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Fig Leaf Falls Off US Syria Policy


The Syrian peace process had only just begun before it was delayed:

“We were hoping that we’d be in a position to announce a date today, unfortunately we’re not,” [special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi] told reporters.

“But we’re still hoping that we’ll be able to have the conference before the end of the year.”

The envoy added that “nothing dramatic” had happened at Tuesday’s talks and the failure to agree a date had been expected for several weeks.

Already it’s clear that the US does not have enough influence over any of the parties in the Syrian war to push a peace process forward. The power in negotiations belongs to the combatants and to the countries supporting them. As a result, the war is becoming more vicious, the rebels are becoming more radical, and the chance of anything but murder and mayhem in Syria continues to diminish. The armed and trained jihadis, connected to wealthy Gulf patrons and animated by contempt and loathing for the West and especially the US, will be around for years and maybe decades to come.

[Photo of Lakhdar Brahimi courtesy Getty Images.]

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  • DiogenesDespairs

    We should be supporting the legitimate rebels (sometimes dubbed “moderates”) with money, materiel, training, and intelligence; and doing what we can to weaken and interdict the jihadists among them.

    Instead, we are neglecting the legitimate rebels, apparently ignoring the jihadists. This is the worst possible direction we could be moving in. I’m fine with opposing Assad – he is Iran’s only ally in the region. BUT, the sum total of weakening Assad and failing to jeep our promises to help the legitimates is to strengthen the relative position of the jihadists. This is nuts.

    The worst possible outcome in Syria would be avowed terrorists taking over an established national state. That should not be even a remote possibility. Even Assad, bad as he is, would be preferable to that.

    The least worst outcome for us, the West, the region, Israel, and the long-suffering people of Syria would be victory by the legitimate rebels. They wont be our friends, but they won’t be, or ally with, our sworn enemies either.

    • f1b0nacc1

      We should wash our hands of the mess, and make it clear that we are doing so, and why we are doing it, to wit: There are NO parties involved that are friendly to American interests. As long as we support the ‘least bad’ guys, we provide no incentives for any of these miscreants (an insult to real miscreants) to clean up their acts, or at least to pretend (convincingly) that they are valuable to us as friends. These guys know that they can pretty much do what they please, and that there will be no consequences.
      My plan: Rubble don’t make trouble. If you are our friends (and can show this by actions, not words) you can have our support. If you aren’t, we will ignore you. If you are our enemy, we will obliterate you, and everyone who helps you (Kaiser Soze had the right idea here) or anything that you value.
      Lets give it a try

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    “Divide and Conquer” is a time honored strategy, which is very efficient, requiring little but a word here and there. We should encourage the Shiite-Sunni fight, as the more focused the Muslims are on killing each other, the less resources they will have to attack the west. So what if Syria burns, American interests are tiny in Syria, we have no trade with them. We won’t even have the problem we had during the Iran-Iraq war, where Iran mined the Straits of Hormuz. Even the exposure of Obama as weak and incompetent is good for the US in the long run, if Americans then seek a strong leader like Ronald Reagan over the weak and incompetent Jimmy Carter.

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