Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Syrian Question

As I'm writing this, the US Navy has launched 50 Tomahawk cruise missiles at targets in Syria.  The strikes were conducted in retaliation for the use of chemical weapons (Sarin gas) by the Syrian government against their own people.

The hawks and pro-Trump camps are no doubt busy hi-fiving each other.  The doves and anti-Trump camps are no doubt aghast and wondering how we got here.

Unfortunately in all of this, no one is asking the most important question.  What is the right answer for the people of Syria?  No matter what we as Americans may think of Assad, he is the legally elected leader of Syria.  Deposing him (as the Obama Administration planned) or bombing him (as the Trump Administration is doing) fails the Syrian people.  Should Assad be ousted or killed, then what?

The US has a piss poor record when it comes to "who's next?" after eliminating an unpopular leader.  All you have to do is see how well we managed Iraq after getting rid of Hussein to know the challenges we are facing with Syria.

And what exactly qualifies the US, a nation the loves bragging about its Judeo-Christian roots, to figure out how an Arabic, Muslim nation should be run? 

Meantime, let's not forget the huge exodus of professional diplomats from the State Department means we have even fewer experts to answer that question than normal.

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