Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Kicking In Of A Rotten Door: The Road To Damascus. Part Five

There is no fool quite like a damn fool and President Obama has proved himself to be one of that number. While the News Cycle was distracted with the Royal Baby our transactional super hero did a little deal with Congress. “(Reuters) - President Barack Obama will move forward with a plan for the United States to arm the struggling Syrian rebels after some congressional concerns were eased, officials said on Monday.” Please note that We The People were not so blessed and our concerns were not even consulted, never mind addressed.

My concern is that Obama, and the rest of the elites who are running the nation into the ground, have seem to have learned nothing from the last sixty years; you do not involve your government in another nations’ civil war --ever.

I am flabbergasted that this man of Harvard and Columbia, one of the brightest and most articulate men of his generation could be so willfully ignorant. Was he and his advisers asleep in history class when the professor went over the failed attempt to intervene in the Bolshevik-White Army struggle in Russia? Did they somehow miss the sorry history of our misadventure in Vietnam? Were they not paying attention to how badly an ill-advised interventionist policy can go wrong? Did Iraq ring a bell? Maybe they managed to forget the barley contained catastrophe in Libya they created less than two years ago?

There is no way intervening in Syria will end up well. First off, the US is charging in far too late. The Nation of Syria is imploding before our eyes. It is a bloody mess. There are no good guys for us to support; just a bunch of more or less evil bastards to pick and choose from.

We are not going to find the good and glorious “secular” leader to right the wrongs in Syria. There is no such animal. And even if there was such a man coming out of the Baathist elite that defected from Assad, our government is far too incompetent to find that particular light hidden under a bushel. This is because the interest of the United States and the interest of Syria are exactly one hundred and eighty degrees apart. But none the less,  we are going to charge in were angles dare not tread; right into conflict that we have no exit strategy from.

And it’s not like we are not working at cross purposes to other nations and other interests in the area. Our crashing about will definitely be opposed by both China and Russia. Neither of these great powers are going to stand by whilst we pull the rug out from Bashar al-Assad. Plus regional power Iran is not going to sit on its hands and allow their Alawi brethren to get beaten from pillar to post by the United States. Iran is already sending in Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon  to shore up the Baathist regime.

But if our new opponents are a rather scabrous bunch, that is nothing compared to our alleged allies. Remember the nation that gave us fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers? They are our “buddies” once more; part of the grand alliance. Yes I am writing about  Saudi Arabia and the fun-loving Salafi Jihadis they bring to the table. For them and other Gulf States this is just a continuation of a 1,400 year grudge match between the Sunni and Shia branches of Islam. And we, all of us in these United States, just signed up to become a participant in this dust up.

It isn’t a question of helping out “Moderate Muslims” in the area, whatever that means. Really, what is the definition of a Moderate Muslim anyway, and why are we, as a non-Muslim nation supposedly wedded to the notion of a secular state the ones making that determination in the first place?

But even if we could come up with a consensus of what a more secular but still Islamic polity might be, there is zero chance that our nation could achieve it. Strange thing about Civil Wars, they tend to come up with radical results. It seems that these types of conflicts tend to squash all forms of moderation. For some reason cool, dispassionate, and logical discourse seems to be in short supply when people are engaged in inter-communal warfare.

It’s has only been a few years since we finally extricated ourselves from one of the worst Foreign Policy disasters the United States has ever suffered, Iraq. In our ten plus years blundering around in Mesopotamia we managed to ruin the lives of thousands of our military members, send trillions of dollars down a rat-hole, and destabilize an area already far too dangerous as it was. Millions of Iraq lives have been utterly ruined and not a few of those lives were snuffed out far too soon.

Yet we continue to carom about the Near East like a car piloted by a blind man. We made a total hash out our Libyan policy, introducing chaos a plenty into the surrounding states. If you want to see how not to do regime change in the post-colonial developing world your first stop has to be Libya. Not that the Libyan results have engendered any kind of humility or caution in the White House; yet again we are intervening in a place that is not  in our National Interest to do so.

Granted Obama did make some noises about a line in the sand. There was the full Tarzan yell of Team Obama about use of chemical weapons. But that was pure theater, it utterly lacked seriousness. If we had even the slightest humanitarian concern about the butcher’s bill Assad was ringing up there would have been boots on the ground long ago.

No, this is a much more tawdry affair. This is about balance of power calculations. This is about our utter failure to do anything constructive in the Levant. This is about our elites default of “intervene first, ask questions later.”

Thus because of our elites utter failure of imagination, because of the group-think that infests our electeds, the Syrian people will suffer. The land will shake and bleed. A murderous status quo with no end in site will continue. Iran, China and Russia will prop up the Assad regime. The U.S., the Saudis, the Turks and the Gulf States will work at cross purposes supporting various Islamic proxies. And wither Israel?  You know that the Jewish state is going to get sucked into the mix. What better time to plant a shiv in one of your opponents than when they are distracted with other matters?

This is the maelstrom that Obama is about to enter. This is the utter foolishness that makes an oxymoron out of the term “Conventional Wisdom.” It is the Beltway group-think that passes for grand strategic thinking. It is Bismarck on acid. It is Clausewitz on Bath Salts.  It seems the only difference between Obama and McCain turns out to be it takes Obama six years to do a damn fool thing that  McCain would do in six seconds.
Post a Comment