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Ron Radosh

The administration finally acknowledged, in a press release issued by Deputy National Security Adviser for strategic communications Ben Rhodes, that the U.S. now believes that on two occasions Assad has used the chemical agent sarin on the civilian population. So the so-called “red line” that Barack Obama said Bashar Assad would not be permitted to cross has been crossed.

Some conservatives, like Max Boot, are not happy. “That’s it?,” he writes. “No announcement of air strikes on chemical-weapons stockpiles or other government targets. No imposition of a no-fly zone. Not even an announcement that emergency shipments of arms would be rushed to the rebels.”

The result will be—as we have seen—an increased level of rhetoric, plus skimpily promised statements that we will increase arms shipments to Syrian rebels. With over 90,000 dead (more by some estimates), the ranks of those clamoring for intervention to stop the Syrian regime from more slaughter are increasing.

Perhaps if Barack Obama had acted two years ago, when Syria’s rebels were spontaneously emerging from the oppressed populace and were not dominated by radical Islamists and the ranks of al-Qaeda, it might have done some good.  Now, when to give the rebels arms means backing one group of fanatical Islamists against another, a victory for the rebels would make things no better for the Syrian people than would the victory of Assad.

This is one of the rare times I agree with the political philosopher Michael Walzer, who said in an interview with The Times of Israel that “now you have jihadi fighters on the one hand and Hezbollah on the other, and it really doesn’t look like there’s much to choose between. It’s almost impossible to describe a desirable outcome in this civil war, and if you don’t have a desirable outcome — you can’t intervene.”

Walzer’s rules for intervening should be taken seriously by the likes of John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Joe Lieberman, who continue to advocate intervening on behalf of Assad’s opponents. Walzer argues that if the U.S. were to intervene, the following conditions should be prerequisites:

Firstly, the US must “pick a winner” and make sure he is capable of governing Syria; secondly, the US must secure Assad’s weapons arsenal and prevent it from leaking into neighboring countries; and finally the new (presumably) Sunni government must guarantee the physical safety of the country’s minorities: Alawites, Druze, Christians and Kurds.

And these conditions cannot be met simply by establishing no-fly zones. They require American and European troops, something that the American population will not support and that NATO will not back, unlike when Bill Clinton was president and the bombing campaign against the Serb government  took place to stop the slaughter of the Bosnian people by the Serbian military.

As for former President Clinton, he fired the first shot in his wife’s forthcoming presidential campaign when he told a conference organized by Senator McCain that Obama should act more forcefully to aid the anti-Assad rebels. He argued the American public elected presidents “to see down the road and to win.” Speaking at a closed event (Clinton said he did not realize his remarks were being recorded), he said Obama risked looking like a “total fool” if he listened too closely to public-opinion polls and acted too cautiously.

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Top Rated Comments   
"Let us hope the next few years move quickly and that the next commander-in-chief will act boldly to restore the reputation of the United States as a nation that uses its weight and power for good in the world."

Intervening on the side of the Shariah loving and Christian hating "rebels" would not be for good in the world, unless your idea of good in the world is to have as much Saria and as many dead Christians as possible.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (31)
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Be rest assured Jimmy Obama will make the wrong choice.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
These imbeciles are making the same mistakes they made with Morsi in Egypt. America should never have gotten in bed with the mooslim bruthahood as we are now on the verge of supporting the same damn terrorists that attacked us on 9/11. You cannot make this $h!t up...unbelievable. Mooslim Spring, huh? More like "modern caliphate spring." John McCain's senile a$$ is trying to save whatever credibility he thinks he still has by supporting the Ayatollah of the Potomac as he kisses the a$$ of our Saudi "allies" during this whole pathetic episode.

Stop supplying arms to terrorists and instead - kill them. Leave Assad alone before we have another Egypt (sans an American friendly dictator-Mubarak) on our hands sucking military aid from us while planning to support terrorists to attack us! Our government is absolutely atrocious and insane.

My God, how did it come to this? Oh yeah, all those "conservatives" who said Romney was as bad as Dear Leader in the White Mosque and did not vote....OK, it's not ALL their fault, but, damn, they sure helped.

Remember Benghazi!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Stop blaming the "conservatives" for Romney's failure to run a competitive campaign. I'm sick of hearing you "moderates" pissing and moaning about your damn candidates not getting enough support; whose fault is that? When the Republican Establishment stops ramming RINO's down the conservative's throats, they might have a chance of winning an election.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'm not a moderate and you can get as sick as you want. If you DO NOT VOTE because you want to sit at home pouting, sucking your thumb while wrapped in your binkie because the candidate wasn't everything you wanted him to be then don't get on here and b!tch about how bad this administration is you hypocrite.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
No other President has ever tried to influence the policies of his successors -- except Jimmy Carter.

Now, Billy J. Clinton wants to send heavy weapons to al Q'aida .... al Q'aida - who killed 3,000 American civilians on 9/11/2001 (World Trade Center, Pentagon, Pennsylvania plane crash).

Clinton and Obama are out of their minds. Everyone in Syria hates our guts.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Two points.

First, we "owe" Syria for their support of anti-American forces when we were in Iraq. They killed many Americans.

Second, it's really extremely simple, we should, if we are to intervene, intervene, give Assad 72 hours to present himself at some convenient location and if he does not, wipe out Damascus. Now, this hardly comprises our picking the winner, but the lesson for whoever takes over should be utterly clear, and thus things would tend to take care of themselves, and if not, rinse and repeat.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Sunni and Shia have been killing each other for centuries . Since this distracts them from killing christians, jews and hindus they should be encouraged to slaughter each other (they havent proven to be very good at anything else) . When Assad is strong we should help the rebels and when he is weak let the russian assist him . With any luck the war in Syria can go one for years to come.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
There are no good options in Syria which is why the U.S. should stay completely out of this religious civil war. When two warring factions who are both, more or less, your enemy, why intervene? Let them slaughter each other. Yes I know that the Syrian people will suffer; people are suffering all over the globe and isn't it amazing just how much of that world wide suffering is a direct result of Islamists. Giving aid to the so called "rebels" would basically be giving arms to al Queada, the very same organization that has been killing or trying to kill Americans for decades.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
There is a good option: Back the minority groups, especially the Christians, then keep the others fighting each other. When the two camps are mostly exhausted after a generation, put the Christians in charge.

Oh, right, this is America, the country which cannot see past the next election. A generational plan? Don't be absurd. The Dems will find some way to politicize it and blame the Republicans. We can no longer achieve victory in war, because we are fighting a Cold Civil War.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The lesson that should have been learned in Iraq and Afghanistan is that no faction in the Muslim world is or ever will be on our side. The Assad regime however has been more tolerant of minorities than the rebels promise to be, so why give aid to the rebels?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Because Assad is the ally of Iran, and thus, our enemy.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yeah !

An the Democracy Rebels of the Free Syrian Army are al Q'aida.

You want to give aid to the people who killed 3,000 American civilians on 9/11?

Face it. Everyone in Syria hates us. No one will be our friend.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Michael Walzer's prerequisites are impossible. A radical Sunni government guarantee the rights of religious minorities?! Are you kidding? Get a fox to guarantee the rights of hens while you're at it.

Walzer says "the US must 'pick a winner.'" I think we should pick a loser -- Iran's mullahcracy. With any luck we'll have a president in 2016 who will work with Israel to achieve that outcome.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The reason POTUS is able to 'lead from behind' is because he
has his head up his ass.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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