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Sunday, April 01, 2012

Syria - what's taking so long?

The neocons are pushing for a regime change in Syria:

For the people and the fighters of Idleb, the fight goes on. They know that once Assad is finished with Homs and Hama, and once he thinks he can get away with it, he will turn his attention back to the north. Then it will be their turn, and the dictator will exact a bloody and terrible revenge for their effrontery.

What could prevent this is an effective coalition to counter the anti-Western one (Iran, Hezbollah, Russia) that currently underwrites the dictator. This Western coalition can only happen outside the auspices of the U.N., where Russia and China have already vetoed Security Council resolutions demanding Assad step down. (The Weekly Standard)

That was at the end of February. Now it's too late for the rebels in Idlib. Bolstered by Western inactivity, Assad resorted to tactics such as shellings residential neighborhoods.

The neocons, after years of ridicule, are still confident about their ideas, and why not? What has been happening in the Greater Middle East lately is more or less exactly what the neocons said would happen. Removing a constant, Saddam Hussein, from the Middle East helped alter what many considered a fixed status quo of autocratic regimes.

The intervention in Libya was a tremendous success. The cost of the operation has been estimated at about 3-4 billion dollars with the US being responsible for about a third of that amount. There were no casualties. In short, that's a lot of bang for the buck. In comparison, the United States spends nearly one trillion (a thousand billions) dollars on Medicare & Medicaid annually.

If Asssad is allowed to survive, the Western world has effectively helped set an example that whenever there's a internal revolt, you should resort to brutal measures to suppress the revolt. Any "peaceful solution" that preserves Assad as the head of Syria, as supported by second-rate countries such as Russia and the always-irrelevant UN, would be a travesty, an idealist piece of paper that only serves to bolster Assad's grip on Syria. The West needs to do more than just freeze credit cards.

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