Musings —04.07.2017 09:30 AM—
I still stand by most of it. Link here.
It is far easier to get into a war than to get out of one. As the civilized world reflects on what to do about Syria, that truism bears remembering.
The grim statistics, however, continue to shock us all: Tens of thousands of Syrians dead, in excess of two million wounded or displaced. Most, civilians — women and children.
Atrocities are commonplace, with new horrors being perpetrated by Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad every day. The usual measures– condemnations, diplomatic censures, embargoes — have done nothing to stop the killing of innocents. With the complicity of China and Russia, and with the military support of Iran, Syria’s little Hitler has survived far longer than anyone predicted he would.
Meanwhile, the pogroms continue apace. At some point, we aid and abet the bloodshed. All that is necessary for the triumph of evil, as Edmund Burke famously observed, is for good people to do nothing. History shows us that much.
Every strategic path in Syria carries risk. We know that if we keep doing what we are doing, many more will die. If we intervene, the same may well be true. But intervene we must. There are compelling reasons to do so.
…destroying the al-Assad regime hurts Iran. Syria’s conflict has become a proxy war, and no Middle Eastern nation has as much to lose in al-Assad’s departure than the maniacs in Tehran. With al-Assad’s departure–ideally at the end of a noose, after a war crimes trial– Iran stands to lose much.
Third, the terrorists in Hezbollah are an extension of al-Assad’s power base. Hezbollah’s “secretary-general,” Hassan Nasrallah, has overseen multiple atrocities to prop up the Syrian dictatorship. At present, the terrorist group has trained and advised Syrian forces, and has killed opposition fighters and civilians. They have worked closely with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard to crush dissent. With al-Assad gone, Hezbollah will be dealt a serious blow.
Fourth, al-Assad represents a real and present danger to Israel and the West. So far, Israel’s government has wisely absented itself from the Syrian conflict, because it knows that pan-Arab opposition to Syria’s regime depends on it. But make no mistake, the security of Israel, and by extension the West, will greatly benefit from al-Assad’s removal and by a destabilized Iran and Hezbollah.
The final argument in favour of military intervention is simple: Morality. Inaction in the face of such terrible war crimes is complicity. And the Syrian people overwhelmingly seek our help; as the recently defected Syrian prime minister, Riyad Hijab, has said, only the West possesses the ability to force al-Assad out.
With care, with deliberation, it is time to do so. We need only cast our eyes over history’s genocides to know what will happen if we stand by saying much, but doing nothing.