Skip to main content

View Diary: BREAKING: Syrian General defects with 293 to Turkey (23 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Assad must go. It'll be worse when he does. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quicklund, Claudius Bombarnac, mickT

    "There's the rub."

    There is no great policy option for the US right now in Syria. There is no liberal group with any force, no pro-Western group, no secular opposition to speak of, no truly democratic force, and no-one alive with any experience in running a tolerant, open, democratic government.

    According to the NYTimes, we are funding and arming various Islamist revolutionaries who want to violently overthrow the Assad regime. (Imagine if a foreign power did that here!) These are not people or groups who will feel any loyalty to the US if they gain power, even if we help them now. It seems we haven't learned our lesson about blowback, yet.

    Bashir Assad's butchery may become worse than his father's. He caved in to the Baathists (and the hawks in his tribe), rather than setting up a democratic system that would have led to a peaceful regime change and his transition from power. Already, 20,000 people have died, with many more imprisoned, tortured, or wounded. [That's horrific; though less than the 5.4 million killed in Congo, where US reactions are quite different.]

    But Kofi Anan is correct: if/when Assad is toppled/abdicates, the likely outcome is even more sectarian (and intra-sect) violence, followed by an Islamist Sunni government, with likely vengeance against Alewites, Christians, and Assad's Sunni supporters. Instability on Syria's borders is also likely, possibly destabilizing Lebanon, the Kurds (hence Turkey), Iraq (with a 65% Shia majority -- Iran was the biggest winner of the US invasion), and with unpredictable effects in Palestine/Israel.

    A Moslem Brotherhood regime in Egypt and (increasingly-likely) in Syria do not bode well for Mideast peace. Regimes rooted in a religious legitimacy (Saudi Arabia, Iran, Israel) are difficult to reform or topple, with exacbated in-group/out-group policies.

    Depending on the parameters agreed on (perhaps with Russia), it is not inconceivable that some (limited!) role for Assad could result in fewer people killed and a system of government with more protections of minority rights and checks and balances against the tyranny of the majority.

    I'm not betting on any positive outcome, within four Friedman Units at the least.

    •  How is it that people can read what they want to (0+ / 0-)

      hear rather than what is said. I just commented on that say NY Times article in my other diary. I said:


      For example the NY Times recently did a major piece about Obama administration support for the rebels and all it amounted to was:
      A small number of C.I.A. officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey, helping allies decide which Syrian opposition fighters across the border will receive arms to fight the Syrian government, according to American officials and Arab intelligence officers.
      The article says they have only been there a few weeks, aren't actually supplying any arms, just trying to make sure no weapons being supplied by others fall into Al Qaeda's hands, and
      The clandestine intelligence-gathering effort is the most detailed known instance of the limited American support for the military campaign against the Syrian government.
      Which basically means there has been no military support for Assad's opposition from the US.


      That NY Times article does not say:
      we are funding and arming various Islamist revolutionaries who want to violently overthrow the Assad regime.
      In fact it says this is not true:
      The C.I.A. officers have been in southern Turkey for several weeks, in part to help keep weapons out of the hands of fighters allied with Al Qaeda or other terrorist groups, one senior American official said. The Obama administration has said it is not providing arms to the rebels, but it has also acknowledged that Syria’s neighbors would do so.
      If you believe this article, the CIA has only been involve for several weeks, not since the beginning of the uprising, there are only a small number of agents and all they are going is making sure weapons for the FSA don't wind up with al Qaeda.

      You may believe the CIA is doing more than that and indeed, they may be doing more than that but you can't cite that article for those claims.

      Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

      by Clay Claiborne on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 10:31:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Right, Qatar doesn't need US approval (0+ / 0-)

        Can I sell you some sand? It's really high-quality sand, made in Saudi Arabia. Only $100/ounce. Quantity discounts are available. ;-)  

        Just kidding.

        Clearly the US is aware of and condones the arming of Syria's rebels by Qatar and others. It is quite common for the US to use allies to fund things we don't want public, no? And if we wanted to stop such funding, we could put pressure on Qatar and others (presumably quietly, diplomatically). But we're not stopping them, in fact we're helping guide those funds to non-AlQaeda forces (which Qatar, KSA, Turkey also want).

        It's not clear to me what you are recommending. Do you really recommend that the US ramp up funding and arming of fundamentalist Muslem Brotherhood revolutionaries in Syria, to violently overthrow the largely-secular, minority-Alewite government? Or, US bombing runs and 'no-fly zones' (Russia be damned)? A full-scale
        US invasion?

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

  • Recommended (173)
  • Baltimore (88)
  • Community (84)
  • Bernie Sanders (66)
  • Freddie Gray (60)
  • Civil Rights (58)
  • Elections (41)
  • Culture (38)
  • Hillary Clinton (36)
  • Media (36)
  • Racism (33)
  • Law (32)
  • 2016 (31)
  • Labor (27)
  • Education (26)
  • Environment (25)
  • Republicans (23)
  • Politics (23)
  • Barack Obama (22)
  • Economy (21)
  • Click here for the mobile view of the site