The head of the Arab League announced Sunday that an international conference to end the Syrian civil war will be held in Geneva, Switzerland and is set to take place Nov. 23 and 24.
The tension and violence have continually escalated in Syria. At the same time this peace conference was announced, a suicide car bombing occurred at a government checkpoint in the city of Hama.
Bradley Jackson, democracy and power professor at Eastern Michigan University, is not surprised by this violence.
“It is difficult to plan a peace conference during a war,” Jackson said. “It would be naive to think there would be no violence in Syria this week.”
Jackson would like to think a political resolution is possible in Syria, but says he is not optimistic. He feels that as violence continues to worsen in the Syrian civil war, Syrian people will want revenge even more.
In order for a political resolution to happen, Jackson says, “the Syrian people would have to rise above their desire for revenge, which is hard for humans to do.”
Already, the Syrian rebels are reluctant to participate in the conference. The Syrian National Coalition plans to meet Nov. 1 to decide if they want to attend the peace conference in Geneva. The coalition has stated that it will only agree to negotiate if Assad is required to step down.
The Assad regime has rejected these demands, stating that he will remain in power until the end of his current term in mid-2014, at which time Assad will decide if he will seek re-election.
EMU students are also skeptical about a peaceful resolution in Syria.
“I don’t think a political resolution is possible,” said Katie Bontrager, freshman and psychology major. “Communication isn’t working already.”
Junior and political science major Zach Koenig feels that Syria is “a lost cause.”
“What happens between politicians and what happens in Syria are two very different things,” Koenig said. “The Syrian people are going to keep doing what they want to do.”
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