War is on the horizon. Or rather, it has been on the horizon for months, and the White House has finally decided that lethargy is not an appropriate solution.
With everyone around the President, save the President himself, beating the drum of war, it seems that intervention in Syria is inevitable. The question is, what is at stake if we do intervene?
A strong distinction, to be sure, but obviously both sides are an anathema.
Both are enemies of America and the western world, and having either in power would not be a positive outcome.
Were Assad to win, Iran would maintain their Mediterranean proxy, as would Russia. If the “rebels” win, then Syria becomes much more chaotic, with a potential for endless internal strife and almost inevitably becoming a base for terrorists to strike Israel and beyond.
Because of these reprehensible options, the “correct” course in Syria seems almost impossible to pin down. It gets even worse when one considers the current administration’s decisions on other insurrections in the Middle East.
Recall Libya, where the administration professed its support for the rebels, and then proceeded to drag its feet on aiding them by creating a no fly zone. Indeed, the White House waited so long, the rebels were nearly defeated by Gaddafi, whose tanks were right outside of Benghazi.
The administration then proceeded to exceed its mandate and began bombing Gaddafi’s ground forces, ensuring his defeat.
Obama’s administration not only took a very confusing approach to “helping” the people they supposedly supported, they also supported people whose motivations and ideologies they did not know.
Then there is Egypt. In the initial “Arab Spring” uprisings, the Obama Administration sided with the protesters against Hosni Mubarak. There were myriad reasons for Mubarak to be ousted, mostly involving him being a repressive dictator. But the fact that he was a reliable ally of both the United States and Israel, and ensured that the Muslim Brotherhood stayed out of power were both arguments in his favor.
And there are even more compelling arguments in a part of the world where chaos reigns in the absence of strongmen.
Muhammad Morsi, one of the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and an Islamist, replaced Mubarak. For some odd reason, despite his Islamo-fascist and anti-Semitic beliefs, he was supported by the Obama Administration. His incompetent leadership resulted in his recent removal from power. And yet the administration still supports him, apparently believing that elections are the sole arbiter of what makes a good government, rather than ideology and results.
Egypt is the best example of how the Obama Administration handles foreign policy.
They would rather believe what their ideology tells them to believe (Mubarak was a dictator and therefore bad, Russia has our mutual best interests at heart, etc.) than believe reality (Mubarak was the best option, Putin takes every opportunity to gain advantage over the U.S.).
It’s why when there’s no clear-cut solution. As in Syria, Obama’s administration waffles and delays acting as long as possible.
It is hard to know what the correct course of action is. The current crisis in Syria does not have immediate national security concerns (though the outcome invariably will). However, doing nothing when innocents die and treating such a decision like it’s meaningless is inherently bad. It is not just our enemies who die in the crossfire.
Sadly, the intervention decision is in the hands of Obama’s administration; an administration whose feckless and wrong-head foreign policy has yielded disaster after disaster.