Sunday, June 16, 2013

16 June 2013 Rewind, replay, regret

Aid for Syria rebels heightens need for continuing caution
THROUGHOUT THE long Syrian uprising, President Obama’s sense of caution has been well-placed. He is aware of how US involvement in the Middle East can alter perceptions of the very groups that Americans aim to assist. He is rightly conscious of the need to engage allies and build coalitions before taking any steps that may lead to deeper entanglements. Now, as the United States increases its role in the Syrian conflict, it must develop a clear sense of how it can change the equation on the ground, and how those changes will advance American interests.
Cassi Creek:         I seldom read the Boston Globe.  It has a somewhat different political viewpoint than I have.  However, the recent addition of a paywall to the Washington Post is going to cause me to seek other sources for news and commentary.  I understand that financial concerns are causing many newspapers to change their business practices.  I can’t use most of the material presented in any major urban newspaper.  The only content I want every day is national/international news and editorial/opinion content.  I have no need for “sports” pages, classifieds, and rarely any need for anything else.  That limitation extends to the local newspaper we already subscribe to, more from habit than for actual news content.
          The decision to arm the Syrian rebels is, I think, a dangerous and flawed move in the politics of the Middle East There are no sectarian rebel groups in Syria, only shades of Islamic power struggles. 
          There are sufficient small arms in the region to equip an old Soviet Motor Rifle division.  The rebels don’t need more small arms.  They want, but should not be provided, anti-aircraft weaponry and their own theater range rocketry.  If we are foolish enough to provide those, they will only wind up in the hands of the various Islamist rebels.  Then, if we allow our nation to be sucked more deeply into another proxy war with Iran, they will be turned against tour own aircraft and air crews. 
          This conflict in Syria is going to become a horribly costly and brutally waged internecine war among the various sects of Islam.  We will be the eventual target for all the current and future jihadists.  The struggle for supremacy between Shia and Sunni will last for decades yet.  Since the major contestants for victory and possession of the “holy places” are Iran and Saudi Arabia, and since both have oil resources to pay for their own weaponry, we should provide only nutrition assistance to the anti-Assad groups.  We can continue to backstop Turkey as they request, Jordan, and Israel.  The remainder of nations in the region can fight amongst their selves until they no longer have sufficient forces to fight nor any further financial backing from the two principals. 
          I’ve seen this video before.  I don’t vare to see it again.

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