Have you heard? Syrians are killing one another at an alarming rate.
There have been over 100,000 people killed, approximately 65,000 of whom are considered “combatants”.
For a good summary of the conflict, click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrian_civil_war
I will not spend time detailing the events of the last almost 30 months since the war started, but will instead share my thoughts about the conflict and what to do, or what not to do about it.
Considering that Syrians are killing Syrians, and considering the strong antipathy of most Syrians toward Israel (and Jews), my initial inclination is that we should let them kill each other until no one is left.
This is one more in a series of global conflicts in which hundreds of thousands or more have been killed, and will continue to be killed. In which of these conflicts did the world intervene? Rwanda? Cambodia? Name a couple, let’s see what the world did.
More recently, the world has its knickers in a twist because someone in Syria used chemical weapons against civilians, and, by some estimates, as many as 1,400 people died as a result.
Of course, this is unacceptable to the world, since we now have “rules” for war, which no one follows, generally, but there are rules, and chemical warfare is against the rules.
Also, of course, the amount of torture, rape, killing of innocents, and general havoc deliberately wreaked on civilians, is also against the rules.
So, what should we do? What CAN we do?
Obviously, waiting for the UN to decide to do something, given its partisan divisions of sponsorship of the rebels and President Assad’s “team”, will result in the same level of inaction as we’ve seen in most other conflicts around the globe.
That may or may not be a good thing.
Yes, innocent people are dying in Syria, just as they are in other places in the world.
Personally, I would object strenuously to my sons (I have three) being sent to Syria to fight, just as I would object to them being sent to Iraq or Afghanistan, since I think our objectives in entering those arenas were and still are specious, at best.
War must have an objective. Before you wage war, you’d damn well better know what it is you hope to accomplish.
If the objective is to send a few cruise missiles as a “shot across the bow”, with no intention of following up to “win” the war, what’s the point? Why do it? To win political points and claim “well, at least we’re doing something”?
If we are not interested in unseating Assad, defeating him soundly, then we shouldn’t consider doing anything.
Personally, I’d like to see Assad disappear. He and his “sponsor”, Iran, are two of the major exporters and supporters of global terrorism, as well as supporters of the campaign to wipe Israel off the map. Personally, I object to that campaign.
Given the option to restore some “balance” to the world by toppling both the Iranian and Syrian regimes, I might consider supporting an attack, but, attacking to gain political advantage is pure anathema to me, and a waste of time, money, and probably lives.
When one considers that a potential consequence of attacking Syria is that Syria will start shooting missiles at Israel, it becomes even more of a no-brainer.
I would rather let them fight and kill each other than send even one American to Syria.
I would make sure that Syria understands quite clearly that ANY missiles, mortars, rifle fire, or even rocks directed at Israel will unleash a barrage of Israeli rockets against Syrian positions, immediately, and that the USA will unconditionally support Israel’s right to self-defense.
Other than that, though, we should not get all worked up about chemical warfare while 100 times that number have died already.
And, if the justification for intervening is chemical warfare, what then should we say about George W. Bush’s decision to intervene in Iraq because of weapons of mass destruction, of which chemical warfare is one element?
We KNOW Saddam Hussein had these weapons, because he used them against the Kurds in his own country. Where was the outrage of the world then?
No, this conflict has to burn itself out, just like the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan need to do.
Much of the roots for these conflicts are based on the artificial boundaries on these “new” countries, many of which were set up by the British and French after World War I, and include population groups that don’t get along, and never have.
I know this is long and a bit rambling, for which I apologize. I hope it provides a bit of food for thought.
Bottom line – keep out of the Syrian conflict. Let the Arab League send THEIR troops, rockets, missiles, etc. into Syria. Until and unless the conflict directly affects our national interests, we should stay out of it.