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The Shortest Path to Peace in Syria

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Because "defensive alliances which have fixed and limited objectives are often more durable," the "Syria-Iran alliance has survived" more than three decades of unwavering and insistent US -- led military, economic, diplomatic and media campaign to dismantle it, but it is still enduring "because it has been primarily defensive in nature" and "aimed largely at neutralizing " Israeli capabilities and preventing American encroachment in the Middle East."

 

This was the conclusion of the professor of International Relations at Webster University Geneva, Switzerland, Jubin M. Goodarzi, in his 2006 book, " Syria and Iran: Diplomatic Alliance and Power Politics in the Middle East."

 

Professor Goodarzi's conclusion is worth highlighting amid the thick smoke screen of "chemical weapons," "civil war," "responsibility to protect" and the "dictatorship -- democracy" rhetoric of the US -- Israeli propaganda, which is now misleading the world public opinion away from the core fact that the current Syrian conflict is the inevitable outcome of the 45 - year old Israeli occupation of the Syrian Arab Golan Heights in 1967.

 

Israel, protected by what President Barak Obama repeatedly describe as the "unshakable" support of the United States, is still maintaining its military occupation of the Golan as a "bargaining chip" to enforce upon Syria, irrespective of the regime and who is ruling in Damascus, the fait accompli which was created forcefully by the creation of the State of Israel in Palestine in 1948.

 

The US support to dictating the resulting fait accompli to Syria manifested itself first by empowering Israel by US arms and tax payer money to gain the "bargaining chip" of the Golan Heights, then by protecting the ongoing Israeli occupation of this Syrian territory.

 


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The "bargaining chips" of the Sinai peninsula and the West Bank of River Jordan proved successful by dictating the Israeli terms on the signing of the "peace" treaties with Egypt in 1979, with Jordan in 1994 and the Oslo peace agreements with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1993, but failed so far to produce similar results with Syria and Lebanon, which remain in a "state of war" with Israel, mainly because Damascus still insists on making peace according to international law and the UN resolutions.

 

Damascus "did" engage the peace making process. The assumption to power of late al-Assad senior in 1971 was hailed by the US and its regional allies because he first of all recognized the UN Security Council resolutions No. 242 and 338, the basis of the US -- sponsored so -- called Arab -- Israeli "peace process;" he fell out with his "comrades" in the ruling Baath party specifically because of this recognition.

 

Instead of building on al-Assad senior's constructive approach, Washington made every effort to pressure him to accept the "Israeli" terms of peace: US sanctions were imposed on Syria and the country was condemned as a state sponsor of terror because of hosting the political offices of anti - Israeli occupation Palestinian and Lebanese resistance movements.

 

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*Nicola Nasser is a veteran Arab journalist in Kuwait, Jordan, UAE and Palestine. He is based in Ramallah, West Bank of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.
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