To End Syria Civil War, West Must Guarantee Minorities' Safety with Peacekeeping Force

By Janus, Thorsten | The Christian Science Monitor, July 25, 2013 | Go to article overview

To End Syria Civil War, West Must Guarantee Minorities' Safety with Peacekeeping Force


Janus, Thorsten, The Christian Science Monitor


Though Syria's civil war rages on, Western leaders may have the power to help end the bloody conflict. And it's not by arming the rebels.

Instead, Western countries - in cooperation with regional powers like the Arab League - should work to offer meaningful security reassurances to the minorities now supporting the Assad regime. This will undermine Bashar al-Assad's base, move the country toward a political resolution to the conflict, and help ensure an inclusive post-Assad society. Without safety guarantees, Syria's minorities are unlikely to shift support away from Mr. Assad. The promise of an international peacekeeping force, possibly headed by NATO and backed by the Arab League, could achieve that goal.

When Syria's conflict began, it looked political: A repressive regime was fighting to preserve its power and privileges. The opposition was fighting to end them. As 2012 wore on, however, the conflict looked increasingly sectarian: Communities of ordinary Alawites were targeted by Sunni Arab rebels, and a number of Alawite, Christian, and other minority-based militias started supporting the Alawite-based regime.

However, the main reason Syria's minorities tend to support the regime is not their loyalty to Assad or hatred of Sunnis but their legitimate fear of the alternative. This is not surprising, given the historical discrimination and ostracism of Alawites under Sunni regimes before a 1970 coup brought Assad's father to power, and the ruthlessness and sectarian tendencies displayed by Sunni rebels.

Of course, the United States and leading European governments are aware of this concern, and have long pushed the Syrian opposition to give meaningful assurances to the Alawites and Christians. The western-backed Syrian National Coalition (SNC) has promised full equality to minorities in a future Syria. This has been applauded by Western leaders, who are eager to avoid a repetition of the sectarianism that raged in Iraq from 2003-2006.

Despite its promises, however, the SNC maintains that regime loyalists are to be purged, the Assad security forces dismantled, and the 2.5 million-member Baath party (of which Assad is head) dissolved. Such an agenda, along with the SNC's lack of legitimacy within Syria and dominance by the Muslim Brotherhood rather than secular groups, undermine the credibility of the security guarantees it promises.

As a result, Christians and Alawites fear that in a post-Assad political order they will be objects of bloody revenge and political marginalization. Herein lies one of the main reasons for the prolonged and bloody character of Syria's Arab Spring. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

To End Syria Civil War, West Must Guarantee Minorities' Safety with Peacekeeping Force
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.