Header Image (book)


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Syria: More Trouble than It's Worth

by Sam Huntington

We now understand someone in Syria used chemical agents and that lots of people are dead, dying, or suffering serious effects. The question is, who used it?

We don’t know for certain, hence Obama’s disappearing red line in the sand. It is a disappearing red line because when the phrase was first used, it sounded quite authoritative. Subsequent caveats, however, made it sound less so —according to the European press, even a bit squishy. Mr. Obama's most recent determination is, “The international community will have to reach the same conclusion before the United States will act.”

Ah ... okay.

Presumably, this means that the United States will require a robust international coalition before taking action in Syria. Raise your hand if you think any country wants to waste more of its national treasury on conflicts —from wars to low intensity struggles— that the United States has no intention of winning.

Has Mr. Obama taken a reasonable approach to this problem? After all, if we don’t know which side is using the nerve gas, how is it possible to intervene on the correct side of this melee?

The sticky wicket here is that the signals we are receiving from the international community are that it was rebel forces used the gas. The same side of the conflict, by the way, from which a leader used his knife to cut out the heart of a fallen government soldier, and while on camera, ate it, and the same side of the conflict that the United States wants to provision with arms and munitions.

I’m speaking now of these two issues: a weapon of mass destruction that according to the western presses never existed, and a collection of terrorist organizations determined to use it, including al-Qaeda, that represents a movement progressives assure us is illustrative of religious tolerance.

So then, what should be done? I see these three possibilities:

Obama could involve the United States on the side of rebel forces. This would mean aligning the United States with anti-American, pro-terrorist elements. Judging from Obama’s Arab Spring policy, this would not appear to be a problem for America's chief executive. Of course, such a relationship would destroy any remaining US credibility in the Middle East, but when you think about it, it’s not so much.

Or, the United States could pursue its present policy of enabling terrorist organizations by doing nothing ... but this would guarantee anti-American, pro-terrorist elements with a strategic victory in that region of the Middle East, and deliver a blow to any remaining US credibility in the region. Still, when you think about it, it’s not so much.

Our final option is to sell F-16s and M-1 Abrams tanks to anti-American, pro-terrorist elements, place Islamic extremists on the fast track for US immigration, and apologize to the world for America’s arrogance in the post-World War Era. Oh, wait ... we've already done that.

Are there any other ideas?


  1. I vote for doing nothing; if US has lost all of its credibility, fine ... we need to get out of the Middle East, and we need to get the Middle East out of us.

  2. The so called Arab Spring has evolved into a Sunni - Shi'a conflict. It is a Muslim problem in Muslim states. Leave it to the Muslims to resolve.

  3. The only country that has any sense is Russia. Once they saw that the terrorists were going to take over, they now support the present regime. Which is what we should want IMO. The moment of supporting non terrorist forces has passed thanks to those who live in the region. Not us.

  4. Time for a Levity Break:

    1. If you refine heroin for a living, but you have a moral objection to liquor.
    You may be a Muslim

    2. If you own a $3,000 machine gun and $5,000 rocket launcher, but you can't afford shoes.
    You may be a Muslim

    3. If you have more wives than teeth.
    You may be a Muslim

    4. If you wipe your butt with your bare hand, but consider bacon unclean.
    You may be a Muslim

    5. If you think vests come in two styles: bullet-proof and suicide.
    You may be a Muslim

    6. If you can't think of anyone you haven't declared Jihad against.
    You may be a Muslim

    7. If you consider television dangerous, but routinely carry explosives in your clothing.
    You may be a Muslim

    8. If you were amazed to discover that cell phones have uses other than setting off roadside bombs.
    You may be a Muslim

    9. If you have nothing against women and think every man should own at least four.
    You may be a Muslim

    10. If you find this offensive or racist and don't forward it.
    You may be a Muslim

  5. That made me laugh, FT ... thanks. Of course, you do realize, I hope, that you've alienated Ducky. I hope you can find a way to live with that.

    As for the post ... We have no business in Syria. The sooner those people in destroy one another, the better.

  6. "...chemical agents and that lots of people are dead, dying, or suffering serious effects. The question is, who used it?"

    My question is, where did they get it (originally) ?

    As far as any involvment in Syria, on our part, I join Jack and Mustang with a resounding NO!!! Let those @$$#0le$ kill each other. Who cares?

  7. Let's put it circumspectly:

    Whenever you see people you instinctively dislike and distrust trying to destroy each other, wouldn't it be unwise for you to interfere? ;-)

  8. In a day when social media provides ample evidence of anything and everything, I can only locate one video of dubious worth regarding chemicals and Syria. There are plenty of videos which show death by conventional means of warfare.

    Tammy Swofford

  9. If we don't want to be supporting the side the terrorists are on, we have no choice but to stay he Hell out! BOTH sides are terrorists!

    "My question is, where did they get it (originally) ?"===from Iraq! This is exactly why we never found any there.

    FT, thanks so much for the chuckle! All 10 points were "spot on!"

  10. "?"===from Iraq! This is exactly why we never found any there."

    Exactly my point!

  11. It is difficult to say whether nerve gas was actually used because it quickly dissipates; we would need autopsy results to know for certain. One should now wonder what the Syrians are doing with those contaminated bodies, if there are any. The likelihood of an autopsy is remote. Perhaps Obama could find out if he went over personally and snooped around …

  12. how pathetic AOW as the MB marches on with our consent and support...Good Lord.

  13. FT: "You may be a Muslim." - Hilarious!

    Also, I agree with Conservatives On Fire. The rational solution to the Libya problem is to let the jerks kill themselves, but after that, I would deploy a huge fleet of drones to make sure they stay in their own backyard.

    By the way, AOW, do just have to have that captcha thing that I can almost never get beyond? It is like those child proof pill bottles...

  14. Bob,
    I have to use word verification to prevent all the spam that inflicts this site.

    I turned off word verification the other day, and my inbox filled up like you wouldn't believe.



We welcome civil dialogue at Always on Watch. Comments that include any of the following are subject to deletion:
1. Any use of profanity or abusive language
2. Off topic comments and spam
3. Use of personal invective