Are we seriously considering getting involved in Syria? Perhaps I'm just naive and expect too much from the world, but the learning disability of our politicians when it comes to foreign policy never fails to astound me:
Remember Libya? We used the same excuse. The ruthless, sociopathic Ghadafi crossed a line in terms of human rights abuses that we appointed ourselves to draw. So we rained cruise missiles and bombs on his military capabilities, allowing the disorganized patchwork of militias opposing him to win the conflict. They eventually lynched him and no one shed a tear. However, w/ out him as a common enemy, they had nothing to unite them and fell into chaotic infighting that persists to this day. Libyans are generally very pro-US and despise militant fundamentalists like Al-Qaeda; but nevertheless the lack of rule of law allowed said psychopaths to set up a presence and give us the Benghazi incident. Without any theories regarding our response to Benghazi, it happening in the first place was a direct result of our meddling - there is no way around it.
Now let's look at Syria. We could shift the balance and let the militias that oppose Al-Assad lynch him too. There is absolutely nothing they could do to him that would make me feel one drop of sympathy. But THEN what? Those militias are as divided and disorganized as the ones in Libya and violent chaos will invariably ensue. However, here are the differences from Libya:
- Syria is 4x the size of Libya.
- A significant proportion of the militias are tied to Al Qaeda and funded by foreign organizations in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and so forth.
- Syria's general population is deeply divided on foreign policy, some being pro-US, some pro-Iran, and some very sympathetic to Sunni militants like Al Qaeda.
- Syria is chalk full of stockpiles of WMDs - few people know where they are, and when these motley crews happen upon them, they are not even likely to understand what they have found.
- Syria borders Iraq, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, and Turkey - I can't think of a worse list of countries to create chaos near.
I'm concerned that THIS is the kind of beehive punch that we will be recovering from not for years, but for DECADES.