Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Syria: Subjective Desires Fed by Ambiguous Intel Never Turns Out Well

An alternative title for this post could be, "Sal's 14 Pillars of Neo-Realism."

On Syria, here are 14 points that need to be pondered a lot more than they are. I think in many ways we Westerners are misreading what is going on in Syria - something I reviewed in the free-swim portion of Midrats Sunday.

1. Bashar is the second son whose oldest brother was to be next in line until died in a car accident in '94. Bashar was a mild-mannered ophthalmologist and had less than 7-yrs to transition from a London eye doctor to head of a government.

2. Bashar is the leader of a family who has seen two of his brothers die prematurely in accidents and a brother in law killed in a civil war. His only surviving brother is the head of the Republican Guard and a survivor of a previous assassination attempt.

3. He is a member of a small Shi'ite sect who are not even seen as Muslims by Sunni fundamentalists. They are hated by most Syrians for the preferential treatment they have received for over 40 years. He knows if he does not hold power, Alawites will be slaughtered wholesale. His tribe does not have the best reputation either.

4. He has no options for him, his family, his tribe and his co-religionists other than victory.

5. He is of no serious threat to his neighbors and is focused on one thing; survival.

6. Some focus on taking out his "offensive power" - most of which is on paper only. Even if he had the ability, he has nothing to gain by attacking Western naval and air targets when his capital is infested with insurgents. He gains nothing from attacking his neighbor to the south. He gains nothing from attacking British bases in Cyprus.

7. What he needs are three things; time, Russia & Iran. Giving the West an excuse to attack him buys him nothing.

8. Always ask, "Who gains?" Small uses of gas helpful at the Tactical level? No. Useful at the Operational level? No. From a Strategic or Political level, does his use of gas produce any positive effects? No; for him.

9. If the international community thinks that Assad used poison gas, who gains positive Political and Strategic effects? The anti-Assad forces.

10. If Assad falls, who gets possession of all of Syria's poison gas stockpiles? The anti-Assad forces.

11. Who in the anti-Assad forces has the most military power to keep and control the gas? Al-Qaeda affiliated groups.

12. Who has the most to gain from Assad's use of gas? Al-Qaeda.

13. What is one weapon-set Al-Qaeda has wanted to use against the West since even before 9/11? WMD; chemical, biological, or nuclear.

14. What is the #1 target of Al-Qaeda if they had WMD? The West in general, USA specifically.

So, if we contribute to the fall of Assad, we are giving our enemy the weapons they want to kill thousands of OUR people.

If that is the case - is it in our national interest to see Assad survive? Yes.

Is that pretty? No. 

Which is worse, thousands of dead Sunnis or thousands of dead Shi'ite & Christians? They are all bad ... but none of them are worse than thousands to tens of thousands of dead Americans gassed in subways in 2016.

UPDATE: Sometimes, TheOnion is pretty darn close to good.

1 comment:

Daniel Efosa Uyi said...

hey ,nice post. I love the style of blogging I see here :)
you see, there are 2 blogs that i've found so far to be very helpful and have something interesting for me whenever i visit, this one and http://danieluyi.com
Keep it up. I will be visiting again.