Let’s see, you’ve got a military equipped with Russian and Russian-inspired weapons, guys running around in blue helmets clucking their tongues at the shame of it all, civilians being killed as part of the plan, and warring factions that have no redeeming value whatsoever using racism and religion as a reason to slaughter.
Am I talking about Sarajevo in 1994 or Damascus in 2012? To be honest, I’m not sure.
With the massacre at Houla and the discovery of the bodies of 13 men who were executed with their hands bound behind them, Syria is beginning to look more and more like Bosnia and Herzegovina every day. Playing the part of the Bosnian Croats and Muslims you have the Free Syrian Army. They follow in the tradition of their cousins to the northwest in that they present themselves as innocent victims of an oppressive enemy bent on genocide, all while mimicking their tactics to the letter. Playing the part of Arkan’s Tigers you have the Shabiha, a paramilitary group that kills at the whim of the Assad regime.
I’m half expecting to see Christiane Amonpour doing interviews any day now.
The west is also following the same pattern as we did in the early 1990’s. First, we deplored the violence, then we slapped some sanctions on the party we blame for all this mess. There is already talk of a no-fly zone, although Assad seems smart enough to make the same mistake that Qaddafi made in Libya and is keeping his jets and helicopters on the ground. Generals are hinting that we have war plans all drawn up and ready to go. Russia and China are vowing to stop any direct intervention in the security council, and a Democrat president is fiddling around in a war we don’t have a stake in. All that’s left now is to air drop in leaflets and MRE’s in the dead of winter.
Let’s be honest: I don’t care about Syria. I care that innocent civilians are being harmed, but I don’t care to get involved in the war that’s harming them. The most I’m ready to support is for Turkey, Jordan, and Iraq to set up refugee camps with our logistical support and let the dunderheads in Syria slug it out until only the strong survive.
But there isn’t any benefit to us intervening directly. We cannot and will not win if we intervene. Oh yeah, we’ll knock the crap out of anyone who tries to oppose us imposing peace, but our ‘peacekeepers’ will immediately come under attacks the same way we always get attacked when we try to do good in third world shitholes. We will be the oppressive foreigners there to stop all their fun, and a new national pastime of “let’s car bomb the Americans” will be born.
In recent podcasts, Bryan Suits has made the same points, and he brought up something I hadn’t thought of: Weapons of Mass Destruction. Unlike Saddam Hussein, Assad has a huge stockpile, all declared, ready to go. Saddam just played games with the UN. Assad has bunkers full of the stuff, just waiting to be loaded onto planes or put in the breech of an artillery piece. Mr. Suits points out that getting hold of just a fraction of Syria’s stockpile is a wet dream for al Qaeda. So I guess the only way I could justify the use of our armed forces in Syria would be to secure and/or destroy them. But to be honest, I’d much rather see some of the countries that have been paying lip service to keeping WMD out of the wrong hands take action here instead of us. Since Russia and China probably either gave the weapons to Syria or helped them manufacture them, how about they get a little skin in the game on this go-round?
To sum up: Syria isn’t our fight. There is no benefit to the United States, or just about anyone else on the planet, to intervene. At most, we should support refugees who get out from between the factions, and maybe take action to make sure that no-one gets hold of Assad’s WMD. Other than that, let the Syrians bleed each other white. I’ve been watching coffins come back from the third world because someone saw something on CNN that made them cry for too long, and I’m tired of it.