The Real News From Syria
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  • John Fahy

    Did you mean Ban Ki Moon?

  • What is ostensibly a revolution is merely the Islamic python tightening its death-grip on the Syrian people.
    Exhale the old, you lose.
    Inhale the new, impossible.

  • subrot0

    What bothers me greatly about this situation is the fact that many nations can step up to the forefront.

    Here is a chance for the Emirates to really show what they can do with their money and status. They could be the peace broker but they have done nothing. The Saudis don’t care about this situation.

    This is also a chance for the Chinese to step up to the plate. At least they could do something symbolic but alas they are not used to the world stage.

    It is unusual to note that the Russians, English and the Americans are really not a factor in this situation. How the mighty have fallen.

  • ahem

    What’s really—really—happening in Syria, according to my sources on the scene, is that a rotten tyranny is being overthrown by an even more rotten and malevolent Islamist tyranny. Assad is bad, but, strangely, he’s the only thing standing between Islam and the Christians in Syria, who are going to be slaughtered wholesale the minute Assad is overthrown. He’s been protecting them for decades.

    Since the “opposition” to Assad is composed mostly of Islamists even more medieval and brutal than he is, there is no effective “democratic” movement against him. If the western world chooses to support Assad’s opponents under the mistaken notion that it is supporting ‘freedom’, it is in for a big, ugly surprise. I understand Obama has already sent millions of taxpayer dollars in support of the anti-Assad thugs, who are going to turn the guns we’re paying for around on us in the end.

  • Arik

    I don’t know what the problem is here. This is the strategy that the West should have used in the very beginning of the GWOT. Knock over Iraq, enflame the Shi’a-Sunni split, arm both sides and let Jihadists on both sides will each other. Drain both Sunni and Shi’a regimes of their resources and threaten each side that the Americans will help the opposite side unless you liquidate your own terrorists. It’s really quite that simple.

  • Kenny

    All the more reason for the U.S. to stay out of this Arab mess.

  • mac

    Syria has been a corrupt, festering hole for at least forty years. It’s another one of those countries that could have used another thirty years of colonial rule. I don’t give a damn about Syrians killing each other. Indeed, the more of it they do the happier I–and most of Syria’s neighbors–will be.

    The U.S. needs to stay far away from this one formally. Informally, we should be saying, “Hey, Assad! See that Free Syrian Army over there? Let’s you and them fight!”

  • This post raises an interesting question: is there an overlooked danger to not intervening? We always seem to frame our debates about intervention as a choice between our intervening and no one intervening, but it is probably just as often true that if we don’t intervene someone else will, someone that will pay far less attention to human rights and our concerns than we would. The groups that would emerge in this struggle with the help of the Saudis and other non-state actors in the Middle-East are likely going to be far less friendly to our interests and our conception of the well-being of the Syrian people than would the groups that would come out on top with our help and support.

  • betsybounds

    No, it actually is Kofi Annan. I read yesterday about a plan he’s got for Syria, something they’re all calling the “Annan Plan.” Whaddaya know, they all mourn that it’s not working. I think it’s actually a jobs plan for retired UN Secretaries General, and it’s working just fine.

  • Paul H

    This would be a good time for Eric Holder to expand “Fast and Furious” to Syria. He has the gun running part down pat.

  • ahem

    “This post raises an interesting question: is there an overlooked danger to not intervening?”

    At one point, before Obama helped to overthrow the regimes that were holding the whole mess together—before there was one virtually unbroken Islamic fabric of radical Islam from the Mediterranean to the Black sea—there might have been a danger in not intervening: beat them overseas instead of waiting to fight them here at home. Now, there’s not.

  • Nekulturny

    Or the Russians, English and the Americans are really not sure what is the downside of more dead Syrians. Boo freaking hoo. Make sure they have enough ammo to kill each other off and start making popcorn.

  • Stephen

    Seems like another case where one hopes that both sides lose or, functionally equivalent to this, that neither side wins. State may be promoting this strategy – by intention, or not.

  • Walter Sobchak

    Dear Prof. Mead:

    Readers can legitimately and legally read articles on FT.com if they can find them on Google. The easiest way to allow your readers to do that is to give them the entire title of the article and the byline e.g. Very Important Article by Fin Time.

    We would appreciate this opportunity.

  • Steve

    The current losing side in this civil war, the Arab Sunni, are anti-American, anti-Israeli and antisemitic. Imagine if, heaven forbid, the Sunni of Syria had the Jews of Israel at their mercy. You would not be speaking of 10,000 dead Jews after one year; you would be speaking of the second holocaust. They are not deserving of our aid or our sympathy for that matter. Those who wish intervention have already caused enough damage to this country. Please stop.

  • Walter Sobchak

    The second item for this morning is the enormously clueless article from the fountain of international cluelessness:

    “Assad’s Response to Syria Unrest Leaves His Own Sect Divided” by Neil MacFarquhar in The New York Times on June 10, 2012 at page A1.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/10/world/middleeast/syrian-alawites-divided-by-assads-response-to-unrest.html

    The article is a search for Alawites who want to join hands with Sunnis to sing Kumbaya. The vast majority of Alawites know what is what far better than any NYTimes writer or reader.

    No matter who wins the Syrian Civil war, or even if it ends in a draw, there will be massacres and ethnic cleansing. Only a partition of Syria into cantons separated by patrols of international peacekeepers can prevent genocide, and I don’t think that any of the parties who count are thinking of such a settlement.

  • Hummus

    @ Walter Sobchak:
    When has partition *ever* resulted in a better situation? Almost every time it is attempted, it results a festering of tensions and eventually a war. Korea, India, Vietnam, Palestine, Yugoslavia, the list goes on. About the only time I can think of where war didn’t result was Germany, and that was only because it was too important to the major players in the Cold War,

  • Meremortal

    Obama coddles Shia (Iran, Al Sadr, Assad, Hezbollah) and goes after Sunni (Taliban, Bin Laden, Iraqi Saddamist Sunni, Sunni strongholds in NW Pakistan, Gaddafi).

    Obama can’t intervene to save Assad openly, so he waits and hopes Assad can hang on. Obama will throw Assad under the bus but won’t use the military against him.

  • Naz

    In reply to; mac says:
    June 9, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    How would you like it if we all started saying: I don’t give a [fig] about Americans killing each other? I urge you to have a constructive debate, or get out.

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