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Dancing on the Edge of Syria Intervention

Is the Obama administration edging toward intervening in Syria? The New York Times reports on the latest incremental escalation in our proxy war with the Assad regime:

The United States and dozens of other countries moved closer on Sunday to direct intervention in the fighting in Syria, with Arab nations pledging $100 million to pay opposition fighters and the Obama administration agreeing to send communications equipment to help rebels organize and evade Syria’s military. . . .

Mrs. Clinton announced an additional $12 million in humanitarian assistance for international organizations aiding the Syrians, bringing the American total so far to $25 million, according to the State Department. She also confirmed for the first time that the United States was providing satellite communications equipment to help those inside Syria “organize, evade attacks by the regime,” and stay in contact with the outside world. And according to the Syrian National Council, the American assistance will include night-vision goggles.

As we have noted before, there is a much stronger case for intervention in Syria from both national interest and humanitarian standpoints than there was in Libya. But how many Middle East wars does this president want? Given that he’s seemingly so committed to extricating us from nearby conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the mixed signals are striking.

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  • JasonM

    Off topic:

    Interested to see WRM’s thoughts on this piece by Tyler Cowen

    which deals with some of the Blue Social Model themes…

  • Luke Lea

    The same set of problems: an ungovernable collection of endogenous clans and tribes. Ungovernable democratically, that is, at least with our present state of knowledge. So we choose between anarchy and our next anointed strong-man?

  • Leon0112

    To some extent, the Syrian civil war is Sunnis against Shias. This battle has been going on for centuries. Let’s let them keep fighting each other. Hopefully the Arabs will take down the Assad regime with their own money and people. Iran can then blame the Arabs for their problems instead of the US or Israel.

  • DORF

    Of course we are getting closer to intervention. It’s all about misdirection in the grand race to the White House.

  • RebeccaH

    Hey, there’s an election to win, and he can’t win it on his record. He needs distractions.

  • AD-RtR/OS!

    He’s still searching for that “Good War” that makes him look “Good”!

  • Rich K

    Quit pretending none of you know why islamic nations are all failed states. Islam is a tribal concept of faith that only survives because of ,not contrary to its tribal origins.Sunni vs Shia, etc etc. They cant even get along with slightly divergant thoghts on their own basic concepts. Let em all kill each other and maybe the world will finally settle into normalcy.

  • constitution First

    War makes money, money makes power. Øbummer’s only loyalty.

  • bill phelps

    I think the only justification for our involvement would be the foiling of the establishment of a new a new Persian empire that is opposed to our strategic interests.

  • Fred

    I was opposed to the Libyan intervention for several reasons. For one thing, Gaddafi was being a good little savage. He’d given up his WMD and was no longer financing terrorism. By helping get rid of him, we taught bararians everywhere that the last thing you want to do is trust the US not to mess with you if give up your WMD and stop financing terrorism. Secondly, Gaddafi did keep order in Libya. There is now anarchy that will probably end in a Taliban-style government that will eventually kill Americans. True, he was pretty brutal to his own people, but that’s the only kind of government that works in that part of the world. The Libyan Taliban, or whatever they call themselves, will not be any gentler on Libyans than was Gaddafi.

    Syria is a horse of a different color. Assad is already our enemy and already supports terrorism. A Saudi-style Sunni theocracy may not be any better, but it certainly wouldn’t be any worse. But taking down Assad weakens Iran, so at least we come out ahead in that regard.

  • richard40

    Good point. Kadaffy, as screwy as he was, was not really causing us any trouble anymore, but if the muslime brotherhood or El Kaida takes over in Libya, they could cause us plenty of trouble. And I also agree he sent Iran exactly the wrong message, renounce your WMD and make nice, and we invade you anyway, so the only way to be safe is to get your nukes before the US invades.

    The same applies to egypt. As bad as Nubarak was, the muslim brotherhood looks considerably worse.

    I also agree that it makes much more sense to take out Syria, since they have always opposed us, and allied themselves with Iran, while both Libya and Egypt, pre revolution, could be contained.

  • Luke Lea

    On the plus side, a Sunni strongman would break the alliance with Persia.

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