One year ago this week President Obama approached Congress about the idea of regime change in Syria. The long-hated and brutal dictator Assad was to be overthrown.
To make a long story short, no one wanted it and the idea got dropped.
By every indication it appears that the Obama Administration is building up to bombing Syria again, except this time the target is ISIS.
The problem is that the earlier policy of regime change in Syria is still alive.
In an effort to avoid unintentionally strengthening the Syrian government, the White House could seek to balance strikes against the Islamic State with attacks on Assad regime targets.So now we are committed to regime change on both sides!?!
Are you f*cking insane?
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest explained it this way.
"As a matter of US policy, we have not recognized" Assad as the leader in Syria, Earnest said, according to a transcript. "There are no plans to change that policy and there are no plans to coordinate with the Assad regime."Let's be clear here:
There are no other players in this game.
Syrian Kurds have carved out a small autonomous region in north-east Syria, but they have no ability or interest in doing anything other than protecting their own.
As for the other rebel forces in Syria, consider yesterday's news.
It does, however, consolidate rebel control over Syria’s border with Israel and potentially puts extremists on Israel’s doorstep. Al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra was among the rebel groups that participated in the battle for the crossing, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.Consider that much of what little remains of the anti-Assad rebel groups are still al-Qaeda, (recall that ISIS and al-Qaeda had a "falling out" some months back) and now sits literally on Israel's border.
There is practically no one acceptable left to support. At least none that have a realistic chance of winning.
In Syria there are effectively two governments: Assad's and ISIS.
Bombing ISIS would strengthen Assad's hand. What's more, if we are serious about putting an end to ISIS then we can't limit our actions to Iraq. We have to take the fight to Syria, where ISIS came from.
To stand a realistic chance of success, then we need to work with the only other military power in Syria.
degrading IS and keeping it contained will require two things, he says: boots on the ground and some centralized power to maintain some semblance of control. And both of those requirements mean “it is time to give up the chimera of regime change” in Syria.Some targeted bombing will accomplish nothing of importance. Every military analyst in the world says that. Even the Pentagon says that.
“If you really want to keep ISIS in check, it will have to include some ground component,” Desch says. But if you rule out American or other Western forces, as Obama and other leaders have, “then the only option left is to hope that the Syrian military can come in to do the dirty work.”
And given our history with "regime change", it's time to embrace reality.
In his study of American attempts at “regime change” around the world, Stephen Kinzer, a former Times reporter, noted that “most American-sponsored ‘regime change’ operations have, in the end, weakened rather than strengthened American security.”Even if somehow we managed to enable regime change in both Assad controlled Syria and ISIS controlled Syria, we would do nothing more than create a huge vaccuum, circa 1994 Afghanistan. After 191,000 deaths Syria doesn't need more chaos.
Half-measures are not an option here. It would be better to do nothing than a half-measure.