Friday, June 17, 2016

Wars & Rumors of War

U.S. State Department employees urge strikes against Syrian President -
UPI reports: "More than 50 U.S. State Department diplomats signed an internal memo urging the United States to use military force against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government. The 51 career diplomats who signed the 'dissent channel cable' repeatedly called for 'targeted military strikes' against the Syrian government as it continues to violate cease-fire agreements in the country's five-year civil war. The memo calls for 'a judicious use of stand-off and air weapons, which would undergird and drive a more focused and hard-nosed U.S.-led diplomatic process.'[...] The memo amounts to a scathing critique of President Barack Obama's longstanding policy of not taking sides in the Syrian War. Obama has continually refused direct U.S. military involvement, saying it would only add to the violence and not improve the situation in the country."

Kremlin says deposing Bashar al-Assad would create 'total chaos' -
UPI reports: "Russia warned the United States that overthrowing the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad would create 'total chaos,' but said it would support incorporating members of Syria's opposition into the government. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday that overthrowing Assad could make 'the region plunge in total chaos.' At the same time, Russian President Vladimir Putin said incorporating Syrian opposition into the government may be an effective move, if approached carefully."

Comment: It amazes me how some very bright people can be so misguided. The State Department dissenters seem intent on not learning the lessons of the past. We need a return to the status quo ante of Western supported dictators ruthlessly suppressing Islamic fanaticism and promoting regional stability. This has been achieved, to some extent, in Egypt, where the post-dictatorship government of the new dictatorship has banned the Muslim Brotherhood.  Good for them. Let's get over the absurd notion that democratic governments that respect pluralism could be imposed in one generation. If that ever happens it will take place over many generations and will be an indigenous movement and not imposed by the West. Right now, stability is far more important than a mirage that runs contrary to all local traditions and customs. So let Assad keep whatever small portion of his country he still controls and then join together in a broad coalition of countries (including the U.S. and Russia) to defeat the Islamic State. That is the way forward.

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