by Mike McCune —
The biggest problem in the debate of whether to go to Syria or not is the large amount of known unknown facts. Let’s cut through the chaff and get to the main points.
There are three indisputable facts in the Syrian civil war. First, women and children are dying as the civil war enters its third year (begun in April 2011 when a dissatisfied military faction rebelled). Second, Iran stands firmly with Syrian ruler Bashar al-Assad. Third, while the revolt among some military units may have started the conflict, the rebel ranks now contain a significant number of imported Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda fighters.
Yet listen closely to Republican leaders like John McCain and Lindsey Graham or Senate President, Democrat Harry Reid, and they are consistent is saying “vital American interests are at stake.”
I have a suggestion, since you are elected leaders, tell Americans what those vital interests ARE. As far as anyone outside Washington can tell, we have no vital interests in Syria. I doubt more than one in four collegians can even find Syria on a map or name one thing we get from Syria in trade.
Assad has judiciously confined the conflict to his own country since lobbing a few missiles into Turkey and bringing the wrath of NATO his direction. But Turkey has a stake in this conflict–an economic stake–and stuck its toe in into the civil war of its neighbor.
With Iran’s aid, Syria is attempting to break Turkey’s stranglehold on international oil pipelines to the Mediterranean Sea. By providing “safe zones” for the rebels, Turkey injected itself into the fight. The Turks should have remained completely neutral but they saw the Syria pipeline as an economic hindrance and opened the border for the rebels to cross at-will to rearm and redeploy elsewhere along the front lines. As attacks from Turkey began turning the battle in northern Syria, Assad retaliated with his own missiles when the combatants fled losing fights to the Turkish “safe-zones”.
Assad probably used the chemicals that escalated this latest round. It is a civil war, the revolt leadership had to know what Assad had backing him up. If the tide of battle turned, did they honestly expect him to take a beating without using everything in his power? Yet we are treated to photo after photo of the results of Assad’s “use of chemicals” in an effort to swing American support to the side of the rebels.
Our leaders are denouncing Assad’s use of chemical weapons as if it is a despicable act because he broke the rules of war. When I had the temerity to ask how war can have rules when studying a history lesson on World War II back in 1957, the teacher never answered the question but sent me to the principal’s office because “I was disruptive.” I still don’t understand how war can have rules when the object is to beat the other guy enough he loses both the will and the ability to continue the fight.
While it is deplorable to allow Iran to continue to build its atomic arsenal, we have conveniently dismissed that fact to paint Assad as a bad guy because he is supported by Iran. If atomic weapons are the irritant, why deflect your blow against Syria who has none but is merely a puppet? If Iran is taken out, where does Assad’s main support come from? But we have proven all bluster and no muscle in Iran.
I seem to be out of touch with recent history but is America’s military still not losing combat troops to attacks by Taliban, Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood in the region? Wasn’t our Libyan Ambassador killed just 51 weeks ago? Yet our “government” leaders continue to push the attack on Syria by helping the very elements that America is battling elsewhere.
Didn’t the D.C. idiots learn their lesson in Iran? Iraq? Egypt? Libya? Nature abhors a vacuum. In that part of the world when a strong leader (the Shah, Hussein, Mubarak, Gadhafi) is overthrown, the Brotherhood or other dedicated jihadists take over. Do we really need to add Syria to the list of “enemies” by helping an established leader be removed?
Our elected buffoons continue to insist we “have a moral obligation” to support the rebels. Why doesn’t the rest of the world see it that way also? Could it be they intend to let Syria determine its own fate since the two sides are both ugly?
If Assad remains in power, we are stuck with an enigma in Syrian leadership. If the rebels triumph we can chalk up one more militant state on the side of our enemies positively. That makes Syria a definite lose-lose proposition for America.
There is no good answer therefore in the Syria question. That alone is a compelling reason to stand clear and let the dust settle.
But Washington is nothing if not stupid. They’ll stick a toe in the water–via missile strikes and “limited engagement”–and soon find themselves neck-deep in another quagmire that “demands our full attention” when the limited engagement doesn’t settle the fight.
There is only one final point to understand. We are engaged with Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and the Muslim Brotherhood across the globe. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” is the point. Assad is fighting the Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda. Therefore, whatever crime he has committed is moot until after the fighting elsewhere has stopped.
Then we can take him to task without helping our known enemies.
“I have sworn on the altar of God eternal hostility to every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”–Thomas Jefferson