Almost everyone I know who has followed Syria closely, either as an analyst or as an observer of politics in the region, will tell you that the “Do nothing” attitude of the Obama administration, with regard to Syria, almost borders on abstract senility. The factors involved, when calculated within the context of costs and benefits, are not hard to assess or determine. The less the western world gets involved saving Syrian lives the more likely Cold War 2.0 with its high costs to the citizenry of the region as well as the superpowers jostling for political and economic advantages will happen. The less the west is willing to help, the higher the chances of an Islamist awakening in the region that very few countries would benefit from.

So why do some experts on the region demand that we do not interfere in Syria? Would more hardcore fighting Islamists be an asset or a liability to these people?

Those are the kinds of questions that open the door to the conspiracy theories wide open because it’s truly illogical, given the costs involved in this infantile argument, that anyone would seek a policy of non-interference or actually pursue one, as the White House has, if the intent is to defeat Islamism rather than give it a new life by providing it a reason to gather and fight in Syria in the name of Sunni Muslims.

Who would benefit from more Islamic terror then?

  • Assad would benefit because his old adage that his alternative are the Islamists and the Salafis would have traction even if used during the foggy times of war.
  • Russia would benefit because it can point its fingers at the US policy in the region as an argument strong enough to resonate across many countries experiencing or fearful of their Muslim minorities already stirring.
  • The Arab League would benefit by claiming that the “strongman ruler theory” remains the only viable formula to govern Arabs and Muslims. It’s the same group of Arab rulers who are eager to see the west fantasies of freedom and democracy split in half and die once and for all.
  • Any country that uses “fear of others” as a form of policy initiative or empowerment for a certain action.
  • All Muslim extremists and Salafis fighting to return us to the 7th Century, mentally and physically.
  • And finally, confused pundits who think too much of themselves and whose intellect rests on a bedrock of idiotic insanity.

Some take this “Don’t interfere” argument to such levels of high expectations by believing that Assad and the Iranians (Shia) fighting al-Qaeda-type terrorists in Syria (Sunnis) pegs extremists in both religions against each other to kill recklessly, which would help all non-extremists. This scenario, on paper, sounds wonderful and I admit I have certainly argued for such early on in 2011 and even before. But when such an argument kills more civilians than extremists (Probably 7 or 8 to 1) and destroys already an impoverished nation, then my costs/benefit formula yields a different result. That impoverished country may never recover. How would that benefit anyone in the long run?

Neighbors suffer from each other’s mediocrities. Between Afghanistan and Pakistan, which country yields fewer problems?

Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey, Jordan, and Israel will all suffer if Syria becomes economically and politically barren. Think Mexico/America but with religion as a spark plug to ignite perpetual conflicts.

As far as I’m concerned, Syria just entered a new phase in its history with the affinity to re-shape the Levant to a worse scenario, not a better one.  There is one thing western minds need to understand about our region: If our environment is a mirror of our own attitudes and expectations, why would success beget those whose expectations center on foreign environments with foreign attitudes?

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