I can't begin to tell you how much the president's decision to send arms to Syria thrills me. I didn't think I had it in me to be completely disappointed with President Obama, but this pushes me closer to any edge to date. I cannot fathom how he could change his position ...even the use of chemical weapons. According to a whole lotta news sources, about 93,000 Syrians have died in this conflict. The NY Times article on June 13th states:
The announcement said that American intelligence officials now believed that 100 to 150 people had died from the attacks, but officials cautioned that the number could be higher.
Let's see: 150 out of 93,000...that's about .16129032258064516% give or take a few decimals. Now 150 people are a lot of people, no argument there. But suddenly, the President is talking about arming people, supposedly with whom we have "relationships." I would strongly suggest Mr. Obama read a brief history of Afghanistan before our invasion. There's a lot to be learned from the last time we armed a tribal state.
With Hezbollah now firmly implanted in Syria, and both Russia and Iran supplying weapons and military advisors to President Assad, it's clear to the rest of the world that if the rebels are to succeed they will need help. But would that help be best offered from other Islamic nations like Jordan, Egypt, or the Saudi Arabia? As co-religionists and as Arabs, they have a vested interest in the stability of the regions and if they believe Assad is a wild card, they are the ones who must step up to take him out. NOT a western coalition whose motives are, even in the very best light, suspect.
It's not like the rebellion is organized; it is not. There is no "Rebel Alliance" or other Hollywood-esque unified movement. It's like any other partisan action: ad hoc and unpredictable. The examples set in Libya and Egypt are pretty good indications of what to expect if they manage to topple the Assad regime: neither country has a functional government. And considering the length and breadth of this civil war, there is so much work to be done that unless a rebel alliance is formed, sectarianism similar to Iraq and Afghanistan will destroy what little is left.
Meanwhile, just so you get a better idea of how desperate the things are, on June 8th, a man was brought to the Israeli border with a note in Arabic pinned to his clothing. It began, "Hello distinguished surgeon," went on in great detail outlining what procedures had been done and ended saying, "Please do what you think needs to be done. Thanks in advance." The man was taken to a hospital inside Israel where he recovering from additional surgery. The Israelis now have a field hospital at the Golan border to assist with wounded Syrians. Other Syrians crossing the border in search of medical assistance are treated and returned. Can you imagine an Arab hospital doing that for an Israeli?
Which brings us back to the aid to Syria proposals. How about the US sending humanitarian aid so desperately needed? Can we get involved in sending in food, clothing, and medical aid? How about stepping up to demonstrate what the word humanitarian really means?
We, the People really do need to be very clear to our legislators that we are not going to stand for a pissing contest between Russia and the US. We should be done with pissing contests right about now. They are standoffs, ridiculous, and childish. Do we really need the McCain /Cheney War Machine back on the road?
Just a note here: I would also point out that all of a sudden the usual warmongering suspects are calling President Obama a warmonger when just last week they were calling him spineless and a coward. Can you pronounce obstructionism, boys and girls?
The rest of the world had also better make it pretty damn clear to Mr. Putin that arming Syria is not exactly in his best interest, either. That…and he really should return the Super Bowl ring.
The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Despite what my children may tell you,
I brake for turtles.
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