Search­ing for safety

The Daily Star (Lebanon) - - OPINION -

The news that emerged from the Kazakh cap­i­tal re­gard­ing de-es­ca­la­tion in Syria’s rebel-held ar­eas is cer­tainly wel­come.

At the very least it would min­i­mize the num­ber of ca­su­al­ties, of­fer a prom­ise for the be­gin­ning of the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of de­stroyed ar­eas and cre­ate se­cure and safe zones for the thou­sands of refugees con­tem­plat­ing a re­turn home.

The Syr­ian peo­ple, how­ever, know that this is eas­ier said than done, as they have been bit­ten more than once by ev­ery party in­volved in the killing fields of their coun­try. In fact, the or­di­nary Syr­ian refugee is re­ally puz­zled and un­cer­tain as to whom to trust, con­sid­er­ing that both su­per­pow­ers and re­gional govern­ments have been act­ing like vul­tures try­ing to carve up the cake.

Syria has been sub­jected to all kinds of plagues, sec­tar­ian cleans­ings, de­mo­graphic changes, in­de­pen­dent en­claves and the pres­ence of a mul­ti­tude of mili­tias, pri­mar­ily with sec­tar­ian slant.

To top it all off, the num­ber of pow­ers wait­ing in the shad­ows to reap the ben­e­fits are no fewer than the nu­mer­ous cooks watch­ing and stir­ring the caul­dron of vi­o­lence.

Chief among th­ese is the United Na­tions, whose re­lief agen­cies have made lit­tle progress in lift­ing the hard­ship of thou­sands.

On the con­trary, the U.N.’s po­lit­i­cal arm has failed spec­tac­u­larly to al­le­vi­ate the suf­fer­ing of the peo­ple, and in many cases that dras­tic fail­ure has re­sulted in a heavy loss of life be­cause of the body’s mis­cal­cu­la­tions and in­sis­tence on run­ning the show from Geneva, New York or any city that en­joys pleas­ant weather and an al­lur­ing vista. And the tragedy is that when the stage is bare and everyone goes home there won’t be any ac­count­abil­ity.

The bot­tom line is that the Syr­i­ans, the re­gion and the whole world are anx­ious to see th­ese suf­fer­ing peo­ple re­turn to their coun­try with dig­nity and with the prom­ise of safety. Un­less such is the re­sult of Fri­day’s ar­range­ment, all the jar­gon is not worth a strand of hair from a sin­gle Syr­ian child.

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