Friday Firesmith – The War In Syria

Friday firesmithThere are three rules of getting involved in a Civil War:
   1. Don’t.
   2. Pick the winning side.
   3. Make sure the winning side wins.

The United States has a very dismal record in keeping to these rules and if recent activity and talk are any indication as to what’s about to happen  our record will get much worse before it gets any better.

First off let’s look at winners and losers:

In the Loser category we have first and foremost the Syrian people who will now be listed as “Collateral Damage” which is a term that means they’re going to die when the bombing begins. Whatever war makes bad more war makes worse for civilians. “We had to destroy the village in order to save it.”
Israel comes in second because when this war breaks out there is almost a certainty that someone is going to try to drag Israel into it. Iran and Syria could send more missiles into Israel than anyone can guess. Loaded with Sarin we could very well be staring at the extinction of Israel in less than a month.

Jordan comes in third because when all hell breaks loose they are going to inherit a mass of refugees. This will tax the already meager resources of this tiny country to the breaking point.  Either Syria, the United States, Israel, or hell, anyone with an interest in this war, might just overrun Jordan and never look back.

The United States Tax Payer is footing the bill for this war even though more people oppose it than voted for either party in the last election. With a weaken economy and an exploding national debt, the last thing we need is an open ended conflict in the Middle East.

The United States reputation. Either we go in big and get bogged down or we go in light and the bad guys survive to kill another few hundred thousand people. Desert War One or Desert War Two, either model was and is a failure.

Who win?

Iran makes out like a bandit on this one. They get into a situation where with little effort they can once again drain American blood and money on the sands of the desert without much loss. They gain the reputation of being someone who can kill Americans with impunity.  As the Sunni regime in Syrian weakens the Shiites in Iran rejoice. We’re doing their dirty work for them. We gave them one country and now we’ll hand over another.

Russia wins big because they’ll help anyone who fights us and they look like the country out there protecting the little guy from the big bully. The Syrian government will survive and they’ll become a puppet state to either Russia or Iran.

The Oil Speculators win because oil will take a big jump in price in this war.

Those people in the business of war will make out nearly as well as they did in the last war, but this time they’re better prepared for it.

The idea that there is a weapon whose capabilities include the annihilation of Sarin without the possibility of that agent being released into the surrounding area is ludicrous. Under pristine conditions I would argue that it would be difficult to know how much Sarin might be destroyed and under field conditions the attack on such an agent might be in fact a delivery system. Moreover, what will happen if this substance is stored in a building and the building is partially destroyed yet the material within intact? Who would be responsible for the cleanup of a nerve agent once there has been a “regime change”?
Is the White House omniscient? Has anyone who has lived in that building shown any signs of omniscience? So far the battle cry of “Something must be done and done right away!” has left this country economically weak and morally bereft.  Our attack capabilities exceeds our ability to deal with the aftermath of the destruction we mete out in the name of what our view of what is right and what is just when in the end, we discover that we are frequently wrong and nearly never able to provide justice or security for those we have attacked.

This isn’t a foreign policy. This isn’t national security. This is reactionary cowardice cloaked in military action pushed by corporate interests in the name of profit margins.

Just like the last two wars.

Take Care,

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

20 thoughts on “Friday Firesmith – The War In Syria”

  1. I’m with you on this one, Mike. Why would we get involved in this ugly civil war when we stayed out of so many uglier conflicts in Sub-Saharan Africa? How many people died in Rwanda when we sat on the sidelines? Why is Sarin so bad to use on your people and bullets, bombs and missiles are okay? I’m for punishment of Assad in any way as long as we don’t go in there and start shooting them ourselves.

  2. This civil war has been going on for 2 years. Are we sure this isn’t another cynical ploy to distract American voters from domestic issues? NSA? Oh, that scandal is so passé.

  3. I completely agree that we shouldn’t be involved, but it might help if you got your facts straight. “As the Sunni regime in Syrian weakens the Shiites in Iran rejoice.” Wha???? The Syrian regime are Alawite Muslims, related to the Shiites, and Iran is a longtime ally of Syria. Russia is protecting Syria because they’ve been allies for 40-plus years; Russia’s only external naval base is in Syria. As for Israel, they may get attacked, but it’s doubtful they’ll be extinct considering that they’ve got a large nuclear arsenal and Syria has none.

    • Ukko,

      There isn’t anything wrong with my fact. The ruling party in Syria are Alawite but by and large the population is Sunni, who are hostile to Shiites. Iran is run by the Shiites as well as Iraq, and Syria is a target to them.

      I agree with your assessment of the Russians and thought that was more or less what I said.

      Israel is one massive attack away from being a memory regardless of how hard they can hit back. And if they ever tempt the Russians into folly…

      But as long as we agree that we have no business in Syria, I’m perfectly willing not to call you the Great Satan. 😉

  4. There is the possibility that the information of the chemical attack is bad intelligence or just a lie. There is reported to be evidence of rather crude containers (which held the chemicals) that were found in the area inspected. Which tends to lean to the idea that the chemical attack was done probably by the insurgents possibly in hopes to establish outside sympathy that may help turn the tide of the civil war in their favor.

    This may make sense since the area that was attacked was still under some control of the Syrian government. Meaning that if the Syrian government were to utilize a chemical attack, it would stand to reason they would attack an insurgent stronghold.

    Then again, there is always the oil argument, which usually tends to be the hidden agenda.

  5. Why not shut all your pie holes and wait for the UN report, your opinions don’t matter.

    IF AND ONLY IF it can determined which side used those horrible “weapons”. Then action MUST be taken.

    It’s about oil.
    —-Syria has no oil of consequence.
    Bombing will just kill more civilians,
    —-They can literally hit a nail on the head these days.
    There will be “boots on the ground”.
    —-That was agreed to not happen by both US parties (Can you say Libya)
    It’s just a “civil war”.
    —-The “opposition” is comprised of many good and bad people.

    Chemical weapons have been used.
    —-To do nothing about that is tantamount to being on the side of those that tried to appease Hitler.
    The world HAS to determine which side used them.
    —-That side (and their supporters) needs to be sent a message, otherwise, it’s open season on chemical weapons for everyone.

    Have a good weekend all.

    • Actually Syria has a pipeline which is of value to many of the key players or non-players as it may be. That pipeline will allow oil to be moved quickly and cheaply. To simply toss this possibility aside is not being realistic or honest regarding the debate.

      The way I’ve heard it is that other countries can hit a football stadium but the US can put it on the 50 yard line. While I can’t question that type of accuracy, I don’t support boots on the ground.

      Define civil war.

      I haven’t seen any real arguments of consequence that say chemical weapons have not been used, but I have heard that the ones responsible for using said chemicals is in question. Besides, I do believe more people have been killed via basic artillery versus chemicals, so going the route of a Hitler comparison sounds a tad hyperbolic. Either way, there are plenty of other governments killing their people in a genocidal manner throughout the world, so why single out Syria? Oh yes, it’s the chemicals that’s the issue. So if it’s found that it was the insurgents who used the chemicals, then what is the response?

      Sure it’s good to be pragmatic and wait for the UN report, but it sounds like our government doesn’t want to wait. That is where I like to think the concerns are. Say the report came back making Syria responsible with absolute proof, and chemicals do have a “DNA” tracking of sorts, will Russia finally buy into a UN response? If not, then what? Is the choice to go it alone to send that message? Blow up a few buildings and risk response that may catapult into a major escalation from all sorts of countries? Mmmm, not liking that idea. As of this moment, I have not heard any real concrete endgames or answers to “what happens if this happens?” from our government. To head into a military conflict with a bitch slap as the only response doesn’t sound like a solid plan. To go it alone sounds like a worse plan.

      The issue isn’t so black and white, nor is it rainbows and unicorns. Military actions shouldn’t be the only solution in the mix, and a rush to military use is not in the best interest of gaining support before solid facts are presented.

      Pragmatism has been Obama’s strong suit and it looks here as if that trait has been tossed aside. To a country with an instant mindset (I want results faster! Now dammit!) it’s good to see that their memories are better than a goldfish when it comes to war. Perhaps that pragmatism is now the people’s trait. And is that such a bad thing?

  6. I have been really torn about this, until a read a comment that if we had known the Nazis were gassing all those people and did nothing, what would that say about us? It is an international accord that using poison gas is unacceptable, ever. The UN can’t pass a resolution because Russia will veto it. That said, I’m still torn.

    • Nothing to be torn about, find out who did it. Make them pay. Big Time. Period.

      Then you can sleep in your cozy bed.

      Or you can live in your happy world of Unicorns and Rainbows and pretend a horror didn’t happen.

      Shit or get off the pot.

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