Middle East needs peace

Updated: 2011-12-02 08:06

(China Daily)

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When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

This old expression seems to sum up the state of mind of those countries eager to intervene in Syria.

In the wake of Washington and Paris' overt threat to use force against Syria and reports that an American aircraft carrier is heading toward the coastal waters of Syria, the possibility that the United States and its NATO allies will start a Libya-style military intervention in Syria is increasing.

Washington and Paris have obviously been emboldened by the success of the NATO intervention in Libya.

However, it should be remembered the military campaign against Libya, which was supposed to be over in a few days, dragged on for more than eight months, with internal dissension emerging several times within NATO.

And Syria is not Libya. Syria is known as "the beating heart of the Arab world", with an extremely sensitive geographic position in the region.

How the situation in Syria plays out will not only determine the fate of the Syrian authority, but also regional stability, as well as the status of Arab countries in the world and the interests of the whole international community.

The Middle East is an extremely complex region, and history has repeatedly shown that it is a region that can trigger worldwide instability.

Syria is Iran's most important ally in the Arab world. So intervention by Iran cannot be ruled out. And by striking at Syria, the US would actually be trying to clear the way for attack on Iran. It would be a challenge even for the US to launch a war against Damascus and Teheran simultaneously.

Meanwhile, if forced into a corner by a military invasion by the West, Syria would be likely strike against Israel, which would lead to full-blown conflicts in the Middle East.

Even in a limited war, such as the recent one in Libya, it is not only the defeated that pay the price.

There is clearly something out of kilter in the world, with conflicts breaking out one after another. Yet those who benefit from this imbalance in international relations are loath to accept any rebalancing that would make it more difficult for them to run roughshod over the consensus of the rest of the international community.

Avoiding external military intervention is in accordance with the common interests of Syria, Arab countries and the international community.

The crisis in Syria should be resolved under the framework of the Arab League.

(China Daily 12/02/2011 page8)