What’s Next for Syria?

There have been many reports recently that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against the rebels – and this action supposedly crossed Obama’s “red line”, which should have triggered a US response.  But, no response.  Why?  This article in the New York Times gives a pretty solid reason:

As Islamists increasingly fill the ranks of Syrian rebels, President Bashar al-Assad is waging an energized campaign to persuade the United States that it is on the wrong side of the civil war. Some government supporters and officials believe they are already coaxing — or at least frightening — the West into holding back stronger support for the opposition.

Confident they can sell their message, government officials have eased their reluctance to allow foreign reporters into Syria, paraded prisoners they described as extremist fighters and relied unofficially on a Syrian-American businessman to help tap into American fears of groups like Al Qaeda.

“We are partners in fighting terrorism,” Syria’s prime minister, Wael Nader al-Halqi, said.

Omran al-Zoubi, the information minister, said: “It’s a war for civilization, identity and culture. Syria, if you want, is the last real secular state in the Arab world.”…

Which statement is pretty close to the truth – but doesn’t change the fact that Assad’s regime has been an unrelieved series of rat-bastard actions since the days when his dad was in charge.  While I doubt recent claims of chemical weapons use, it is pretty sure that the Syrian regime has used poison gas in the past against rebels.  Additionally, while the Assad regime is officially secular it has been long allied with Islamist Iran and has provided vital support to Islamist Hezbollah in Lebanon.  Even as an allegedly secular State, Syria has been helping our Islamist enemies – in addition to being implacably opposed to the existence of the State of Israel.  There is, in short, not much for us to love there.  Of course, the rebels do appear dominated by Islamists, so if they do manage to topple the Assad regime, it also won’t work to our advantage.

And so I’ve always said we should stay out – no matter who wins in Syria, we lose.  But what we should have been doing is using Syria’s civil war as a means to pry Hezbollah out of Lebanon.  Right now, no one in Syria has much time or resources to be supporting Hezbollah – a concerted effort against Hezbollah will now ultimately bear fruit because all actions against them will weaken their power, which cannot be easily rebuilt without active Syrian support.  Partnering with Israel and those elements in Lebanon (which are substantial) which would prefer to see an end to the quasi-State run by Hezbollah in Lebanon, we could have secured genuine Lebanese independence – so that no matter who wins the Syrian civil war, Syria’s position in Lebanon is permanently destroyed.

But, we did nothing of the kind –  because Obama doesn’t see enemies over in the Muslim world, just alienated friends (alienated by us, of course).  Obama – and all his foreign policy team – probably never even thought about how to exploit the Syrian civil war to our strategic advantage.  We’ve dithered and blustered and threatened and half-armed the rebels – and we may yet be dragged in to direct participation in the war and the subsequent cost of pacification and rebuilding.  But we won’t secure a pro -US regime in Syria and we may well end up midwifing a new, virulently anti-US regime which also controls Lebanon.

Its a miserable situation and because our leaders are ignorant of the realities of the Middle East, it will likely just get worse.

19 thoughts on “What’s Next for Syria?

  1. Jeremiah April 28, 2013 / 2:22 am

    Awful what is happening in Syria. I don”t see why someone can’t come in a help these poor people.

  2. Retired Spook April 28, 2013 / 8:15 am

    I think there’s one thing we can absolutely count on WRT our policy toward Syria: that, no matter what we do, it will be wrong. I agree it will be vastly better to sit back and watch.

    • neocon01 April 28, 2013 / 8:55 am

      As Islamists increasingly fill the ranks of Syrian rebels American government!,

    • M. Noonan April 28, 2013 / 9:43 pm


      As I said before, I’m quite the peacenik as long as Obama is President – because he’s simply too incompetent to be trusted with a war.

  3. Cluster April 28, 2013 / 8:59 am

    I think something we can all agree on is that we don’t want to rush to judgement on the peaceful and tolerant religion of Islam, and that we should take $200 million from the Head Start program here in America and give it to the Syrian refugees.

    Sound good?

    • neocon01 April 28, 2013 / 9:30 am


      hell lets de-fund the whole federal education system and give it to them.

      • neocon01 April 28, 2013 / 9:38 am


        Hey bmitch….in his OWN words…..

        “These days I look in the mirror and I have to admit, I’m not the strapping young Muslim Socialist that I used to be” = bark ubama the mutt.

    • M. Noonan April 28, 2013 / 9:42 pm

      You racist! We should also give them refugee status here in the United States and taxpayer funded education and health care. Geesh!

      • neocon01 April 29, 2013 / 8:16 am


        dont forget welfare & food stamps etc like the whole Boston bomber family…no wonder they hate us NO yacht!

  4. Jeremiah April 29, 2013 / 4:07 am

    I saw a video where they rounded up these men in Syria n they just laid down on the trigger. Filled them full of bullets from head to toe. N down here across the border into Mexico they are beheading women and children.

    • neocon01 April 29, 2013 / 11:24 am


      6 Months After Sandy, Thousands Still Homeless…
      Looters STILL Raiding Homes Under Repair…
      ‘Where are the politicians now?’

      Oh Wait!!

      • bardolf2 April 29, 2013 / 8:48 pm

        Breaking news, the Jets cut Tebow. I said it was going to happen in a response to Neocon’s belief that Tim wasn’t getting too much flack for being religious because he was white.

        And how about we keep out of Syrian affairs, they seem to be solving their own problems their own way. Israel doesn’t need any help either in this matter.

      • neocon01 April 30, 2013 / 4:58 pm

        Breaking Report: Israel Jets Bomb Syrian Weapons Compound – Israeli Soldiers Hold Border Training Exercises

      • neocon01 April 30, 2013 / 5:02 pm

        Dr. B.

        Breaking news, the Jets cut Tebow.

        and the leftist media laps the vomit of a negro NBA player who is a sodomite,

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