04.07.2017 09:30 AM

My five-year-old take on Syria

I still stand by most of it.  Link here.

Snippets:

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.

12 Comments


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    Thomas says:

    All great points ESP #4, well said.


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    MississaugaPeter says:

    Assad = Evil, but so is Trump = Evil

    Quickly losing popular support Trump starts a phony attack so he does not get called out by the media and the folks who voted him for not getting Chinese President Xi to do anything about North Korea and the trade imbalance while having him and his wife over at Mar-a-Logo yesterday and today.

    Wag the Dog complete with supposed youtube ready video of dying child.

    Have not seen the video, do not want to search for it, but ask:

    1. Who was filming this instead of helping those around?

    2. Why was the videographer affected by the gas as well?

    3. Did the videographer have a mask that they did not give to the child?

    Sorry, too much bullshit in the World right now not to be anything less than questioning of anything that is being offered to the masses right now.


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      MississaugaPeter says:

      Forgot to add:

      Even Bannon’s rag yesterday afternoon gave Ron Paul a voice to question the attack.

      http://www.breitbart.com/video/2017/04/06/ron-paul-zero-chance-assad-behind-syria-chemical-weapons-attack/

      I just can’t believe how all the world leaders are saying Trump’s Wag the Dog was a properly measured attack. How in the world is attacking an airfield (probably empty) equal to chemical weapons that killed and injured 100s?


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        MississaugaPeter says:

        Sorry, 3rd reply in a short period.

        Incredible what writing something down and staring at it for a while will make you realize:

        The Physicists were right about multiverses.

        I somehow have been misplaced and put in another universe where I now have to believe bombing empty airfields = murder and suffering of hundreds.

        All reminds me of my childhood and watching Star Trek episodes.


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    dave constable says:

    Fairly contrarian article on today’s American Herald Tribune by one Rick Sterling. Sterling is a part of something called Syrian Solidarity. The article gives a bit of context to the allegations about this gassing of people.

    Difficult for me to agree with Ron Paul about much, but, today, he seems to me the American who is making the most sense on this gas attack and missile attack.

    I still have not seen a credible answer to the question, With things going the way of the Assad regime recently, why would they commit political suicide by making a gas attack on this town?


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      MississaugaPeter says:

      My hope is that next week Tillerson goes to Moscow, and an agreement is reached with the Russians to get Assad to step down, split and rebuild Syria multiple ways, and a new initiative between China, the United States, and Russia is created against terrorism and repressive regimes that are still in the middle ages and treat half their citizens like shit (i.e. Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Nepal). All done without the neocons.


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    Al in Cranbrook says:

    Why? Because a) he’s convinced, given the record of US inaction and empty words over the last 8 years, that he pretty much has a free hand to do whatever he wants. And he thinks the Russians have his back.

    Anyone here ever read the book, “Gideon’s Spies: A History of the Mosad”? Very illuminating, albeit there were constraints on just how much could be revealed.

    I’d bet US intelligence has been fed a steady stream of on the ground intelligence by the Mosad since day one. Between those assets, and satellite surveillance bordering on 24/7, the NSA and CIA can probably damn near tell you what the Syrian pilots had for breakfast before they took off on that mission.

    Related in the afore mentioned book, which is a matter of documented history now: Back in the ’90s, the Israelis watched a N. Korean ship leave port, and upon entering international waters, change its colors to those of another nation, and proceed to a port in Syria. There they watched it unload, the last of the cargo being a fleet of trucks, which then proceeded to an “Agricultural Research Center” located out of Damascus in the dessert. Couple days later, about four Israeli F-155 fighter jets took off north over the Mediterranean, did an ingress into Syrian airspace, and leveled the “Agricultural Research Center”, egress over Jordan, and back home. Why? Because the trucks were loaded with nuclear technology. Assad and his government never said a public word for a week, and then only to acknowledge that the “Agricultural Research Center” had in fact been obliterated.

    Point being: 99% of westerners simply do not understand, or refuse to believe, that the other side is playing for keeps. That they despise weakness and indifference. And that they will exploit this at every opportunity. Because that, as history has demonstrated 14 kabillion times over the last 4000 years, is the very nature of the beast. It is precisely how the Stalins, Hitlers, Maos, and Saddams operate, and grow to become mass murdering psychopaths in charge of massive armies bringing down hell and death measured in tens of millions upon mankind.

    Ignoring ’em only encourages ’em. That one can take to the bank. Every time.


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    Kevin says:

    I think you’re right now, and you were right five years ago. Retaliation (will it continue?) by the west is long overdue and very deserved.

    But it has nothing to do with chemical weapons. Those getting hurt in this or any conflict are always the innocent civilians. And they’re just as dead, terrorized, homeless, starving whether it’s chemical weapons or conventional bombs being dropped on them. Sure, chemical weapons are horrible but so are all the others.

    So I’m “cheering” along with most other people that there’s finally retaliation, but it’s more than 5 years overdue.


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    Miles Lunn says:

    Assad needs to go, but I think the real culprit here is Putin. If he weren’t propping up Assad he would be long gone from now. Perhaps tougher sanctions against Moscow are needed. As per one of your earlier post on freezing the oligarchs accounts in the West. As long as Putin continues to back Assad I fear this will not stop.


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      Ronald O'Dowd says:

      Warren,

      The FSB’s stock in trade is at the very least destabilizing, and if possible, deliberately undermining governments that fall into the American Empire category. That’s why they mess with the internal affairs of the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Germany and the list goes on.

      Look what they are up to in Ukraine, the Baltics, Montenegro, etc. If the FSB is the master, then Putin is the ultimate pupil. No one is more effective at soft power plays along with outright destabilization moves.


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        Ronald O'Dowd says:

        That objective applies to the Middle East as well. They want to undermine the American-Arab Alliance. That is their ultimate strategic objective in that region. Hence, the support for Assad – – a vital strategic pillar in the Middle East.


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    Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Warren,

    Trump must know that for this to be successful, the U. S. has to mount an operation similar in scope to Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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