In Syria, Answering
Atrocity With Atrocity Should Achieve More Atrocity
By William Boardman -- Reader Supported News
Syria is not a real country. by [online.wsj.com]
Are you saying that doing nothing in Syria is the best option?
The unpleasant reality in Syria is that there are no good choices, for the U.S. or much of anyone else. But the crushing reality is that, comparatively, the U.S. and perhaps the world will be better off keeping Assad in power for the nonce, rather than coping with the likely chaos flowing uncontrollably from any other outcome.
There is no good reason to make a bad situation worse. It's likely to get worse all on its own, and unimaginably worse if the government starts to fall.
But wouldn't it be good if the "rebels" won?
Not likely. No one knows who the "rebels" are with any certainty, except that we know they are anything but a united, coherent force. We don't even know if any of them have goals worthy of support. There are many rebel groups with as many interests, most of them lethal -- to each other, to their neighbors, to everyone.
But getting rid of Assad is good all by itself, isn't it?
Oh, of course, just like getting rid of Saddam Hussein was good all by itself. Have you no memory?
Unfortunately, we have been cursed with leadership that chooses to ignore the reality that nothing exists "all by itself." Everything is interconnected, which should be obvious to anyone. But Obama/Kerry don't seem to get it any better than Bush/Cheney did. Their common assumption, that they can control reality and determine outcomes, is a hallmark of hubris (also madness, also bloodthirsty recklessness).
For all the mindless destruction the Iraq war has visited on everyone involved (except the insulated commanders), the indefensible result today is an Iraq that has suffered and continues to suffer far more than it would have had Saddam remained in power. War crimes tend to turn out badly.
So we should leave Assad in power?
The first problem with that question is the assumption that it's up to "us," whoever "us" is. Unquestionably "we" can intervene in any horrific way we choose, and no one can stop us. But that's where our control of events ends, and the benefits of any intervention are hard to identify -- most likely because they are nil.
Of course an attack might briefly satisfy the mindless
impulse to "do something," even if all we accomplished was showing that we were
tough, by teaching Syrians they better not kill Syrians unless they want us to
come in and kill more Syrians.
But chemical weapons are evil, aren't they?
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