This is not about Syria, it is about Iran. It does not surprise me that their mortal sunni enemies the Saudis are pushing us so hard to strike. We are carrying their water and I assume assuring our oil tap. The whole Syria problem has to be also seen in the wider cultural subtext of the gigantic religious battle war between sunni and shia. Global domestic disputes are the worst type of conflicts to get embroiled in. A tragic family matter, with no conceivable end game in sight. Exactly the worst type of conflict to meddle in.
Confronted with pictures of Syrian rebels executing their enemies and evidence of their harassing christian and other Syrian minorities yesterday, Secretary of Defense John Kerry made one of the lamest statements in memory in seeking to allay fears that our Syrian rebel allies are radical jihadists.
“I just don’t agree that a majority are al Qaeda and the bad guys. That’s not true. There are about 70,000 to 100,000 oppositionists … Maybe 15 percent to 25 percent might be in one group or another who are what we would deem to be bad guys." “There is a real moderate opposition that exists.So by my primitive math, that means there are only somewhere between 10,500 and 25,000 bad guys.
Why does that not reassure me? We have seen in Afghanistan and Iraq what havoc such a trifling percentage of terrorists can do to the stability of a nation. Sunni extremists have already launched missile sorties on Israel from southern Lebanon.
Bill called last night. He mentioned that sarin gas is horrible, granted, but how much worse is it on a human scale than all of the Syrian women and children killed by more conventional means in the last two years?
This is the clumsiest foreign policy demonstration in memory. Ground troops in Syria would be the biggest blunder. We need to learn from our history. The United States launches such an attack on a country, it owns the country, and all of its problems, sometimes for decades. The Syrians need to sort their own problems out. We risk a much wider regional conflict that involves lebanon, Iran, Israel, Russia and lets not forget the nukes in Pakistan that may or may not be secured. Obama pandered to Congress that this effort was a way to help Israel, a joke that he reaches for that considering his previous distaste for the country, a country that his new envoy Samantha Power once called for invading.
Hard to find good guys in this movie. True, innocent people are dying. Yet, the people in the region will never find stasis if we insist on tipping the scales.