(by doing what should have been done at the very beginning…)

It’s time to quit the diplomatic pussyfooting around with the Syrian situation, which is the main cause of the massive migrant and refugee flood we’re seeing today.

Let’s be blunt about it. The reason this situation exists is because the international community and the US failed to effectively intervene at the start of the Syrian civil war. Instead, for a variety of myopic national self-interests, they all sat on their collective buns as Syria became a failed nation-state and in the ongoing chaos and conflict which has now lasted for more than four years, the barbarous ISIS phenomenon took root adding an equally savage brand of tyranny to that of the Assad regime’s in that unhappy land.

The flood of human misery that we’re seeing now is a direct consequence of that inaction, and the only chance of reversing that tsunami of desperation is by doing what should have been done at the very beginning. That is, to provide as strongly protected as possible “safe haven” zone within Syria where whatever remains of the Free Syrian Opposition can establish itself as an interim governing authority of that zone, safe from attacks from both the Assad regime’s forces and the ISIS hordes, to gather in as many of Syria’s refugees as it can to form the nucleus of a new Syrian secular, pluralist, multi-ethnic, and non-sectarian society, one which can ultimately become a viable alternative to both the Assad regime and ISIS.

For that to happen there can be no concerns about violating an erstwhile claim of “sovereignty” by the Assad regime. It lost whatever legitimacy and sovereignty it might have had the day it turned its armed forces loose upon its own people, killing some 300,000 of them over the past four years, and otherwise bombing almost all of its cities and towns into piles of rubble. So non-intervention at this stage can no longer continue to hide behind the excuse of “sovereignty”. It no longer exists in Syria and to claim so is…nonsense.

The quickest and most effective way to create such a safe-haven within Syria is to have the erstwhile coalition of nations supposedly combating ISIS to declare the imposition of a no-fly/no fire zone over a specific part of Syria. Further, it should declare that any attempts to cross or penetrate that line of interdiction to attack that safe-haven zone will be subject to military counter action, the main form of that being with drone and air resources. Behind that air cover any necessary “boots on the ground” forces can be formed from Free Syrians willing to serve in defense of that zone, and provided with the necessary arms and equipment to help them do so.

Once such a safe-haven zone is established and made secure, international NGOs and other aid organizations can then provide the means to help the Free Syrian Interim Authority re-establish damaged or destroyed infrastructure and essential utility services, along with needed construction of housing, schools, hospitals, communications, and social services, etc. for such a secure and sustainable enclave within Syria. More than likely, once that zone provides them with a place safe from attack by either the Assad or ISIS forces, many of the refugees now fleeing in all directions, will be motivated to return to it, to apply their inherent capabilities and skills to rebuild a free and open society for themselves and their children.

The attached graphic shows what may probably be the best and most viable area of Syria to set up such a safe-haven zone for the following reasons:

  1. It’s backed up all along the Turkish border with Syria, thus allowing for safe and easy transit of goods and other aid services into it. For Turkey, it provides a secure buffer zone between itself and any ongoing conflict with ISIS.
  2. The zone reaches and secures the main Syrian oil producing area, thus providing economic resources to help finance and sustain Free Syrian reconstruction efforts. In effect it lets the Free Syrians become more self-sustaining.
  3. It completely disrupts the logistical channels of support for ISIS, further weakening its capabilities, thus helping with its ultimate elimination.
  4. It leaves the area of Syria beyond it to the Iraqi border as a “free-fire” zone against the main concentration of ISIS forces there, further aiding the coalition’s efforts to eliminate it.

Meanwhile, the Assad regime is left to literally wither on the vine, as more and more Syrians abandon it for a better life within the safe-haven zone. Eventually, once the Free Syrian Interim Authority is able to organize and consolidate its political structure into something calling itself –The Free Syrian Republic – international recognition of it can become a reality, and any remaining diplomatic connections with the Assad regime could be severed. At that point the reunification of all of Syria could be made to become a model as a secure, stable, and prosperous entity in the region.

Of course, for any of that to happen, forward-thinking, and non-sectarian driven statesmen would be required. The question is…do such creatures actually exist, either in Europe or in what remains of Syria?