Why Western Military Aid For Syrian “Rebels” Is A Terrible Idea

The “rebels” are the Saudi financed Muslim Brothers of course. Helping them to power will be deadly for Syria’s minorities. But the Christians are none of Obama’s concerns; and the EU doesn’t show much interest either. The latest hysterics about Assad’s chemical weapons use should not be used to manipulate those who reject western intervention.

Why Western Military Aid For Syrian Rebels Is A Terrible Idea by Hugh Fitzgerald

Instead of reacting to this or that news item — such as that someone in the Syrian Army “may” have used a “small quantity” of sarin gas, by accident or design, those who make or influence or attempt to influence policy (includijng the running-off-at-the-mouth McCain) might ask themselves: what is it, exactly, that would best fit American (and non-Muslim) interests in Syria?


It would not be a victory over the Alawites. The Alawites, and the others — Christians, and many Kurds and many Druse, and many Sunnis too, afraid of the Ikhwan, with some coopted or compromised by the regime whose continued existence guarantees their survival — should hold on. Just. Not enough so that the regime would ever again get the idea it should prove itself plus royaliste que le roi by supporting Hamas and every other terrorist group — Hamas deserted it at once. And never again will the Alawites wish to prove themselves to be hyper-Arabs — by joining in a war against Israel, as Syria did in 1948, and 1967, and 1973 — as a way of deflecting attention from their being less than orthodox Muslims, and certainly not Sunni Muslims, which for most Sunni Muslims is required to be considered a full-fledged Muslim.

But there is Iran. And there is Hezbollah. And there are those who think that bringing down the Alawites is the best way to harm Iran, and Hezbollah. But bringing down the Alawites harms all the non-Muslims — that is, the Christians, both Arab and Armenian, in Syria — and all the non-Arabs (Druse, Kurds).

What’s more, given the way politics works, if Obama were to forced to change his policies and to supply military equipment to the rebels, which might allow them to win, though they are now successfully being fought to a standstill, that is forced by political considerations to stand by that “red line” comment when it comes to Syria, does this mean it more likely or less likely that Obama will do what he should be doing about Iran?

It makes it, I suggest, less likely. It will be one of those “see, I stood by what I said about a red line” and “I didn’t back down.” But if Obama doesn’t supply military equipment to the rebels — which, in truth, makes no sense, is idiotic, for no aid anywhere should be given to Sunni Muslims — he and others in his administration will consider themselves under less pressure to deal with the real problem, the one that does require or should require American action — action in the first place to ostentatiously supply Israel, and at once, with long-range refueling capacity for its airplanes, and with those bunker-busting bombs (what fun it is, isn’t it, to write or say “bunker-busters”?) that would be of such great help if Israel, not for the first time, and probably not for the last, has to deal all by itself with Muslim threats — in this case nuclear weapons in the slippery hands of the chiliastic Islamic Republic of Iran –  that threaten not only itself, but also the entire Infidel world.

But what the Obama Adminisetration should be focussing on is not on replacing the Alawites and their collaborators in Syria, but on preventing Iran from being able to produce nuclear weapons. And military aid to Syria would, I fear, make the latter less likely. The Obama Administration would be able to politically bask in the glow of “we did what we said we’d do” and receive the unthinking plaudits of such people as John McCain, and while eventually the folly of this policy in Syria will be realized, too late for the Alawites or the Christians, in the months of basking in its seeming toughness, the Administration would be indulged as it both refuses — why does the welkin not ring with denunciations? — to give Isael what the Americans possess and could so easily transfer, for the task at hand, and to assume its own responsibilites as a great power, to stop Iran from attaining the ability to produce nuclear weapons.

The intellignet policy would be not to be mesmerized by outrages by the Alawite regime in Syria — no different in kind or scope from what the Sunni rebels are doing — but to act, or to help others act, on Iran. And the Syrian side-show would allow the Administration to assume the mantle of toughness and resolve that it does not deserve (and that in any case would be in the service of an idiotic policy that would help the Muslim Brotherhood, and Al-Qaradawi, the celebrated sheikh who has just declared that it is now an individual, and no longer merely a collective duty, for Muslims to join the Jihad in Syria. Why should the Americans help Al-Qaradawi and the world-wide Jihad of Sunni Muslims?

Do nothing to make the task of the Alawites harder, for what would in Syria replace them would be much worse.

But in Iran, if an attack — not an invasion, and not an “occupation” but an attack or a series of attacks from the air — on the nuclear project were to weaken and humiliate the regime, so that it might strenghen those within Iran who work to replace it, that would be, unlike in Syria, a good thing, for any regime that would replace the current one in Iran would be better than what Iranians, and the rest of the world, must now endure.