Bassma Kodmani, a member of the Executive Bureau of the Syrian National Council (SNC) and founder of the Arab Reform Initiative, warned AAPA members on Jan. 26 that if the international community doesn’t step in, the situation inSyriawill degenerate into civil war. Close to 30 members heard Kodmani give a pessimistic but realistic appraisal of developments on the ground and predicted little help for Syrians from outside, politically or otherwise.

Kodmani, a former Director of the Ford Foundation in theMiddle East, explained that failing any move or ability by the international community to stop the conflict, there would be an inevitable slide toward a “militarization” of peaceful protests and a growth in prominence for the fledgling “Free Syria Army,” composed mainly of army deserters and local youth.

Kodmani, who also teaches at “Science-Po” inParis, indicated that these disorganized forces need some form of direction and also badly want for basic supplies like communications equipment and even food, in some instances. She attested that the FSA units were being supplied with arms from “private” sources, notably the Syrian community abroad.

She told us that the SNC, which espouses a peaceful solution to the conflict, is in contact with “small pockets” of the FSA and is trying to help with “non-offensive” material but she rejected any question of arms supplies by the SNC to the local “resistance.”

In conclusion, she said: “Every day the situation is worsening. Time is on no one’s side. Neither the revolutionaries’, nor the regime’s.”

Kodmani came to us via committee member Gerry Dyransky, whom we would like to thank. Also, thanks once again to John Morris for his hospitality for the event.

-John Keating