Sunday, April 28, 2013

U.S. mlitary intervention in Syria a bad idea

U.S. mlitary intervention in Syria a bad idea, Proving that he understands the consequences of U.S. military intervention, President Barack Obama beat back his critics from the left and right calling for tougher action in Syria. While calling the possible use of sarin nerve gas a “game changer,” Barack didn’t satisfy hawks calling for bombing Bashar al-Assad’s Baathist regime. Toppling Saddam Hussein’s Baathist regime April 10, 2003, former President George W. Bush found out the hard way the real costs of U.S. military intervention. While “Shock-and-Awe” hit with a bang March 20, 2003, 10 years later Iraq’s U.S.-backed government of Nouri al-Maliki still faces nearly daily suicide bombing and political instability. Trying out democracy on the Mideast’s Arab governments hasn’t panned out as Bush wanted. Opening up his presidential library April 25 at Southern Methodist University in Dallas Texas, Bush will have a hard time justifying controversial decisions and revising history.

Calls now for Obama to make the same mistake of using the U.S. military as a global policing force or worse yet nation-building continue to present challenges in the wake of the April 15 Boston Marathon bombings. Reactions in the Middle East to Boston’s terrorism tell the story of what the White House should do in Syria. When terrorist bombs struck Boston, many Mideast capitals jumped –for-joy in the streets. While no one likes to see al-Assad bomb or gas his own people, foreign governments also recognize his right to defend his sovereignty against foreign and domestic invaders. State Department officials still haven’t figured out who’s behind the insurgency in Syria. Multiple reports suggest that the same Saudi-financed radical Wahhabi Suni groups that battled the Soviets in Afghanistan and the U.S. in Iraq lead the insurgency against al-Assad. Bombing al-Assad could turn Syria over to radical Islamist group loyal to al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

Dealing with radical Islamist elements along the Turkey-Syria border, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan warned against U.S. military intervention. As much as Jordan’s King Hussein or Erdogan support U.S. foreign policy, they oppose U.S. military action in Syria because it radicalizes local populations. “The international community, and especially the people of the Middle East, have lost confidence in any report which argues that there are weapons of mass destruction or chemical weapons,” said an anonymous source connected to the Ankara government. Journalists working on the front lines dealing with al-Assad’s bombings of rebel factions in civilian areas would like to see the carnage stop. But if the U.S. topples al-Assad’s regime, the potential for more extremism grows dramatically. No one, especially today’s besieged villages, has a clue of what a post-al-Assad Syria would look like, especially with a radical Islamic takeover.

Since the civil war started March 11, 2011, the International Red Cross estimates that over 70,000 Syrian civilians have died in collateral damage. Most experts at Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other global antiwar groups blame the U.S. for thousands of civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan. “There is always a risk of creating more destruction and creating a failed state in Syria . . . This is happening next door. The flames are reaching us, starting to burn us, where they can’t reach the United States, Qatar, or the U.K.,” said the unnamed Turkish official. Boston’s terrorist attack in fact took, a many observed in the Mideast, to the jihad into American streets. U.S. counterterrorism officials are trying to figure out how to prevent the next terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Before intervening in Syria, the White House wants to know that any attack wouldn’t aid-and-abet al-Qaeda now fighting along side Syrian rebels

If Obama looks more nuanced in his “game changer” comments, it’s precisely because the U.S. finds itself caught between a rock-and-a-hard=place in Syria. U.S. strategic partners Russia and China oppose any U.S. intervention because both believe it will destabilize the region. Apart from trading partnership with al-Assad, Russia, China and the White House, see toppling al-Assad a a prelude to radicalization. “A major chemical attack would outrage the Arab and Muslim world . . . It would be difficult just to watch, then everyone would intervene,” said former Jordanian air force Gen. Mamoum Abu Nowar. While it’s easy to talk about arm chair military action, the U.S.—not Turkey or Jordan—would bear the messy burden of bombing al-Assad and then worrying about the chaos would follow, including setting up some type of law-and-order after toppling al-Assad. Without putting boots on the ground, Syria would rapidly descend into anarchy.

Barack’s nuanced position about “red lines” if al-Assad really used sarin nerve gas involves the consequences of toppling al-Assad. If Obama followed ranking Senate Armed Services member Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) advice, or that of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, he’d have to prepare for a major commitment of U.S. troops to keep Syria from becoming the next Iraq. Before toppling Saddam, Iraq was not a breeding ground for Wahhabi terrorists. If al-Assad goes, the same power vacuum in Syria would open up the floodgates of Islamic terrorists in Syria, now held in check by al-Assad’s Baathist regime. Keeping the U.S. out of another Mideast civil war is the right U.S. foreign policy action at the right time. Opening up another warzone would stress the U.S. military and the economy at a time of fragile economic recovery. If al-Assad needs to go, it’s shouldn’t be the choice only of the U..S. president.

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