Yoda: Do or do not, there is no try
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back 1980
As the Syrian debate advances there has been one common theme among those who want the US to intervene and those who don’t. The idea that US troops are NOT to be part of any intervention even John McCain.
“I think that the American people are weary. They don’t want boots on the ground. I don’t want boots on the ground,” McCain said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
And that my friends is the problem.
A lot of people are talking “No Fly Zones” or arming rebels but the problem of arming rebels is who the rebels actually are:
Ah, yes, these idealists “had hoped” to turn Syria into Stockholm and, as usual, their unrealistic hopes were compelled to yield to the reality of human nature. Creating “a civil, democratic Syria” would require a populace with some tradition compatible with that goal — and that such people care enough about their goal to fight and die for it
Unfortunately Thomas Paine and Nathaniel Greene are not anywhere in sight near Damascus, what we have instead is this:
The Assad regime — backed by the Shi’ite fanatics in Iran — is likely to give way to a similarly fanatical regime dominated by Sunni extremists aligned with al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood.
If delusions that the “Arab Spring” would result in a more peaceful (or at least, more pro-American) Middle East were not already thoroughly discredited by previous events, the hopeless mess in Syria ought to put an exclamation point on this obvious conclusion.
There is, was and always has been only one way to be sure that Assad is replaced without arming a bunch of our enemies and minimizing the civilian disaster. That’s by going in ourselves and by going in ourselves I mean the full Monty, Air power, Troops, Humanitarian Aid and staying long enough so the moment we leave Syria doesn’t become the next Muslim BrotherHood/ Al-Qaeda state.
The USA of JFK might have been willing to “Pay any price” or “Bear and Burden” to do this. The USA of Harry Truman might have been willing to do this, but today’s USA is not.
We don’t have the political will or the cultural will or the financial flexibility to take on this burden. All this “red line” business is just talk to fool the gullible.
I think it’s too late myself but “Red Lines” not withstanding, if we are going to do anything it should be done with full realization of what it involves and the full commitment to do it. If not then we should mind our own business and stay out.