Thursday, June 20, 2013

Should We Use Airpower to Attack Syria?

I say no, because as noted I don't trust the alternative to Assad.

But Max Boot has an interesting piece up at Commentary, "A Poor Argument Against Syria Intervention":
The argument against this is essentially Realpolitik on steroids: the notion that both Assad and the rebels are bad news and we should just let them fight it out indefinitely, providing only enough aid to fuel the conflict but not enough to allow the rebels to win. That is a deeply amoral argument—it suggests that we should allow thousands more Syrians to be slaughtered every month—and its strategic rationale is, at the very least, questionable. Given the progress Assad is making on the ground, absent more American aid the government could very well win this war—and that in turn would represent a big victory for Iran. Conversely, if Assad were to fall, that would be a big blow for Iran.

Do we have cause to be concerned about what kind of government will take over after Assad’s downfall? Of course. But, as suggested above, our best bet to shape the post-Assad Syria would be to help the moderate rebel factions now. Otherwise the Islamist extremists will be in control should Assad be toppled—and even if he stays in power the extremists might continue to exercise sway over a significant chunk of Syrian territory, as they do today.

That was the argument 18 months ago. I think we're going to be helping al Nusra terrorists gain power by intervening.

RELATED: At the Guardian UK, "Syrian war widens Sunni-Shia schism as foreign jihadis join fight for shrines."

And from Barry Rubin, "Brothers in Arms: The Muslim Brotherhood Takes Over the (Sunni) Arab World," and "New Moderates! Syrian Rebels, Iranian President, and the Taliban!"