This is part of Marc H. Ellis’s “Exile and the Prophetic” feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit the archive page.
The Syrian talks went nowhere. As expected. Everyone knew they were show and tell.
In Geneva, there was no breakthrough but there were accusations and yelling galore. Along with the fear of being identified. Because, yes, the Syrians have to go home. They do live in Syria. Not in New York.
America isn’t going to save Syria. Neither is Russia. Russia has the Ukraine and the Winter Olympics to deal with. America has a world to manage.
The United Nations can’t dilly dally with Syria either. Their global injustice plate is full and overflowing. Think of Sudan. Think of the Congo. The UN has their other failures to pursue.
Where will John Kerry fly to next? Perhaps he will take a much deserved vacation. Kerry could go hang gliding in the Rockies or some other beautiful mountain range. If you remember, during his failed Presidential bid, Kerry took a couple of much publicized days off during his campaign to relax and refresh in the mountain air. Didn’t help with the Middle America vote but, hey, when you marry into the Heinz fortune you do what you want when you want to.
You see Kerry lost the election but never gave up his Senate seat. So after failing, Kerry went home to the Senate. Now he’s Secretary of State. No harm, no foul.
For the Syrians who attended the Geneva talks, politicians and journalists alike, they have no choice. It’s a one issue reality for Syrians. They have to do or die. Sometimes both.
The Syrian journey home will remain a one-issue affair. That was the reality on the ground before the Geneva talks. That is the reality now. That will be the reality for years to come.
Syria is in free-fall. Or is the game already decided, the regime in place to stay? If that’s the case, if the major political players, including the United States and Russia, have agreed that Bashar Al-Assad will remain, indeed must remain, why not end the charade and allow what needs to happen, happen? The suffering might be the same. The suffering might be worse. But these are only matters of degree.
Is Egypt is in free-fall, or is the game already decided, the regime in place to stay there too? There was a time when the US seemed to struggle with other options and then – obviously – decided. Once decided, the US hasn’t looked back.
Then there’s Palestine when the latest peace process began. That, too, has been decided. Amazing how many people thought the process could go either way. But either way was only one way – perhaps with some minor modifications.
The charade is empowering – for the powerful. The charade is a disaster – for the suffering.
Cynicism fills the air. It isn’t make believe.