World View: Lakhdar Brahimi to Replace Kofi Annan as Syria Peace Envoy

This morning's key headlines from

  • Lakhdar Brahimi to replace Kofi Annan as Syria peace envoy
  • Arrest of minister in Lebanon may signal weakening power of Hizbollah
  • For one brief, shining Olympic moment, Russians loved North Caucasians
  • Relations between South Korea and Japan at rock bottom

Lakhdar Brahimi to replace Kofi Annan as Syria peace envoy

The United Nations announced on Friday that 78 year old Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi will become the international envoy on the Syria conflict, representing the United Nations and the Arab League, replacing Kofi Annan. On the day that Annan announced his six-point peace plan, I wrote that it was "farcical," and this has turned out to be an understatement. In fact, Annan's tenure as peace envoy has actually made the situation worse, by providing cover for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to continue his slaughter of civilian Sunnis, and cover for the Russians and Iranians to make sanctimonious statements while they support al-Assad's bloody slaughter.

What I found most interesting were some of the things that I heard Brahimi say during a couple of live interviews with him that I heard on Friday. When asked why he took the job after Annan's failure, he said, "I'll just repeat what Kofi Annan said -- that I must be as crazy as he is." In fact, Brahimi's statements had a very different tone than Annan's. Whereas Annan sounds pathetic and dishonest, Brahimi sounds realistic and truthful, at least so far.

He said that he took the job after promises by Security Council members that they would support him -- where they hadn't supported Annan. Unless this was just weasel words, then the only thing that this can mean is that the Russians are willing to agree to a Security Council resolution that at least partially condemns al-Assad. We'll see.

The only thing that I heard Brahimi say that was truly crazy was when he was asked where there was still a role for diplomacy in stopping the Syrian conflict. As best as I can remember, he said, "Of course diplomacy will play a role. Diplomacy is essential. No war can end without a round of diplomacy."

That makes about as much sense as saying that no book can end without a back cover. From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, politicians do not determine the great events of history. Events are determined by masses of people, generations of people. Politicians have nothing to do with it, except insofar as their policies reflect the will of the masses of people. Wars don't end because some diplomat like Brahimi comes in and chats with everyone. That's ridiculous, but it appears to be what Brahimi believes. Wars end when the people are ready for them to end. Syria has not yet reached that point, but with political support for al-Assad continuing to crumble, that point may be reached soon. And then Brahimi can take all the credit. AFP

Arrest of minister in Lebanon may signal weakening power of Hizbollah

A seemingly insignificant arrest in Lebanon could indicate an important change in mood. Former minister Michel Samaha, a friend of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, has been arrested for participating in a plot, hatched by al-Assad, to destabilize Lebanon through a series of bomb blasts. Not long ago, such an arrest could not have occurred because Lebanon's government feared the power of Syria and Hizbollah. But now, the Lebanese are losing their fear of Syria, and Hizbollah, which is both a political party and a terrorist group in Lebanon, is keeping quiet. Reuters

For one brief, shining Olympic moment, Russians loved North Caucasians

Freestyle wrestling gold medal winner Jamal Otarsultanov (
Freestyle wrestling gold medal winner Jamal Otarsultanov (

The mutual xenophobia between (Orthodox Christian) ethnic Russians and (Muslim) citizens of Russia's southern (North Caucasian) provinces has been growing in recent years, but it abated for a while during the London Olympics, when the North Caucasians became the first to win gold medals for the Russian team, and ended up winning 20 Olympic medals, including five gold medals, for Russia. For a brief while, Russians loved their North Caucasian fellow citizens, but once the Olympic games ended, Russians returned to such slogans as, "No More Feeding the Caucasus." Jamestown

Relations between South Korea and Japan at rock bottom

Recent territorial conflicts over islands disputed between Japan and South Korea have become more contentious, and are now crossing over into policies on economic cooperation. The Japanese, who are particularly offended by criticisms of Japan's Emperor Akihito by South Korean president Lee Myung-bak, have canceled a bilateral finance ministers' meeting, and are withdrawing planned support for South Korea in its bid for election as a nonpermanent member of the United Nations Security Council for 2013-2014. The Hankyoreh (Seoul)

Permanent web link to this article
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail


Breitbart Video Picks



Fox News National



Send A Tip

From Our Partners

Fox News Sports