You know, there may have been a chance of avoiding such a region-destabilizing Civil War, but that moment, should there have been such a moment, has long passed:
‘As the White House repeated this Monday, the conflict in Syria will only end with a political solution. In other words, the United States should use the leverage it has, in the form of continued pressure and looming military strikes, to help get all sides to the table.’
Could a bomb Saddam-like campaign work?
Joshua Landis at Syria Comment disagrees:
The US, however, should avoid getting sucked into the Syrian Civil War. Thus, it should punish Assad with enough force to deter future use of chemical weapons, but without using so much force that it gets drawn into an open-ended conflict’
But his solution strikes me as the same kind of liberal internationalist, U.N. one worlderish-type thinking that helped get us to this point:
‘The US should strive to persuade all parties to reach a power-sharing agreement to end the war. This can only happen with the cooperation of Russia and other players, such as Iran.’
That’s good for a laugh. We kept a lid on the region. We were the muscle, and now the Saudis, partially due to fracking, partially due to our withdrawal from the region without plans for our replacement, are turning to Moscow. With so many players, including Iran and Russia fighting a proxy war Syria, this sounds pretty unworkable.
This is also why John Kerry’s appeal as to the moral awfulness of chemical weapons, and the need to draw a ‘red line’ and call others to action, while reasonable and historically accurate, still rings so hollow. Geneva conventions do not a peaceful world make:
Are we still the world’s policeman? Stay tuned.
Addition: Ramesh Ponnuru at the National Review, dissents:
‘This is not a military action that we are undertaking to defend ourselves from attack or to protect a core interest. The congressional power to declare war, if it is not to be a dead letter, has to apply here. And it seems to me exceedingly unlikely that Congress would vote to commit us in Syria, because the public manifestly opposes it. This is a war with no clear objective, thus no strategy to attain it, no legal basis, and no public support. I dissent.’
Related On This Site: …From Slate: ‘In Aleppo, Syria, Mohamed Atta Thought He Could Build The Ideal Islamic City’
Michael Totten’s piece that revisits a Robert Kaplan piece from 1993, which is prescient: “A Writhing Ghost Of A Would-Be Nation”. It was always a patchwork of minority tribes, remnants of the Ottoman Empire
I just received a copy of Totten’s book, Where The West Ends, and it’s good reading.
Liberal Internationalism is hobbling us, and the safety of even the liberal internationalist doctrine if America doesn’t lead…Via Youtube-Uncommon Knowledge With Fouad Ajami And Charles Hill