08 August 2012


The Syrian people have been engaged in a heroic struggle to overthrow one of the most  tyrannical regimes in the world, with little more than moral support from the West. This is shameful especially given the intervention in Libya, where conditions were not as bad. The Assad government has murdered some 20,000 of its own citizens so far and is clearly on the way out, yet we are providing very little help. Yes, people are tired of war, but this doesn’t require troops, just supplies, weapons, and at most some air cover. Fellow tyrants in Iran are supporting the regime, and Russia and China are blocking any action by the UN, despite a majority in favor of it. They will have a lot to answer for when this regime falls, and it will fall. 

Imagine living in a country where one family has been in control for decades. Then consider a government and elite  that is largely populated by members of a single minority sect, the Alawites. It would be like ,say, the Methodists controlling everything here and oppressing everyone else. Then imagine they started killing anyone who opposed them. The Assad government is guilty of such war crimes. It is disgraceful to allow this killing to go on, when it wouldn’t take much to topple the tyranny at this point. 

Hesitation and excuses are made because of a fear of causing “instability” in the middle east, which is kind of an oxymoron. Everyone knows the regime is going to fall so why not align ourselves with the winners? Instead of worrying about what may follow we should be in a position to influence that. Given that Syria is an ally of Iran, it would also be a major victory over that odious, oppressive government, which has been an ongoing vicious enemy. Instead of trying to “engage” with these tyrants we should actively oppose them. When I say “we” here I don’t just mean the United States, but the western world, and NATO in particular. 

Unfortunately the fall of Sarkozy leaves the west without a dynamic leader, although there is one other. Ironically he is in the middle east, namely Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel. He understands the Iranian regime and what their intentions are in terms of obliterating his country. Changing the regime in Syria would be a severe blow to Iran, and might even give the opposition there the courage to rise, and hopefully we would support them this time. 

When such evil regimes are threatened we must stand with the people and be on the side of history.  We should be taking steps to assure that they are succeeded by free and open societies instead of burying our heads and looking the other way, or worse, "engaging" with the oppressors. What was done in Libya can be done in Syria. Libyan elections did not produce an Islamic tyranny but a rather liberal government committed to an open society. To repeat I am not suggesting sending troops, but simply providing logistical support. We ignore these things at our own peril. For even if we want to ignore the rest of the world, the rest of the world doe not want to ignore us. 

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