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View Diary: Pew: 48% of Americans oppose airstrikes on Syria, with only 29% in favor. 54% want U.N. resolution (248 comments)

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  •  He is supported by some factions more than (0+ / 0-)

    others. The Shiites obviously strongly support him because they are afraid of radical Islamists coming to power. But so do many Sunnis:

    Sunni Muslims make up 70% of Syria's 25 million people and it is they who fill the ranks of the rebellion against Assad's minority Alawite regime, considered apostates by Sunni clerics. Yet one reason why Assad remains in power despite being outnumbered by a rival sect is that many Sunnis are on his side, and their support is aiding his survival, say analysts and rebels.

    "If Sunnis were united behind the rebels, trust me, Bashar would've fallen within days," says Abu Qays, an anti-regime Syrian activist in the eastern city of Deir e-Zor who uses a nickname for security reasons.

    Maybe it's worth researching these things before deciding to intervene in someone else's civl war halfway across the world. After all, our last "humanitarian intervention isn't working out so well:

    Libya has plunged unnoticed into its worst political and economic crisis since the defeat of Gaddafi two years ago. Government authority is disintegrating in all parts of the country putting in doubt claims by American, British and French politicians that Nato’s military action in Libya in 2011 was an outstanding example of a successful foreign military intervention which should be repeated in Syria...

    Libyans are increasingly at the mercy of militias which act outside the law. Popular protests against militiamen have been met with gunfire; 31 demonstrators were shot dead and many others wounded as they protested outside the barracks of “the Libyan Shield Brigade” in the eastern capital Benghazi in June.
    •  Sorry (0+ / 0-)

      I do not find a "better the Devil you know" argument to be relevant in the context of even Libya. The liberation struggles in Africa and parts of Asia show just how anarchic a post-colonial or post-dictatorship period can be. In only a few would I say that self-government has been an absolute failure (Zimbabwe being perhaps the worst). Most countries have seen internal conflicts and worryingly authoritarian or incompetent leaders even though they were democratically elected.

      It takes at least one generation and certainly the absence of the generation of liberation leaders for most to settle into what can be a vibrant democracy - which from my observations of an election period about a decade ago they have certainly achieved in Zambia.

      Does this mean I regret decolonization, the independence struggle of Bangladesh from Pakistan and the freedom of South Africans  from the yoke of Apartheid? Absolutely not and neither would I interfere in most of the countries involved unless it got to the stage of a complete breakdown in inter-communal relation into open conflict on the streets and in the countryside as happened in Rwanda and Sierra Leone among others (at least one party there called for the UK to take it back into colonial rule!)  

      Perhaps I take a more optimistic view that any other devil is sometimes better than the one you know. You could also call it a brutally pregmatic view that nobody else is as likely to be as dedicated and efficient at killing and suppressing their own people and on balance fewer will suffer. That, I am afraid, is probably the best that we can hope for.

      We will work, we will play, we will laugh, we will live. We will not waste one moment, nor sacrifice one bit of our freedom, because of fear.

      by Lib Dem FoP on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 10:27:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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