Andrew Sullivan: “Syria is not a country” — addendum

18 Feb

A New York Times piece a reader sent me from last month makes the same point about Yugoslavia and Syria and fostering sectarianism instead of controlling it that I tried to make in my Sullivan on Syria post: “Bosnia’s Lessons for Syria”:

“Equally crucial is that we ask how our own efforts may interfere with conflict. In Bosnia in 1993, the effect of the unsuccessful Vance-Owen Peace Plan, which proposed new political entities divided along ethnic lines, was to intensify campaigns of ethnic cleansing as warring groups tried to strengthen their positions ahead of partition. We should expect plans discussed in Switzerland to have a similar impact in Syria. This may be unavoidable, but we may be able to predict how the pattern of violence will evolve and allocate resources better to meet humanitarian needs.”

The Vance-Owen plan; like this was ever going to work:


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