Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Dangerous Mess In Syria

John McCain and Joe Lieberman are grandstanding in Turkey, visiting Syrian refugee camps and urging that the US engage in yet another war of choice in the Middle East to secure “freedom and democracy” for the people of this “embattled country.” He did not quite go so far as to declare, as he did during the Russia-Georgia conflict, that “We are all Syrians now,” probably because, unlike the Georgian people, Syrians are not Caucasian. A politician cannot run around saying that he is a “raghead” after all. The man is insane, but he’s not stupid.

He did admit that such a war might not be popular at home, at least initially, but, in a sort of backhanded compliment to our current President, he said that he thought Obama could sell the idea if he tried. His precise quote was, “Americans are war weary, but presidents lead. If the president of the U.S. tells the American people about this slaughter, I am confident the American people will support stopping it.”

I’m not sure if failing to capitalize Mr. Obama’s title in that quotation was his error, a deliberate insult on his part, or an oversight by CBS News. Anyway, while saying that he thought Obama could sell such a war, which is a compliment, McCain was also criticizing him for not doing it, so he was staying fairly true to form.

Actually CBS News is telling the American people about “this slaughter” every night, but it is not selling very well at all, so McCain’s supposition might be something of a pipe dream. The people of this country might welcome another war in the Middle East about as much as they would welcome an outbreak of Bubonic Plague.

And presenting it as a “slaughter” perpetrated by an unsupported Asad regime is more than a little bit inaccurate, to boot. It bears more than a passing resemblance to Libya, which is an adventure that did not turn out at all well for anyone. Eric Margolis has a superb presentation on the reality of what is actually a full blown civil war in Syria, and points out that, “important sections of the armed forces, the 17 intelligence and security agencies, the powerful Alawai minority, most Syrian Christians, tribal elements and much of the commercial middle and upper class still back the Asads.”

He goes on to tell us that the rebel forces include a variety of hugely unsavory groups which we profess to abhor, including those which we are busily killing with drones pretty much everywhere except Syria.

As usual, our leadership is cheering for “regime change” in Syria and, as usual, the accomplishment of that goal would almost certainly further destabilize the Middle East; something which we have developed into an art form.

1 comment:

Bartender Cabbie said...

Last paragraph says it all

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