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On Opinion: Shifting Syria policy won’t be easy


Ron Holzwarth 5 years ago

Whatever we, the United States of America, known in the Middle East as 'The Great Satan', does within Syria is going to be wrong by definition. Whatever the Devil does is bad, and that is an unfortunate fact that needs to be accepted.

Even if we were able to end the conflict overnight, America would not be popular in Syria at all, and large sections of the Middle East would still be engulfed in the quagmire of military conflict for years or more likely decades to come. The most that can be done is hope to contain it, but it appears that containment on any scale is not an option for much longer.

I think the only thing that can be done without becoming involved in yet another full fledged war is to give aid and assistance to refugees that are able to escape to neighboring countries that will allow us to help them within their borders. And, unfortunately there are some countries in the Middle East that won't allow us to do that. But, we may be able to ship in some supplies.

Ron Holzwarth 5 years ago

There is another way to look at the situation in Syria, I suppose, and that is to compare it to the American Civil War, aka the War Between the States, aka the War of Northern Aggression (1861-1865).

The Civil War was one of the earliest true industrial wars, with machinery efficiently used in many ways. One could debate its morality endlessly, just as the morality of the Civil War in Syria could be debated endlessly also. It is also an industrial war, and people are being very efficiently killed, for very immoral reasons.

But I think the similarities are very eerie. No one came to either side for the American Civil War, and there's only lip service being given by the Russians to Assad for his side of the Civil War in Syria. No armies, but as I understand the situation, Assad is being supplied with weapons by Russia, but no troops from the Russian Army or Air Force are coming to his aid. A few warships from the Russian Navy are in the Mediterranean, but that's it.

And the rebels are getting some weapons, not enough of them, some are obsolete, and that seems to be it.

I tend to think the Russians are being wise, which is a reversal of my statement of a few weeks ago. Earlier I stated that Russia would not give up the warm water port on the Mediterranean without a war, but now I think they realize they will be able to use the port either way - Syria will need the cash proceeds (as rent) for the use of the port without Assad anyway. There's nothing like cash to buy food and rebuild cities.

So, I think the Russians are going to maybe sit back and see how Assad plays out his hand - alone.

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