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

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

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • 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 Algeriandiplomat Lakhdar Brahimi will become the international envoy on theSyria conflict, representing the United Nations and the Arab League,replacing Kofi Annan. On the day that Annan announced his six-pointpeace plan, I wrote that it was “farcical,” and this has turned out tobe an understatement. In fact, Annan’s tenure as peace envoy hasactually made the situation worse, by providing cover for Syrianpresident Bashar al-Assad to continue his slaughter of civilianSunnis, and cover for the Russians and Iranians to make sanctimoniousstatements while they support al-Assad’s bloody slaughter.

What I found most interesting were some of the things that I heardBrahimi say during a couple of live interviews with him that I heardon Friday. When asked why he took the job after Annan’s failure, hesaid, “I’ll just repeat what Kofi Annan said — that I must be ascrazy as he is.” In fact, Brahimi’s statements had a very differenttone 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 Councilmembers that they would support him — where they hadn’t supportedAnnan. Unless this was just weasel words, then the only thing thatthis can mean is that the Russians are willing to agree to a SecurityCouncil resolution that at least partially condemns al-Assad. We’llsee.

The only thing that I heard Brahimi say that was truly crazy was whenhe was asked where there was still a role for diplomacy in stoppingthe Syrian conflict. As best as I can remember, he said, “Of coursediplomacy will play a role. Diplomacy is essential. No war can endwithout a round of diplomacy.”

That makes about as much sense as saying that no book can end withouta back cover. From the point of view of Generational Dynamics,politicians do not determine the great events of history. Events aredetermined by masses of people, generations of people. Politicianshave nothing to do with it, except insofar as their policies reflectthe will of the masses of people. Wars don’t end because somediplomat like Brahimi comes in and chats with everyone. That’sridiculous, but it appears to be what Brahimi believes. Wars end whenthe people are ready for them to end. Syria has not yet reached thatpoint, but with political support for al-Assad continuing to crumble,that point may be reached soon. And then Brahimi can take all thecredit. AFP

Arrest of minister in Lebanon may signal weakening power of Hizbollah

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

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

Freestyle wrestling gold medal winner Jamal Otarsultanov (geo.tv)
Freestyle wrestling gold medal winner Jamal Otarsultanov (geo.tv)

The mutual xenophobia between (Orthodox Christian) ethnic Russians and(Muslim) citizens of Russia’s southern (North Caucasian) provinces hasbeen growing in recent years, but it abated for a while during theLondon Olympics, when the North Caucasians became the first to wingold medals for the Russian team, and ended up winning 20 Olympicmedals, including five gold medals, for Russia. For a brief while,Russians loved their North Caucasian fellow citizens, but once theOlympic games ended, Russians returned to such slogans as, “No MoreFeeding the Caucasus.” Jamestown

Relations between South Korea and Japan at rock bottom

Recent territorial conflicts over islands disputed between Japan andSouth Korea have become more contentious, and are now crossing overinto policies on economic cooperation. The Japanese, who areparticularly offended by criticisms of Japan’s Emperor Akihito bySouth Korean president Lee Myung-bak, have canceled a bilateralfinance ministers’ meeting, and are withdrawing planned support forSouth Korea in its bid for election as a nonpermanent member of theUnited Nations Security Council for 2013-2014. The Hankyoreh (Seoul)

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