September 18, 2013
That magic acronym WMD surfaces again because the greatest atrocity anyone can commit is to "gas his own people." Forget the beheadings, shootings and burning of people who would just as soon not participate on either side of a civil war. Forget that both sides in Syria are Muslim and anything non-Muslim is fair game for eradication. Forget that in the aftermath of other interventions to assist Muslims, Muslims murder non-Muslims as the newly installed Islamic government winks. Nevertheless, gassing his own people, well now, that is beyond the pale.
It is also baffling that any leader with half a brain would invite such attention. A president desperate to deflect attention from his behavior duped us into supporting Muslims in Kosovo. We now have a president even more desperate for an excuse to escape his misdeeds and corruption.
We have no friends on either side of the Syrian civil war. We can assist one side only at the expense of inflaming the hatred of the other side. Whichever side wins will use government to oppress their opponents. Whichever side wins will be just as inhumane in the aftermath as they are now. That is the way Islam works and no sensible policy can be formulated until these facts sink in. No matter whom we support in Syria, we lose. No matter whom we support in Syria, Iran will continue its development program for nuclear weapons. Whether Iran has influence in Syria or not will not slow down one single centrifuge. If anything, the myopic and protracted presidential and media attention on Syria is a useful distraction to the benefit of Iran.
The Obama Middle East policy has been exactly the muddled mess of inconsistency he intended it to be, creating uncertainty in the minds of friends and foes alike. This is not an act of incompetence, but part of a long-standing pattern to alienate our friends while supporting our enemies. Our nation has become an unpredictable, inconsistent, unreliable, and mostly ineffectual ally or foe. The appointments of Clinton and Kerry as Secretary of State were brilliant in accomplishing the appearance and substance of indecisive, confused, and irresolute foreign policy. Clinton and Kerry are political opportunists skilled only at deceiving gullible and greedy voters. Putting either of them on the opposite side of the table from a real diplomat reveals the gross incompetence of each.
Clinton in particular has been an odious Secretary of State ignoring the Muslim Brotherhood reign of terror in Egypt while forfeiting American lives in Benghazi to protect appearances. Morsi was smart enough not to "gas his own people" but relied on bullets, machetes, firebombs, and mobs to engage in the murder, rape, and kidnappings of Coptic Christians. The fact that Obama and Clinton both spoke against the Egyptian Military deposing Morsi speaks volumes about their own inhumanity and tolerance for evil. Of course, Kerry is itching for a chance to prove things can get worse and he may be succeeding.
Our interests in the Middle East are manifold and sometimes conflicting. Nonetheless, these conflicts can be resolved if we put aside false notions that someday the Islamic nations will adopt Western values concerning liberty and justice. That will never happen with the possible exception of the Kurds. Democracy in the Middle East is mob rule, and that mob will never be our friend. A weakened Syria that poses no threat to any of its neighbors would be the best outcome. We cannot help the non-Muslim minorities without striking at both sides, and that is not a realistic course of action. I believe the Palin policy, "let Allah sort it out" would be the most prudent.
Since there is no practical way to achieve what could be called our humanitarian interest in Syria, we must not neglect our economic interest. A weakened Syria is not a credible threat to oil production or transport in the Middle East. In fact, the winning side will want any revenues generated by oil production and pipeline transport. It will be in the winner's interest to maintain the free flow of oil. Aside from oil and arms sales, we have virtually no other economic interest essential to national well being in the Middle East with the possible exception of Israel.
National security is another interest, but how does the victory of either side affect our national security interest? The idea of Syria being a threat as a terrorist base is laughable in view of our absurd policies regarding immigration and travel within the United States. We allow thousands of potential and actual terrorist into the country each year. Saudi Arabia is a terrorist base with a proven track record, yet we do nothing about it. There is a practical way to deal with terrorist threats and that is quarantine. Choosing one side or the other in the Syrian civil war accomplishes nothing to mitigate the terrorist threat.
There are times when taking no action is the best course of action, and Syria is one of those times. If we are concerned about saving face, we gave that up when Obama was re-elected. The only face to save is his. It is not worth one cent of American treasure or one drop of American blood in a vain attempt to salvage this president's ego.
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