Syrian opposition rejects Geneva UN plan

Rick Moran
The one uniting factor for Syrian opposition groups since the beginning was that there would be no negotiations with the Syrian government as long as President Assad was in power.

Why, then, did the UN Security Council endorse Kofi Annan's peace plan that calls for the opposition to talk with the Syrian government while it is headed up by Bashar Assad?

No accounting for blind stupidity.

USA Today:

Syrian opposition figures rejected any notion of sharing in a transition with Assad.

"Every day I ask myself, do they not see how the Syrian people are being slaughtered?" veteran Syrian opposition figure Haitham Maleh asked. "It is a catastrophe, the country has been destroyed, and they want us then to sit with the killer?"

Maleh described the agreement reached in Geneva as a waste of time and of "no value on the ground."

"The Syrian people are the ones who will decide the battle on the ground, not those sitting in Geneva or New York or anywhere else," he said by telephone from Cairo, where opposition groups are to meet Monday.

Bassma Kodmani, a Paris-based spokesperson for Syria's main opposition group, the Syrian National Council, said the agreement is "ambiguous" and lacks a mechanism or timetable for implementation.

"We cannot say that there is any positive outcome today," she said. "The Syrians will not accept engaging in any political track while the killing continues."

There was no reaction from the Syrian regime to the Annan plan, but Assad has repeatedly said his government has a responsibility to eliminate terrorists and will not accept any non-Syrian model of governance.

State-run newspaper Al-Thawra said Sunday "the Syrians are the ones who can determine their future."

The U.N. plan calls for establishing a transitional government of national unity, with full executive powers, that could include members of Assad's government and the opposition and other groups. It would oversee the drafting of a new constitution and elections.

The flailing about by the rest of the world as Syria bleeds (800 dead this week alone) is surreal. It's as if the Syrians and the UN exist in two different universes. Assad will begin no negotiations that would see him relenquishing power. The opposition will begin no negotiations as long as Assad is still in office.

"Concessions" from Russia are meaningless so why water down resolutions to try to elicit their help? Assad may not be winning - but he isn't losing either. As long as he survives, Russia won't lift a finger to stop the brutality.

The one uniting factor for Syrian opposition groups since the beginning was that there would be no negotiations with the Syrian government as long as President Assad was in power.

Why, then, did the UN Security Council endorse Kofi Annan's peace plan that calls for the opposition to talk with the Syrian government while it is headed up by Bashar Assad?

No accounting for blind stupidity.

USA Today:

Syrian opposition figures rejected any notion of sharing in a transition with Assad.

"Every day I ask myself, do they not see how the Syrian people are being slaughtered?" veteran Syrian opposition figure Haitham Maleh asked. "It is a catastrophe, the country has been destroyed, and they want us then to sit with the killer?"

Maleh described the agreement reached in Geneva as a waste of time and of "no value on the ground."

"The Syrian people are the ones who will decide the battle on the ground, not those sitting in Geneva or New York or anywhere else," he said by telephone from Cairo, where opposition groups are to meet Monday.

Bassma Kodmani, a Paris-based spokesperson for Syria's main opposition group, the Syrian National Council, said the agreement is "ambiguous" and lacks a mechanism or timetable for implementation.

"We cannot say that there is any positive outcome today," she said. "The Syrians will not accept engaging in any political track while the killing continues."

There was no reaction from the Syrian regime to the Annan plan, but Assad has repeatedly said his government has a responsibility to eliminate terrorists and will not accept any non-Syrian model of governance.

State-run newspaper Al-Thawra said Sunday "the Syrians are the ones who can determine their future."

The U.N. plan calls for establishing a transitional government of national unity, with full executive powers, that could include members of Assad's government and the opposition and other groups. It would oversee the drafting of a new constitution and elections.

The flailing about by the rest of the world as Syria bleeds (800 dead this week alone) is surreal. It's as if the Syrians and the UN exist in two different universes. Assad will begin no negotiations that would see him relenquishing power. The opposition will begin no negotiations as long as Assad is still in office.

"Concessions" from Russia are meaningless so why water down resolutions to try to elicit their help? Assad may not be winning - but he isn't losing either. As long as he survives, Russia won't lift a finger to stop the brutality.