In physics there is something called the arrow of time. It means that time cannot be reversed and is something we need to ponder when conflict begins. In cases like Syria, the international community purports to do all it can to stop a revolt in its tracks. But because of the arrow of time, such efforts are futile, only enabling the parties to better prepare for war.
I suspect politicians sense this instinctively, but knowing that it is an immutable scientific phenomenon should help the rest of us realize that a process, once engaged, moves inexorably forward, no matter what anyone does.
But there is something else about the Syrian conflict that is never mentioned on any of the media that I watch, and that is that Israel is directly affected by who rules Syria. Among those concerned with the plight of the Palestinians, Syria has long been known as ‘the front-line state’ because it shares a border with the country that is occupying Palestinian land.
Perhaps neither Israel nor the United States has fomented the unrest that has been wracking Syria for the past year, but I find it difficult to believe that once it began, neither Israel nor the United States did anything to encourage it. Washington’s hesitation waltz when it comes to providing arms and money to the rebels is due to the fact that it doesn’t know who it is dealing with - or more precisely which ideology has the best chance of coming out on top if Assad is toppled. He could be replaced by even more militant anti-Israelis.
The French website Voltaire.Net www.voltairenet.org/L-opposition-syrienne-prend-ses reports that the U.S. is training Syrian and Cuban dissidents in Florida, complete with pictures of a seminar under the auspices of governor Rick Scott and a joint declaration of the participants. Perhaps this is a way for Washington to try to pick the winners. However, it illustrates the fact that the arrow of time applies not only to war, but also to indirect efforts to effectuate regime change: the one in Cuba is still in place after more than fifty years.