By Don Boys, PhD:
Syria, a close ally of Russia and Iran, is a divisive, disordered, and disintegrating nation that should alarm the U.S. but not activate us. It calls for our attention but not action. Proud, patriotic, even pious people have demanded we jump into that snake pit; however, we must be very wary of sincere patriots who want to kill people because they think they may be a threat to us or someone else!
Trump should show restraint in dealing with Syria. We have about 200 special forces there but more will follow if the War Party has its way. The plan isto keep small but effective U.S. garrisons indefinitely in eastern and northeastern Syria and western Iraq. Four military installations “already are being used by the anti-ISIS coalition, either openly or semi-covertly.” Mission creep is in our future.
Syria is a Muslim nation with 75% belonging to the Sunni sect. Dictator Bashar Assad is a member of the Alawite Muslim sect (a Shiite offshoot) and is supported by most religious groups because he offers some stability. Most of his generals are also Alawites. Assad is an efficient killer, especially when cornered, but he has governed the nation and provided stability and protection to Christian churches.
Moreover, he is supported by Russia, Iran, and the terrorist group, Hezbollah. His opponents are a ragtag collection of Islamic fanatics including the Jabbat al-Nusra terrorists, who will cut the throats of their cobelligerents as soon as the present regime falls.
Assad’s opponents consist of hundreds of local activist groups that have sprung up since early 2011 with growing coordination on the national level.Some factions want a violent Taliban-type state after Assad is toppled, while others are willing to accept religious diversity. Still others advocate for a secular government. They have little in common except their hatred of Assad’s regime. Often, fighters are willing to overlook some doctrinal differences if a leader has better weapons to offer. Obviously, it is a mangled mess of murderers who hate other murderers.
Christians make up about 10% of the population and generally side with the Assad government since it has been supportive of them and protected their minority status. There are Christians who have gone to the rebel side but, generally, it is thought that the Christians are in bed with Assad since the Muslim alternative is unthinkable. It is similar to the old ploy of going along feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last–but eat you he will. When push comes to shove, Assad will shove–anyone in his way. Christians are trying to stay out of his way.
The rebels against Assad who often fight among themselves, receive support, funds, and weapons, including anti-tank weapons, from Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar. They are now controlled by the most extreme Muslim fanatics. The U.S. has refused to support any of these “opposition” groups because they may fund a worse thug than now occupies the catbird seat in Damascus! However, the U.S. has dropped weapons and ammunition to the Kurdish YPG militia in its campaign against ISIS.
The opposition to Assad is a mixture of Sunni fanatics, thieves, criminal opportunists, and a few freedom lovers who coalesced into the Free Syrian Army and the Al Nusra Front with links to Al Qaeda. Add Kurdish militias (who hate the two above groups) to the volatile mix and you have ingredients for disaster.
But in spite of all the above, here we go again! John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and some GOP (Grand Old Progressives) and many Democrats have been beating the war drums to a deafening pitch. Progressives seem to think America is destined to fight every war in support of the good guys; however, in Syria there are no good guys: it is a monstrous dictator against Muslim fanatics. It is tragic that more about 500,000 lives have been lost; 1,000,000 wounded; and the internal or external displacement of 11,000,000 but that battle is not our battle. To those who say it is our fight, I ask if we are to get involved in every battle on earth. We would be wise to heed Winston Churchill who said, “To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war.” I say, “yes, yes.”
The U.S. invaded Iraq because we were convinced (many say wrongly) that they were involved in the attack on the World Trade Center. A nation must respond when it is attacked. However, Syria has not attacked us and they are not a threat to us. Let the bloody bullies bang their heads together and resolve their own differences. If Israel wants to get involved, that is their business. Let the Middle East nations that are threatened take whatever side they choose. It will not be a principled decision since there is no noble principle involved, only violent religious and political hatred. All factions are thugs, thieves, tyrants, and terrorists.
America has become not only the world’s bank but also the world’s policeman that is obligated to clean up the Syrian mess! My opinion: the cost of one American life is too high a price to pay for getting involved and it is not wise for us to pour billions of dollars into that cesspool of a nation while we struggle to pay our national bills. We have seen our young men and women (!) return from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan missing their limbs and burned beyond recognition. Moms have been killed leaving small children without a mother. But then, that reflects upon us because any nation that must use women to fight its wars is probably not worth defending.
Bush made a super dumb statement when he spoke of taking democracy to nations in the Middle East. They don’t want democracy and even if they did, the burden to take it there is not a U.S. burden. After all, who appointed us the Paladin of Peace? We don’t have the money nor should we sacrifice our youth in a war that cannot be won. Our desire to share the principles of freedom should not entice us into a war that will be a Hundred Year’s War; however, it is easier to fight for your principles than it is to live according to your principles. Let’s live them and let other people learn them from our example. Furthermore, the winner of the Syrian conflict would not be welcomed at any decent person’s dining table. America should let other nations fight this war then everyone will be losers–except us.
World leaders still haven’t received the message: there is no way to beat Islamists. We can blast a nation into the Stone Age but that won’t win the war. Fact: there will be perpetual conflict as long as there are Koranic Muslims down at the local mosque. We will be at war and living with terror to the end of time! The next war could very well bury Western Civilization forever as well as the barbarians on the Arabian Desert.
Furthermore, there is the issue of national sovereignty. Who gave America (or Russia, China, Israel, etc.) the authority to interfere in and invade another nation? Do we believe in national sovereignty or not? Do we believe in sovereignty for us but not for “them”? No one has even tried to justify this.
Only a fool will say that we have any chance of establishing even a semblance of freedom in Syria. Freedom doesn’t work in Islamic nations since freedom is the antithesis to sharia and jihad.
Non-thinkers, bubbling over with naiveté, praised the uprisings in Libya, Egypt, etc., and now they realize that we got much more than we wanted. Radical Muslims have been enabled and are now in control with sharia and jihad as the norm. Moreover, our incursions into Iraq and Afghanistan are two more abject failures of a stupid, senseless, strident, and suicidal foreign policy.
Trump and other politicians should use their bloody pulpits and the media to promote freedom everywhere but keep our men, money, missiles, and munitions (with a few exceptions), at home.
Oh, also keep our maidens and moms at home.
Boys’ new book Muslim Invasion: The Fuse is Burning! was published recently by Barbwire Books; to get your copy, click here. An eBook edition is also available.
© Copyright by Don Boys, PhD, 2016. All rights reserved.