Syria appears to be no closer to meeting Arab League demands. On Wednesday November 16, 2011 Syria was suspended from the Arab League and the country has until Monday to cease its violent crackdown of protesters.
Syria to date has said that it will allow a team of outside observers into the country to monitor the a peace deal. However Syria has not agreed cart blanch and there will be conditions. This could mean that the implementation of a peace deal becomes nonsensical.
UK Government Foreign Secretary William Hague is set to meet representatives of the Syrian rebels in London on Monday. The rebels are now grouped as the Syrian National Council and the National Co-Ordination Committee for Democratic Change.
Deaths from the violent protests are continuing in Syria with eleven people killed yesterday.. President Bashar-al-Assad initially agreed to the Arab League plan which was drawn up earlier this month The plan called on Syria to ""withdraw tanks from restive cities, cease its attacks on protesters and engage in dialogue with the opposition within two weeks" As yet has not been implemented.
The US is holding back on Syria and Hilary Clinton said "Syria could slide into civil war" However she did not foresee the global community intervening in the same way it did in Libya. Sensible but the same amount of people are being killed. Syria would be a harder country to crack and it does not have the rich resources of Libya. Those that the West desired.
Opinion: As Syria moves toward open civil war many people in the UK do not want to become involved in another "Libya". Question Time this week touched on the debate and the consensus seemed to be that we should not keep becoming embroiled in civil wars. The UK is a small country that has much work to do at home to keep its own society free and fair. It also needs every penny in its coffers to sort out UK unemployment, poverty health issues and general care.
There could come a time when the UK has to be involved but taking the lead is bonkers. David Cameron and Angela Merkel discussed Syria when they met yesterday and one has to wonder what they decided. In the past the West has turned a blind eye to the struggles of people in many countries so why this recent burst of humanity? It could be that an escalation of world conflict is feared but who really knows?
It is ironic that the same countries that cannot handle protests on their own soil are so willing to support rebels elsewhere. This is not said to compare the Syrian people's struggles to Western problems. Libya should have taught authorities a huge lesson. Yes Gaddafi has gone but Libya remains a power vacuum for now. Was his death and oil worth the price being paid?
Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog