A Brewing Mess in Syria

by Ryan on August 27, 2013

in History,International Relations,Politics,War on Terror

In the wake of yet another chemical weapons attack against the rebels in Syria by the Assad regime, President Obama has allowed the US military to position itself to strike Assad at any time, with multiple options.  This would be the third major military intervention since our Nobel Peace Prize winning President entered office.  Retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters has a number of things to say in this article.  Among them:

Exactly which American vital security interests are at stake in Syria, Mr. President? …

Chemical weapons use? Horrible and illegal, a war crime. So is the mass slaughter of civilians. Is it really so much worse to be gassed than tortured to death by al Qaeda or burned alive in your church? Which is more important, the number of dead, or the means that killed them?

Peters goes on, indicting the endless-war crowd:

…When you propose a war, don’t ever expect a cheap date.

Now there’s an unholy alliance pushing for attacks on Syria. We have liberal zealots, such as our UN ambassador, Samantha Power, who believe that our military’s primary purpose is to protect people who hate America. We have a few Republican senators like John McCain and Lindsey Graham who support any war, any time. We have a president who thinks that, “Gee, maybe, well, gosh, I said I’d do something, so maybe I should…” And we have elements in the defense industry who long for a return to our free-spending years in Iraq and Afghanistan and view a war in Syria as a great way to beat the sequester.

So, lob a few missiles at Assad, telegraphing ahead of time that the strikes are only punitive, not regime-change related.  All the while pissing off Russia and China, as well as (more importantly) Iran which has threatened to attack Israel if we launch a strike on Syria — in essence, a few lobbed missiles could turn into the biggest regional conflagration in my lifetime.  Great.

Members of Congress have weighed in, seeking a “detailed plan” of our combat operations and projected cost.  Good luck with that with this group in the White House.

My issue is simple:  like Col. Peters I don’t see any national security interest in 1) taking down Assad, which will needlessly piss off everyone in an already fractious region tired of American interventions; or 2) in helping rebels who are either working with or will quickly capitulate to radical al Qaeda-linked groups once this is over.  It’s lose/lose.

How about this:  let them fight, make sure it doesn’t spread, and deal with the winner.

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Syria: Brits Out For Now | Axis of Right
August 29, 2013 at 5:48 pm

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