Stay the Hell Out of Syria

Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire

Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire

It’s now official: That crazy old man from Arizona, Senator John McCain, is shopping around for another morass for the U.S. military to get stuck in. Let’s look at the possible consequences:

  1. If we align ourselves with the rebels, we are aligning ourselves with Al Qaeda and Wahhabi Sunni Muslim militants.
  2. Fighting against us would be not only Bashar al Assad, but Hezbollah, the Shi’a, and Iran (indirectly).
  3. Russia is supporting Bashar with weaponry, so we will end up with the best that Putin can throw at us.

I can’t see that either side deserves our support. I would not venture a single American life against the whole lot of them. As much as they say they need our help now, what is to keep the rebels from doing a 180° turnabout whenever it suits whoever is in power during a particular fifteen minute slot.

Not only can we not predict who will win, but we can’t figure out what kind of governance would result. My guess is that it would be another Iraq, with sectarian bloodshed lasting for years to come—and with America, once again, identified as the “Great Satan.”

My belief is that we should provide both sides with medical help and sit back with a box of popcorn to see who comes out on top. That would be a refreshing change of pace for once!


News On Demand

A Horrific Video of Bashar’s Jets Bombing a Village Filled with Refugees

A Horrific Video of Bashar’s Jets Bombing a Village Filled with Refugees

You don’t have to watch Faux News any more to find out what’s going on in the world. Salon.Com has published a link to Ifiles, which contains links to investigative reporting you may not get when you watch rancid sausage being squeezed through Sean Hannity’s lips. I was entranced by two videos currently available:

The first is almost half an hour long and shows footage of a bombing raid by Bashar al-Assad’s air force on the village of al-Bara in the north of Syria. Some dozen or two people were buried under rubble when two heavy bombs hit within 400 meters of each other. Typically, the jets make one pass, and loop around and return about 15-20 minutes later, when a crowd has gathered to dig out the victims of the first blast. We owe this frightening footage to FRONTLINE reporter Olly Lambert, who does a great job showing us the panic and the community spirit of people trying frantically to help one another when they don’t have the wherewithal to do so effectively.

The second was an amusing commentary on the failures of international reporters to get to the bottom of one continuing story: Somali piracy on the high seas. Naturally, it’s too dangerous to go to Somalia; so reporters are going to Kenya and interviewing enterprising Africans (some of whom are in fact Somalis) pretending to be pirates. This way the news media get their story, and the “pirates” get some money to support themselves in their nefarious venture. These pretend pirates have probably never even been in a boat.



Syria’s Hezbollah Connection

Hezbollah Fighters

Hezbollah Fighters

You may recall that, when Israel last invaded Lebanon in 2006, they got a bit of a surprise: the fighters of Hezbollah, “the Party of Allah,” fought them to a standstill. Long used to winning all their armed conflicts with the Islamic world, Israel found itself flummoxed at every turn by a well prepared military force based in undetectable underground bunkers all along the border.

Hezbollah is a Shia paramilitary group, founded and bankrolled by Iran, operating in several states in the Arab world that are mostly Sunni. To ensure their survival amid changing conditions, the Hezbollah made a devil’s bargain with Bashar al-Assad in Syria to help them against the anti-régime rebels. If Syria loses its conflict, Hezbollah fears it will lose its influence to a new Syria in which the political power will rest with the Sunni.

As a step to maintaining its power in Lebanon, Hezbollah has done something it never wanted to do: It became a political party. When you’re predominately an insurgent group, it’s difficult to take care of issues like healthcare, education, and sanitation. The Hezbollah legislators are a quietly sullen group doing what they feel they have to do to survive.

What could happen is that Hezbollah might find that politics are to its liking. And then they will become just another terrorist group (like Kenya’s Mau-Mau and South Africa’s African National Congress) that became legit.