Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Syria Doesn't Want America's Bombing

Syrian Rebels Don't Want America's “Neutral” Bombings (updated 9/4/13)

Obama says that his attacks will be in opposition to the Syrian government's use of gas weapons, but will not be pro-Assad or pro-rebels. Here is what the Koran has to say about actions such as that:

I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot!
because you are lukewarm, I will spew you out of my mouth.” -- Qur'an 41.51.

Syrians don't trust our government in general, and they don't trust Obama in particular. They feel that he has sided with Israel over Arab nations in the past, including Syria, and continues to do so. During his campaign in 2008, Obama made promises that brought Syrians hope. He called for new policies in dealing with the Middle East. However, he readily backed down from his earlier demands for an end to increased Israeli settlements on Palestinian land Instead of bringing the two sides together, he drove an even bigger wedge between them, and made himself a person whose word cannot be trusted. They now see him as someone who says what appeals to people, but actually acts based upon what his advisors tell him to do.

Syrians probably scoffed when Obama said in a recent speech that America has a "moral responsibility" to punish the Syrian government or military for gas weapons against civilians, which has caused somewhere between 1,000 and 1,800 deaths, depending upon the source. Where was our “moral responsibility” when Assad forces killed more than 100,000 people, leaving more than six million Syrians homeless, and more than two million refugees fleeing for their lives? In essence, they see America's message to the Syrian regime as, “It is okay to massacre hundreds of thousands of civilians by ground attack, air attack, and Scud missiles, just as long as you don't use gas on the population. What kind of stand is that?

Obama also accused Assad as being in violation of “international norms” as a basis for his bombing. What kind of contorted justification is this? Norms are nothing more than expected modes of behavior based upon prior actions or agreements. They have no legal status. And, even it they did, who gave us the right to police international norms, and take action whenever a country deviates from them, as perceived by us?

And, what if we don't bomb Syria after the Obama-defined red line has been crossed? Our government seems to be afraid that we will be viewed as being weak in the eyes of the rest of the world, solely on the basis of not following up on the threats of its ill-advised leader. Who cares about appearances, when it comes to saving lives? The rest of the world certainly knows that we still have the biggest and most powerful armaments in the entire world which is a lot more than people's opinions. Besides, if our government were truly interested in our image, we would never have invade Iraq – probably the greatest military blunder in this country's history. If we came clean with an admission that the red line was a mistake, I think the world would view us in a much better light than following through with a violent reaction.

So, what should we do? Very simply, we should openly support the rebels in any way possible, short of any direct military involvement. If our government is so concerned about our global image,
that would probably greatly improve our image in the eyes of the rebels and other nations throughout the world (except Russia). This could, and probably should, be our response to the Assad' regime's use of gas (if they really did), rather than promising more bloodshed and tears for the Syrian people. If we do intervene with bombs, then Russia might feel it's “moral responsibility” is to defend Syria by attacking our country in return, and then where would we be – the beginning of the Third World War?

An Alternative Action. If our country's leaders believe that a show of force is truly necessary, why sacrifice human lives to prove that point? Why not pick some isolated targets away from any cities or otherwise populated areas and annihilate them? That could be interpreted as a warning shot across the bow of a ship. It should be adequate warning to Assad and his supporters that we mean business. If they are blind to these implications and continuing to conduct business as usual, then we could supply the rebels with the means not just to counter the Assad regime, but to overthrow it.