One wonders what our leaders in Washington are thinking these days? Why are we attacking Syria over chemical weapons? Since when is Syria a threat to the US? Yes, it is a threat to Israel, but that shouldn’t make it our issue. The Syrian government is brutal and nasty, but they’ve been killing rebels for years. I hate to put it this way but but killing civilians with bombs is just as bad as killing them with chemicals. We have no interests in Syria. The Syrian opposition is almost as vile as the government (and they would be as vile if they had the resources).
I wonder if Obama has any concept of foreign policy. Is this civil war destabilizing the region? Not really, at least not any more than all the other messes going on right now (see: Yemen, Libya, Egypt etc.). The key word is region. Syria is surrounded with well armed nations: Israel, Turkey, Iran, Egypt. I don’t see the mess spreading in those countries. Our foreign policy should be about our interests, I don’t see anything here that is in our interest.
The Gulf states (in particular Saudi Arabia) are pushing for action. The Gulf Arab states are wealthy. If they wish to buy bombs and guns, let us sell them some, but let them kill the Syrians not us.
All I can say is the USA needs to stop trying to police everything that goes on in other countries. Let the Middle East handle it’s own. We have enough of our own problems here in our country. I find it ridiculous and dangerous that we keep sticking our noses in where we don’t belong.
Great post, Jerry. The US and its allies should avoid military intervention in the region, such military action, no matter how limited in scope, can neither hope to garner UN sanction nor the approval of the Arab street. Worse still, it would draw the western powers into a larger, prolonged conflict involving all regional stakeholders. Besides, historically western military interventions in the region had regrettable consequences. Previous conflicts in Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan bear testimony to this. Plus, the idea of foreign intervention of any kind is hugely unpopular across the region as reflected in the refusal of almost all regional governments to publicly endorse such a measure.
If the use of chemical weapons were ignored by Washington in the 1980s in Iraq, why are they considered a U.S. red line in Syria today? War is often a poor strategy of problem solving. It is hard to control the use of chemical weapons by shelling missiles from the sea or the sky. Destruction and loss of innocent life is unavoidable through a military strike. In fact, the history of “solving” problems through air strikes in the Middle East reveals a cumulative record of counterproductive outcome. Let us hope that the devastating chapters in our country’s history don’t repeat themselves. Of course, they wouldn’t have to, if we would just learn from our mistakes.
I cannot agree with you more. I am bewildered that the US has ignored chemical weapons atrocities when it is convenient, but had made a big deal this time. The US has no fat in the fire in Syria. The rebels seem to have a large Islamist element (the backing by Saudi Arabia almost assures that). If we have any potential friends in Syria it is the Christians who are backing the status quo.