Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Profiles In Stupidity: There Is No "Good" or "Right" Side In Syria

Vice President Biden Said Today That Syria Must Be Held Accountable. Unfortunately, The Obama Administration Has Never Employed An Accountant, So They Have No Idea How To Do That...Leno

  • Once again, Americans are being played by the political class. While arguments can be made for either staying out of Syria or responding to the Syrian regime, the fact is there are bad people on both sides of that conflict. As the chart above clearly shows, it's complicated in the Middle East (published in the Washington Post this week).
  • Moreover, with this administration's track record of picking losers (e.g. Egypt and Libya), can you trust it to pick the good guys in the Syrian conflict?
  • It's undeniable that Assad is a bad guy. His regime is responsible for the murder of over 1000,000 civilians. It appears he used chemical weapons on innocent civilians.  It's also undeniable that many of the rebels are linked to Jihadists and al-Qaeda linked foreign fighters. In fact, in the last two years, the al-Qaeda terrorists have been playing a more prominent role in fighting the Assad regime. Last June, the Washington Examiner + the Economist reported that 7 of the 9 rebel groups are Islamists.
  • So an obvious question has to be posed (one I have not heard posed often enough): If we take Assad out will we be left with al-Qaeda backed foreign fighters and/or crazed Jihadists or both? The obvious answer is yes. Where are they going to go? Like all Jihadists, they too will want to assume power. We learned that lesson in Egypt after we supported the Muslim Brotherhood.
  • In addition to those dilemmas we have a reluctant president.  As Michael Goodwin of the NY Post wrote recently, "... {President Obama} whose chronic ambivalence about American leadership emboldens tyrants." Even USA Today had to admit "Obama's bungling on Syria complicates the response."
  • But it's not only the president's credibility that's on the line (whatever is left of it). It's also the members of the political class---Republicans and Democrats----that are to blame. And for them, it went from bad to worse last weekend when Obama decided to seek Congressional approval. Now, if anything does go wrong, they too will be holding the bag. Again, as stated so well by Goodwin, "...his punting the Syria problem to Congress was a political ploy designed to free him of responsibility. No profile in courage there."
  • If Congress decides to attack the Assad regime, they better think about what comes next. We've already witnessed multiple unintended consequences in places like Egypt and Libya.