Solomon Passy: Strike on Syria - the Sooner, the Better, for Bulgaria Too
Interview of Novinite.com and Novinite.bg with Dr. Solomon Passy, founder and President of the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria and former foreign minister, on Syria's crisis.
Mr Passy, you have said that Syria’s crisis has reached a critical point and there is no turning back. But until last week few in the West were publicly contemplating military intervention. What happened so that now it's being reported as "when, not if"?
The behavior of Assad regime has been growing more and more unacceptable for decades. But now the situation has reached a point where the international community has completely run out of patience. I see no chance for reversing the events and making an operation in Syria unnecessary except Assad suddenly decides, at the last moment, to start playing by the rules.
History teaches us however that this type of politicians – such as Milosevic, Saddam Hussein and Gaddafi – are unable to do that, having spent long years in power. Usually their behavior triggers a strong international response, which topples the regime.
Israel has found itself in a very delicate situation. Where does Israel stand and how would you comment that?
It is easy to predict that in case of a military intervention in Syria, a missile attack from Iran will follow. We had a similar scenario during the operation “Desert Storm". Back then Iraq’s response was a rocket attack on Israel. These are actions that are devoid of any political or military logic, but they are facts and we have seen them before.
What are the risks that Bulgaria faces, with or without military intervention in Syria?
Bulgaria does face risks because of the delay in the reaction of the international community. The Atlantic Club of Bulgaria warned as early as last year that the situation in Syria is deteriorating, that military action against Syria is inevitable and Western forces should act even in the absence of agreement at the UN Security Council.
Out of all EU member states Bulgaria is located closest to Syria, we are almost neighbors, only Turkey stands between us. Turkey has already been flooded by about half a million Syrian refugees and they will increase up to one or even two million. There is a big chance that a large part of this refugee flow will be diverted to Bulgaria. The sooner the strike on Syria is carried out, the stronger it is, the better for Bulgaria.
In case of a military intervention in Syria, what do you expect to be the position of NATO and the UN?
I expect NATO to unanimously support the actions of the coalition, and I expect the same from the EU.
The United Nations, of course, will probably be divided, but if the Security Council can not reach a consensus among the permanent members, we should at least strive to gain a majority of the votes – that is England, US and France against China and Russia.
What type of war do you expect in Syria?
I think it will start as a high-tech intervention and sincerely hope that this conflict will avoid the mistakes that were made in previous similar interventions. It is time to show that we have learned a lot from our past.
What will Syria look like after a military intervention?
I think Syria has the potential to develop as a democratic country. It is unacceptable to say for any nation that it is not mature enough to build a democratic society. On the contrary, people grow up together with their democratic society. Let the fate of the Syrian people be left in their own hands!
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