The crisis in Syria is basically a civil war. It is a power struggle between conflicting ideologies. It started as an uprising against Assad’s dictatorship and a small faction attempting to have something like democracy without knowing what that really meant for them.
Now, however, it has turned into something else. The rebel forces are apparently a jumble of insurgents including members of Al-Qaeda. So if we go in there and do whatever, blow up some of Assad’s military assets, or even topple the regime, do we want terrorists taking over things? How would a gang of Muslim extremists turning the place into an unbending theocracy be better for the Syrian people?
Is President Obama simply trying to save face, hoping to keep from looking weak after making previous threats against Assad’s use of chemical weapons?
Even with all of the horror that has gone on, there was no real threat to the U.S. Assad had never made any movement against our country (and neither as the world knows now did Saddam Hussein). Assad was simply trying to hold on to his own power and defeat the resistance. But now that the U.S. has threatened bombings he of course is warning there will be consequences. And not just from him but from others in the region who support him.
So now we’re really in a fix. If we back down now it will appear we’re afraid of Assad and his allies. And if we go on with this foolish attack, what kind of mayhem might result; for Syria and for the U.S.?
It’s time for some extraordinary courage on the part of the President, the Congress, and the American people. Forget saving face. Forget looking weak. We have to be smart now. And that will take real wisdom and guts.
(c) 2013 Timothy Moody