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Sunday, February 12, 2017


Tanvir NewsAnalysis

                     THE SITUATION IN SYRIA

According to official estimates which includes the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute ( SIPRI) and United Nations agencies on disarmament, the International weapons trade accounts to between 70 to 100 billion U.S. dollars each year. This is excluding internal consumption which totals around 1.5 trillion U.S. dollars each year. But these data are collected from weapons producers and government national agencies who wants to advertise their business but at the same time do not want a true estimate of the trade to come out in public because of tax and human rights issues.

     This means that only 20 – 25 % of total weapons trade is made public, which will put the true trade at 350 -500 billion U.S. dollars for external trade and somewhere around 5 Trillion U.S. dollars for internal trade which includes internal consumption by all countries combined.
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-------------------------------------   Both external weapons trade and internal weapons trade require a reason for their existence and trade. Thus both external conflict and war as well as civil war are absolutely necessary for the survival and existence of this colossal weapons industry  which is publicly shown much attenuated so that the very countries which produce these weapons (Weapons of Mass Destruction –WMD) can talk of human rights, peace and disarmament and even act as brokers for peace talks between conflicting parties, but  who always make sure that either the conflict is not resolved at all or not resolved completely, which leaves room for future conflict and future weapons sales.

       Now we come to the principal weapons producers and exporters. By official estimates, U.S.A and Russia accounts for around 55 % of external weapons trade, but my estimate puts it at around 80% of total external weapons trade with U.S.A  accounting for 50% of all external weapons trade.

       The Stockholm International peace Research Institute (SIPRI) puts the share of external weapons trade  for the period 2003-2007 at U.S.A 31%, Russia 29%, Germany 10%, France 9%, England 4% and others 22%.  SIPRI also puts the external weapons trade share for the period 2008-2012 at U.S.A 30%, Russia 26%, Germany 7%, France 6%, China 5% and others 26%.

      Correcting the share percentage and total external weapons trade volume means that in the period 2003-2007, U.S.A earned between 150-250 billion U.S dollars per year or a total of 750-1250 billion U.S dollars. In the same period Russia earned 80-125 billion U.S dollars per year or a total of 400-625 billion U.S dollars.

      Similarly correcting the share percentage and total external weapons trade volume means that in the period 2008-2012, U.S.A earned between 160-260 billion U.S. dollars per year or a total of 780-1300 billion U.S dollars. In the same period Russia earned 90-130 billion U.S dollars per year or a total of 450-700 billion U.S dollars.

         These are massive amounts of money and keeps both U.S.A and Russia at the center stage of world politics with both becoming main brokers in any conflict. Because both never seem to agree on anything ( a so called cold war is going on for the past 70 years ) and thus there cannot be any agreement  and hence any conflict once it starts cannot be resolved, certainly not on a permanent basis.

       Thus for very obvious reasons U.S.A and Russia cannot be part of any realistic peace agreement  between conflicting parties around the world. But considering that conflicting parties require weapons to fight, which U.S.A and Russia have been readily supplying for the past 60 -70 years.This helps both U.S.A  and Russia to monopolize all peace talks and manipulate them to their advantage, which means protracted and prolonged talks with unsuccessful results or at best partially successful results for conflict resolution.This monopoly of external weapons trade means that U.S.A and Russia are  essential for any peace agreement to succeed and since peace disturbs this trade, they make sure that no peace solution is found easily and put hurdles in the path of peace talks siting either perceived differences between each other or some hocus pocus human right issue.

       This monopoly of both U.S.A and Russia can only be broken if an International arms treaty banning all weapons to conflicting parties take effect.This was tried by the U.N General Assembly in the form of International Arms Trade Treaty 2013 which was voted against by the U.S.A for very obvious reasons.

     The only rationale and effective alternative for this failed International Arms Trade Treaty is the entry of a neutral peace broker like the United Nations Organization (UNO) which should broker all conflicts around the world, excluding both U.S.A and Russia if necessary. Other neutral organizations with a massive platform  like my company TN limited, which does not export weapons and hence do not have any conflict of interest can form an effective platform for peace talks.
       Now coming to the Syrian conflict where people of Syria are trying to topple an autocratic regime which has been effectively ruling Syria since 1971 as Ba’ath party first under Hafez-al-Assad and now under his son Basher-al-Assad.

      But to put the Syrian conflict under proper perspective, before 1971,  Syria saw musical chairs with the head of state being changed every 1-2 years for one reason or the other.Thus this period between 1971 and 2011 before the beginning of the Syrian uprising can be regarded as a stable period of governance by Syrian standards. This period led to economic growth and stifling of all democratic and opposition voices. Previously also there were attempts by the people of Syria  to topple the Assad family which were brutally crushed. The same has been repeated by Assad junior.
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       But we must also understand that Syrian society is cosmopolitan in nature with significant proportions of Christians, Shias and majority Sunnis.Thus in any democratic setup, the core democratic value of Secularism has to be accepted and constitutionally validated as well, if democracy has any chance of succeeding in Syria.

       Bashar-al-Assad, the present ruler has the backing of Russia and he has bought 10 -15 billion U.S dollars worth of weapons from Russia, about 10 billion U.S dollars in the last 2-3 years to guarantee continued support from Russia. Obviously U.S.A doesn’t like him, he doesn’t buy weapons from them. This leaves the Syrian people who don’t have any money to buy weapons from U.S.A and hence gain its support. Some neighboring countries have provided weapons to them and maybe 1-1.5 billion U.S dollar weapons have been sold.

 Obviously Russia does not want a regime change, its getting what it wants, including a permanent military base on the Mediterranean Syrian coast. U.S.A would like a regime which would buy weapons from it and give other concessions. Russia wants status quo.

Thus Syrian conflict is a very naked and stark example of U.S.A –Russia weapons trade competition in which over 100,000 Syrians have lost their lives. Recently about 1500 Syrians were killed in an apparent chemical weapons attack. U.S.A wanted to make it an excuse to register a regime change or at least encourage others to finance buying of weapons from it to help Syrian fighters against Assad regime. But we must ask what U.S.A was doing when the other 100,000 Syrians were killed in the past two years ?
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-------------------------------The only effective peace process can be through the auspices of United Nations and neutral parties like my company  ( TN limited).

 I think a fair peace process should include the inclusion of all Syrian people. This means a secular constitution. Syrian people should have the right to choose their government which means a democratic constitution.Thus both democracy and secularism have to be guaranteed in the constitution irrespective of who comes to power.

For this to happen,  the ruling party should select an alternative nominee in the interim government.The opposition should also elect its nominee in the interim government.The United Nations should select its own nominee in the interim government.These three nominees will govern Syria till elections for new government are held under a new constitution.

      In the Syrian conflict millions of people have been made refugees, homes and infrastructure destroyed. The first priority of the interim government should be to see that these homes and infrastructure are rebuilt and Syrian people return to their homes. My  company is ready to bear much of the cost of reconstruction with help from other charity organizations.

Next elections should be held after 3 months of reconstruction and 100 Syrian representatives elected to form and design the Syrian constitution. But Secularism and democracy ( as defined and explained by me in my book “Sexuality: A Study into Homosexuality” ) should be preempted part of any designed Syrian constitution so that rights of all Syrian people could be protected.

  This 100 Syrian elected representatives should draft a secular and democratic constitution and put it on a referendum in front of Syrian people.

Next the government should be elected by the Syrian people under the new democratic and secular constitution.

               May the Syrian people have peace
               Have government of their own
                Have livelihood
                Have democracy and secularism !
               Syria is a Mesopotamian Country!

        Copyright      Tanvir Nebuchadnezar   




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