I do not want to write about Syria because I have no special insights into the situation, but then again, I don’t know who does. It is the proverbial elephant in the room, but like that old story of several blind men touching different parts of an elephant, it seems different depending on what part you touch.
Our military will soon send missiles to do a surgical strike in response to what our government asserts was a chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government on its people. John McCain asserts they already used chemical weapons, but that assertion is in some doubt. This time is doubtless according to the Obama administration and crosses the “red line” that he warned the Syrian regime not to cross tens of thousands of deaths ago.
Whatever. We’ll soon launch limited missile attacks which, well, will do what? The argument is they will be punishment for crossing that “red line” of chemical weapons, argued since WWI to be the definitive line that separates reasonable war from monstrosities, It seems the indiscriminate nature of chemical weapons is the key and the image of dying from slow asphyxiation cements the difference, though it seems a fine line between that and dying in a bomb produced falling building. In any event, we Americans can luxuriate in discriminate killing because we have such sophisticated weapons that our missiles can hit not just a building but a specific window in that building.
Anyway, how is this to play out? is the BIG QUESTION. The administration doesn’t want to topple Assad, at least not quite yet, because chaos may well harbor bigger threats that could prevail…. a large share of the freedom fighters have a Muslim extremist sense of “freedom”. So, I guess we want to slap Assad’s hand hard enough so as not to cross that red line again, and otherwise watch the slaughter games continue while sending support to whatever elements we think of as the “good guys” or the better-than-worse guys.
And what I have said just scratches the surface. Hell goes deep. For those who want to explore the in-and-outs of this confusion, I suggest going to this link titled Why China and Russia are Standing by the Regime. While describing their positions, the article links to various other articles about the situation, including the historical use of chemical weapons, so it provides a good primer for those who want to learn more about the intricacies of this particular hell.
Somewhere there is a quote from a Russian describing our foreign policy regarding the volatile Muslim world: “The Americans handle the Muslim world like a monkey handling a hand grenade.”
Made me smile…… but the Russian tendency to support despotism under any circumstances is no answer either in this age of Middle East revolutions, reactions to decades and decades of repression and happening now compliments of hand held world interconnectivity and one more reason this problem is beyond the capacity of any nation to control or perhaps even guide.