What is happening in Syria is an increasingly deteriorating situation that looks like a total stalemate between the Syrian Government and the Syrian Population. The violence and bloodshed continues and other human rights abuses in spite of the peace plan and sanctions imposed. Bashar al-Assad has shown no willingness to step down or put an end to the mass killings and the rebels are not prepared to put down their arms because they fear to do so would only allow Assad to stay in power and continue killing the Syrian people unchallenged. Thus it has become very obvious that a peaceful solution will not be possible given the current situation. How many Syrians have to die before countries within the United Nations agree to setup no fly zones within Syria to attempt to stop much of the killings happening in Syria. (make sure to read until end of the article)
I see no fly zones being the best way to stop the mass killings in Syria. I realize compared to Libya Syria's government has a much more advanced and much larger military. I realize as well Syria has an air force and much in the way of anti-aircraft weaponry. Thus such a venture will be significantly more dangerous and costly but I do not see how such is avoidable if the UN is to intervene through its member countries. Coordination with the rebels on the ground will be essential as will be adequate intelligence gathering. Assad's government has substantial stockpiles of chemical weapons that must be kept from being used by the Syrian government, moved by the government to undisclosed locations, or hijacked by terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and Hezbollah. A further thing to consider is how densely populated many areas in Syria is so care must be taken to avoid civilian casualties. In spite of these risk for carrying out such a mission as no-fly zones I see setting up a no-fly zones as the surest way to prevent as much mass killings as possible. No-fly zones in themselves are not going to solve all of Syria's problems alone but they along with intelligence gathering, communication with rebel forces, and keeping up with diplomatic pressure on the Assad regime will be a major leap forward in improving the situation in Syria.
I am well aware of the international politics at play and understand the fears of getting militarily involved. I am aware of the economic problems many of the member nations are facing and unrest and division at home. I also understand the hesitancy to get involved in another conflict after all the problems in recent conflicts. I know Russia and China are probably not ever going to accept no fly zones unless they can be guaranteed they are only for defensive and not offensive purposes and are offered some kind of, pardon my bluntness, bribe. I always prefer things being done through The United Nations and getting an international consensus. However unless and until more pressure and diplomacy are used on Russia and China I see little hope of a UN solution being feasible. Russia especially so seems to reject any military or aggressive diplomatic option and I do not see this dynamic changing given the current situation. I am not sure if Russia ever can be won over but I do not think other nations besides the United States and Britain have put adequate pressure and used enough diplomacy to communicate with Russia. Rather most nations have used Russia's opposition as a get out of jail free card by not getting involved more directly. Rather then stepping up to the plate they blame Russia and the UN Envoy for nothing getting done. It's time for the nations of the world to step up and work on ending these crimes against humanity in Syria. Ending crimes against humanity in Syria should be the sole purpose of any action in Syria. No other political issues should be brought in as they will only make the diplomatic talks that much more fragmented and ineffective.
All who still wish for a diplomatic solution I believe are being too Utopian in their views. Yes a diplomatic channel always needs to be open and a diplomatic solution is part of the solution but it in this situation can not be the whole solution. I think Russia could play a major role in the diplomatic part of the solution as they besides Iran have trust within the Syrian government. Russia can work on the diplomatic talks and political solution while the United States and other European and Middle Eastern Nations set up defensive no fly zones to protect large population centers within Syria. I believe fighting this situation on these two fronts has the most chance to succeed. It should not be a diplomacy or military solution but a diplomacy and military solution. Even if Assad were to step down many problems will still remain in Syria that can only be solved diplomatically. Those who write off diplomacy and only want a military solution are being too hawkish and those who write off a military action of any kind and only want a diplomatic solution are being too unrealistic. The divide between those favoring a military solution and those favoring a diplomatic solution can be bridged if both sides are willing to give and take. The diplomatic supporters will need assurance that a military solution will take the utmost caution to avoid civilian casualties and will be defensive in nature not offensive. The military option supporters will need assurance that the participating nations will live up to their commitments and be willing to participate in setting up no-fly zones, communications with the rebels, and help with intelligence gathering.
The world for the sake of the Syrian people needs to come together at the diplomatic table and work out a solution that has a good shot at stopping or greatly eliminating the crimes against humanity occurring in Syria. These talks and diplomatic negotiations and deal making need to take place immediately. All the talk in the whole of the world though is not going to save one Syrian child from being tortured in a Syrian prison, not one Syrian woman from being raped, not one Syrian man from being killed by sniper fire, not one Syrian family from having their house bombarded with artillery fire. It is time for solutions not just talks of solutions. Enough time has been spent trying to stay the course which has not showed even a little sign of making significant progress. Yes the former course was the best course and was the best chance to avoid cost in terms of life and treasure but the course is not taking us where we need to go. When you realize you have taken the wrong path on your journey do you keep walking on the same path or try to find another path to get you where you are going? I say it is time for a new path, a path that has a good chance of creating the desired result which is ending crimes against humanity, and a path that actually has a chance of getting international agreement. Let us begin traveling this path today because the Syrian people literally have their very lives hanging in the balance.