Several people have asked me my opinion on Syria and whether or not we should help the rebels oust Bashir Assad from power. I honestly didn’t have an answer at the time but after a bit more research on the subject, I have come to the conclusion that we should leave it alone. Here are my reasons:
1. Assad is pro-West
Syria is one of the few places in the Levant where you have a melting pot of all types of people of all kinds of faith. There are no laws making Islam greater than any other faith. At Christmas time, you can see many nativity scenes, Christmas lights on houses and businesses, Menorahs at Hanukkah and such as well as Islamic holidays like Ramadan. The gov’t of Syria has long encouraged a secular approach to faith and mixing of cultures. The rebels they are fighting are most certainly NOT…. Women aren’t forced to cover themselves at beaches or forced to wear a headwrap, they aren’t convicted of a crime if they get gang-raped like in other Muslim countries where extremism is prevalent.
2. Al Nusra is Al Qaeda!
Al Nusra is the biggest rebel faction in Syria at the moment. They are a direct affiliate of Al Qaeda, the same people we’ve been trying to blow the crap out of for the past 10 years in Afghanistan. For us to turn around and SUPPORT the same kind of extremism that caused 9/11, youtube beheadings, the beating of women for reading books or not completely covering their bodies, etc. makes the sacrifice of every single soldier who gave their time, their limbs, even their lives a complete joke. Either we’re FIGHTING Muslim extremism or we’re NOT. How can Obama claim to be fighting Muslim extremists when he’s giving those SAME extremists guns and money and now talking about lending them military assistance? An act, by the way, which violates every anti-terror law he’s enforced… In my opinion, after supporting Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and now Al-Nusra in Syria, maybe Obama needs to check himself in at the Hotel Gitmo to get his head on straight…. but that’s another story….
3. Let Russia fix it!
Russia has backed Assad just like we backed Saddam in Iraq. You might even call Assad a puppet of Russia because when Putin yells “jump”, Assad jumps. Just like it was our responsibility to keep the clown we backed in Iraq in check, it’s Russia’s responsibility to keep this clown in check. We needn’t get involved. I’m sure many of you will immediately jump on the “but JEFF! You said we needed to stop Saddam because he was a tyrant and had WMD’S!” Yes, I did. As for the tyrant bit, I remain skeptical. Assad and his wife live a lavish lifestyle as MANY people in MANY pro-West middle-eastern countries do. To jump all the way to comparing him with Saddam Hussein who was PROVEN to have used chemical weapons during the Iran-Iraq war, who we WITNESSED ordering the wholesale slaughter of ethnic Shiites after the Gulf War was over, who put people in plastic shredders, massacred entire cities, condoned his sons using “rape rooms” for unsuspecting women just walking down the street, killed his own brother for power, etc. is comparing apples and rocketships. As for Assad using chemical weapons, I’m not sure……
4. WMD’s used by Assad…. or the Rebels?
I have seen several news links and reports that Assad is most assuredly using chemical weapons on his own people in Syria. Yes, tried and true news reporters with NO BIAS towards the Obama administration such as CNN, CBS, and NBC… you know, those paragons of integrity that tout administration policy to the point of either downright lying, doctoring video/audio or just completely burying any story that proves the opposite… Anyway, these “news” networks have had talking head after talking head on the tube, you know the type: retired generals whose foreign policy experience includes trying to figure out a way to get out of paying child support to some Filipino mama-san with a blue-eyed kid he met in some “sailor wanna hump-hump bar” all the way up to senators whose total foreign policy experience was smoking a joint on a river boat in ‘Nam. Either way, every single one is 99% sure, ALMOST undoubtedly that Assad is the bad guy gassing his own people. (No PROOF has ever been brought forward, mind you, only speculation.) NOT ONE dissenting opinion on ANY of these so called unbiased news outlets. Meanwhile, every obscure website that even carries a SCRAP of news including the Associated Press on the internet has stories of the REBELS TAKING CREDIT for chemical weapon attacks. Google it if you don’t believe me. Until we catch one or the other with their finger on the trigger, it’s all just hearsay anyway.
I was never EAGER for war in Iraq, and I’m sure as hell not eager for it now, especially in the middle-east. Fighting wars in that region is pointless, asinine and just bat-shit crazy. Given that, I’ve become a bit isolationist over the past several years. But the last reason I have for not going to war with Syria is this: If you’re going to fight a war, fight it to WIN. Our military leaders and congressmen think wars should be fought to eventually change the other guys’ mind. You can’t do that with candy and toys. You have to DEFEAT your enemy. Get them to unconditionally surrender. Period. THEN you can make the world “safe for democracy” or whatever. This “hearts and minds” crap didn’t work in Vietnam, didn’t work in Iraq or Afghanistan and it won’t work here. Whether Obama is right or wrong, I can guarantee winning a war won’t be the end goal and that in itself is reason enough for me to say stay the hell out of Syria.
What is essential in war is victory, not prolonged operations. -Sun Tzu