Friday, October 16, 2015

Sherif Elgebeily on a 'Royal Rumble' in Syria

Sherif Elgebeily (CCPL)
The Conversation
15 October 2015
As a child, I would eagerly await the annual World Wrestling Federation (now WWE) “Royal Rumble” – 30 of the best wrestlers, all in one ring, fighting it out in a lengthy and often brutal (and yes, scripted) affair over the course of hours to be the last man standing.
     The most entertaining part, I found, were the “stables” – groups of wrestlers who joined forces only to knock out stronger opponents like Andre the Giant. At the end of the showcase, when only a few wrestlers remained, the true agenda emerged. Any “stables” forged to get this far were tossed aside like prop chairs. Without a common enemy, the wrestlers turned on each other.
     In Syria, a disastrous “Royal Rumble” is now under way.
      While working on the Iraq Team of the UN Department of Political Affairs in 2008, I learned the importance of interstate cooperation in the pursuit of a shared goal. Having also researched the decision-making process of the UN Security Council, I am aware, too, of the failures that emerge when countries cannot reach mutual agreement.
United against ISIS
Russia’s military intervention to fight the Islamic State shares some of the common goals of the anti-Assad alliance involving the US, UK, Australia, Canada, France, Turkey and no less than six regional Arab States. All sides have already intervened to varying degrees with military force, bombing or supporting the bombing of targets each claims are strategic. But strategic to whom?
     On the surface, Russian strikes can be interpreted as a lifeline for Syria against the creeping lava of ISIS, which destroys everything in its path and stubbornly solidifies. After all, anyone bombing ISIS is good news, right?... Click here to read the full article.

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