France, Britain Prepared To Arm Syrian Rebels, But Is It Too Late?

French Signaling Willingness To Arm Syrian Rebels
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius indicated his country is prepared to move forward to arm Syrian rebels. British Prime Minister David Cameron also hinted last week that he may adopt a policy to arm the opposition, but added that Britain may have to do it “in our own way.”

In response to Britain and France, Russia issued a warning to European nations considering providing military support, asserting that to do so would be a violation of international law.

Is It Too Late To Intervene In Syria?
A year ago, Adam Garfinkle was a strong advocate for taking bold action to stem the violence in Syria. Today, he says that inaction may be the smartest course of action.

His justification for action a year ago stemmed from three primary concerns: that the civil war would spread throughout the region, that the opposition would become more radicalized the longer the war lasted, and that after years of war, the nation would find itself irreparably broken.

Garfinkle believes all three concerns have come to fruition, thus negating any positives that might be derived by intervening.

“There have been many fights in history in which, for practical purposes, both sides have lost. This could well be another in a series. I know this will sound harsh to some, but consider it this way: We have stood aside for two years with our thumbs up our you-know-what while more than 70,000 mostly innocent people have been killed; so why not stand aside for a little longer so that some hateful, armed and dangerous people can get killed, too?,” Garfinkle asks frankly.

How Election Reform Cooled Civil Unrest In Guyana – At Least Momentarily Across the globe ethinic strife continues to inspire civil unrest and war that can last for years, if not decades. Guyana, however, is one nation which appears to to be the present exception to the rule by taking action before their 2006 elections. While election reform certainly will not ease civil unrest that has its roots in subjugation and ethnic cleansing, it can serve as an example of how a comprehensive and coordinated effort can prove successful – at least in the short-term.

Varanya Chaubey, Amy Mawson, and Gabriel Kuris document the strife between supporters of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and the primarily Afro-Guyanese supporters of the People’s National Congress, which largely stemmed from irregularities in previous elections.

In 2006 the Guyanese elections commission worked with international donors leading up to the general election, a strategy which achieved success in defusing conflict and producing a peaceful election.

In addition to instituting a code of conduct for media representatives and a streamlining of the electoral process, the Ethnic Relations Commission and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 2003 implemented a Social Cohesion Program, which organized conversations between Indo- and Afro-Guyanese community members.

Lawrence Lachmansingh, a Guyanese development consultant for the UNDP, told Foreign Policy magazine: “Our calculation was, if there was a political conflict in Guyana, it was an ethnic conflict largely driven from the center, a nationally-driven problem. The people at the local level did not spontaneously combust.”

Papal Conclave Elects A Pilgrim In Pope Francis
“After so many scandals, so many souls who have abandoned the faith, here is a chance for a cleansing of the Vatican stables, a root-and-branch reform of the Curia, the Papal administration, and a radical new emphasis on the core mission of the church: to reach out to the world.”





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