In return then, President Putin promises, once the task is completed, that Bashar Assad will remain in place, but only for a period that will be defined by common agreement — a transitional period such that a national unity government could be installed under the auspices of Russia, France and the United States, also from Iran and Turkey.

This will also serve to save face for Bashar since he continues in power for a time, while flattering Putin who can boast of having the leading role in this whole affair. This strategy will, in addition, have the advantage of saving face for France and the United States, who are too focused so far on Bashar, while offering to President Putin this small concession, the limited hold on power for Bashar. In short, it means (as in the time of Sykes and Picot, but for a limited time and with much more flexibility) defining a provisional protectorate over Syria while respecting, of course, the dignity of the Syrians.

However, and as we do not have a short memory of history, we set it up so that the highly intelligent and very Boatswain President Putin would not reprise the manoeuver of Stalin who had promised, once Nazi Germany was finished, to hold free elections in countries of Eastern Europe that he had conquered. A promise he never kept, of course. All this is called reasons of state, or rather, in the case that concerns us, reasons of states …

All the while without forgetting that we can solve the problem of migrants at the same time, with the warm compassion we are known for, by inviting them to go back home, which they certainly will do, being true patriots and all.

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