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West should admit Syria peace talks toothless without Assad

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Prague, Dec 3 (CTK) – The West clings to its original scenario of toppling Syrian leader Bashar Assad but it should pragmatically admit that no Syria peace talks can succeed without Assad´s participation in them, Milan Vodicka writes in Czech daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) Thursday.

Assad still remains Syrian president, which shows that the West´s plan to unseat him has failed, apart from being unreasonable, Vodicka writes.

Western politicians continue vowing Assad´s fall, while Syria continues to export troubles and refugees to Europe. This will continue until the West comes to terms with the fact that the Syrian conflict is not a Romantic conflict between good and evil, and therefore it cannot result in a happy-end the West is childishly waiting for, Vodicka writes.

The Assad regime should be a part of the solution to the Syrian problem, he says.

The West still lives in a dogmatic delusion that the [Assad] government in Damascus is an obstacle whose lifting would automatically bring peace, love and endless happiness to Syria, Vodicka writes.

In fact, however, Assad´s removal would produce another round of war. If he were toppled, the jihadists from al-Qaeda and Islamic State would first liquidate everyone around and then wage a “run-off” battle against each other, Vodicka writes.

In the case of Syria, but not only Syria, the West seems to be the prisoner of its own scenario that emphasises principled behaviour rather than search for a solution. The West has outlined a dramatic arch, allotted roles to the protagonists and it sticks to them regardless the real developments, like a fundamentalist sticking to his faith, Vodicka writes.

True, Assad is a bad guy in this drama, but the same goes for almost everyone in Syria now, and some may be even worse than Assad, Vodicka writes.

The Syrian war can never be terminated by a firm principled behaviour but only by pragmatism. None of the participants, either the Assad regime or the moderate opposition or the number one jihadists, who are an official branch of al-Qaeda, or Islamic State as the number two jihadists, is strong enough to prevail and achieve a knockout, Vodicka writes.

The moderates, on whom the West still relies out of inertia, have been ousted from the game now. Although the original civic rebellion quickly developed into jihadism, the West continues to assert that the civil war will end and the situation stabilise if Assad were swept away. However, this amounts to unrealistic dreaming, Vodicka writes.

The idea of the conflict being solved by Arab or even Western forces has been out of the game since the beginning of the war, he writes, adding that there do not exist many other solutions.

For a while, Assad looked as if running out of breath, but the situation changed recently with Russia having entered the scene. The West may not like it, but this is reality. Peace cannot be built on wishful thinking, Vodicka writes.

Of course, the days of Assad´s rule are numbered. He will end one day because his sins will topple him. However, he should be used now. May he sit at the negotiating table, Vodicka writes.

“We usually strike war agreements with those we dislike, otherwise we would not be at odds with them. If the Americans had not sat down with the Vietnamese (and vice versa) at the negotiating table, they might have continued fighting each other in the jungle to date,” Vodicka writes.

The West can continue to play sticking to principles and watch the continuing war in Syria and the migrant wave, Vodicka says.

However, in the present situation, even if a peace conference were held, it would be but an inconclusive chat of Romantic-minded boys sticking to principles if Assad, who represents the largest force in Syria now, were not among the participants, Vodicka writes in conclusion.

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