Some Intelligent Commentary on a Subject That Doesn’t Get Much of That

Syria, as considered by James Warren, NY Daily News.

I haven’t said anything on this; because I wouldn’t know WTF I was talking about. I don’t know the many policy considerations; I have no clue as to the connection to Russia and Iran. It appears the rebels aren’t even the “good guys.” All of us know this is a huge mess. There are a lot of discussions about alternatives to military action, but I do not have the expertise to decide if any of them are real.

It seems we’re caught in a variation of an old U.S. foreign policy theme – tolerating, if not outright supporting, a vicious, repressive government for stability’s (and, in many cases, profit’s) sake, and when people rise up, they’re organized and led by an ideology we can’t stand, be it Communism or Islamic radicalism. To my untrained eyes, we too often leave openings for these sorts to fill because we either don’t care (or, at least, don’t wish to expend lives, fortunes and political capital) or can live with (or want) the status quo.

Jim makes some important points, including our history of ignoring violence, repression and genocide in places like Rawanda. Other times, we intervene and make things worse, for example, Haiti and Somalia.

We’re also caught in the domestic policy trap of knowing that intervention will require far more resources than we want to commit; studies show air strikes don’t really accomplish much beyond blowing things and people up and creating outrage and propaganda opportunities. Stabilizing a country in violent upheaval will require a lot (a LOT) of armed men and women on the ground, and I’ll be we’re not ready for that.

Later,

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