The Syrian Mess

Syria is engulfed in a civil war.  In a New York Times Opinion column yesterday, Bill Keller gave 5 reasons why the US should intervene.

Keller was careful to distinguish Syria from Iraq but his arguments were hardly convincing.  To be sure if there was a path for the US to raise its finger, point, and magically the Syrian turmoil would vanish, then there might be a case to be made.  It just is not that way.

Keller premises his column on the humanitarian disaster underway.  He reasons that doing nothing amounts to the same or probably greater danger to Syrian citizens when compared to arming the insurgents.   Hmmm.

Keller stretches his point even further.  He believes the US can interfere without troops on the ground.  In other words, the US can have its cake and eat it too.  Hmmm.

Keller correctly differentiates Syria from Iraq.  He points out that the US invaded and occupied Iraq, and then a civil war broke out.  In Syria, the civil war is already in progress.  Hmmm.  Some difference.

Writing from the “progressive side”, Keller’s argument serves to underscore black swan.  It is what we don’t know that will most likely hurt us.  If aiding the Syrian insurgents would lead to a democratic, western friendly country that would act responsibly in the region, then it is most reasonable for the US to act.  The elephant in the room is that there is no way to know for sure what type of government would emerge.  There is, however, every reason to believe any future Syria insurgent government would be Islamist driven and friendly to Iran.

There is no indications to date that the US encouraged Israel to strike at Syria targets this past week.  If the Israeli targets were in fact Iranian made missiles en route to Hezbollah, this action can be understood in simple child psychology terms.  Punish the behavior, not the person.

What behavior has either the Syrian government or the Syrian insurgents done to hurt America’s interests?

 

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