Friday, August 30, 2013

As the United States stumbles into Syria...

We'll be at war any day now with Syria. The Assad regime has (again) crossed that 'bright line' that Mr. Obama warned about: gassing his own citizens.

Probably. Apparently.

I mean, Syrians were gassed -- murdered in carload lots -- and the government has been blamed. There are witnesses and everything.

Britain's Parliament voted yesterday not to join us in this new adventure. The Obama Administration has no plans to give Congress a chance to take a position one way or the other.

I have just one question: Who does our government think we'll be helping when we launch our missiles or unleash our bombers?

There are, in the uneasy coalition of forces arrayed against Assad, persons with whom we in the West could do business. Tolerant, reasonable, democratic people who are just naive enough to think that they may have a say in how Syria will be run after Assad goes.

They can be referred to as Dead Men Walking.

No, when we attack Assad, we will be helping out al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda sympathizers and even operatives have taken leading roles in the anti-Assad coalition. The professional jihadis intervened a long time ago, back when the United States and Europe were just starting to dither. They know an opportunity for expansion when they see it. For western media consumption, al-Qaeda will keep a low profile. But, locally, al-Qaeda will loudly condemn every bomb and every missile and exploit every civilian death, furiously fanning the flame of anti-Americanism among their Syrian allies -- and when Assad is driven from power, with the aid of the aforementioned bombs and missiles, they will rush in like a flood tide, kill their moderate allies and assume absolute control of poor, doomed Syria. The once-vibrant Christian community in Syria will be quickly and completely dispersed (or eliminated).

Frankly, I wouldn't put it past al-Qaeda to have provoked or even to have staged (via infiltration into Assad's own forces) the gas attack that now has forced President Obama to back up his unfortunate promises. I know how cynical that sounds.

But it's a cynical world, especially in the Middle East.

As Americans, we think of "good guys" and "bad guys." Westerns were the most popular entertainment when the good guys wore white hats and bad guys wore black hats and you could tell, at a glance, who should win the inevitable showdown. And, of course, the good guys always won. Westerns went out of fashion when shades of gray were introduced. Bad good guys. Good bad guys. Indians who just wanted to keep their lands as promised to them by solemn treaty.

Unfortunately, much as we wish it were otherwise, the real world is not black and white. Assad is a bad, bad guy. And while there are some arguably good guys who are fighting to see him gone, they have made common cause with guys who are arguably worse than Assad on his worst day. And it's a safe bet that some guys we think are good guys are really pretty bad guys who are just pretending, awaiting their chance.

What are we doing getting involved in this? Has America learned nothing in 20 years of involvement in the Middle East?

I think sometimes The Onion must be on the verge of putting itself out of business. It's supposed to print humor -- sarcasm -- satire. This fake column by Bashar al-Assad, for instance. But if you follow the link and read it, you'll see: It's really not funny -- because it's absolutely right. When The Onion analyzes foreign affairs better than our elected geniuses in Washington, we have ourselves a real problem.

1 comment:

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

this is totally insane, what are we thinking here? and with a grandson on the nimitz it's especially scary.

smiles, bee