Friday, August 30, 2013

How to Create a Disaster [#syria #intervention]

The international community is playing with fire when they support foreign interventions, and there will be years of debate over whether NATO’s intervention in Libya essentially created a civil war there that led to 30,000 Libyans being killed.  Conversely, without intervention, the international community risks seeing the Syrian government commit another massacre similar to the Hama massacre in 1982, where 20-40,000 Syrians were killed.
I wrote this back in December, 2011.  These words are still haunting me. 
This was after the US put a coalition together to intervene in the Libyan conflict.  The result of that conflict and our intervention was a death toll of 30,000 Libyans — but the question is whether more would have perished without intervention?
Syria isn’t Libya, but, unfortunately, I think we have an answer to that question. When you know that Syria, unlike Libya, had a history of killing tens of thousands of its civilians before their civil war began, the question goes from being merely academically inquisitive to burning; searing.  The question brands itself onto your conscience, and the shame rises up like steam that brings tears to your eyes.
I’m not for intervention in Syria now, I’m for it yesterday.  A year ago, or more.  Back when intervention would have made a positive difference.  I can’t think of positive aspects to the intervention being offered now.  By not wanting to take the situation seriously - as seriously as Libya was regarded, at least - Obama has painted himself into a corner by allowing over 100,000 Syrians to die before Assad’s chemical weapons attack.  Obama didn’t build coalitions in case the Syrian conflict escalated to this point, and now even Britain isn’t with us.  (Let that diplomatic blow sink in for a minute.)  Since 2011, violence in Iraq has skyrocketed and the world might see two full blown civil wars in the region, a destabilized government in Egypt, and blowback in Lebanon.  Israel might feel threatened and stage an attack.  What happens then? 
This is a nightmare scenario.  If Obama thinks it can be avoided by dropping a few bombs on Syria - likely killing more civilians than anybody else - then he’s out of his fucking mind. 
This is what happens with you let problems fester.  This is what happens when you see a wound and don’t treat it properly.  And this won’t just set back the whole MidEast region a couple generations of development, but it will also cause more people to lose faith in the US government. 
We certainly got the change that we voted for.  I’m not sure what happened to the hope, though.

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