Sunday, September 08, 2013

Syria: Thoughts and Quotations

A few quotations instead of an actual personal essay because your humble hostess needs to finish her schoolwork before she can watch football:

The undisputed nastiness of Assad isn't the only factor because there's a thing called "aftermath":
I’ve wanted to watch Syria’s Bashar al-Assad get his clock cleaned for eight years, so it feels rather strange that I’m a bit ambivalent all of a sudden now that it looks like the United States might actually take action against him. 
... Because if Assad is overthrown by the rebels, that country will disintegrate into absolute chaos. Al Qaeda and Hezbollah are already running around, and without the government in place to secure its stockpiles of weapons, anybody could go in there and get them and use them against whoever they feel like using them against.

Hey, how did Libya turn out for ya?
Would it be better to come out of this with another decapitation like we managed in Libya, which leaves a failed state in its wake and radical Islamist terror networks free to operate in its wake?  It’s bad enough that we did that once, and now it looks as though we’re about to do it again, in the laughable service of bolstering our credibility.  How credible does it make the US to create havens for our enemies?

When being photographed, President Obama likes to gaze earnestly into the middle distance. His expression often seems to be on the verge of an ironic smile, but it never gets beyond the verge. One wonders what he is thinking behind the sculpted features; but it would be pointless to ask. As the crisis demonstrates more every day, Mr Obama is what Bismarck called Napoleon III: ‘a sphinx without a riddle’. 

Granted that there are some rebels who are secular democrats, but a whole wagonload of them are jihadists (like these Boy Scouts whom the New York Times have finally noticed or these other model citizens taking a break from fighting Assad to go shell a Christian village for being Christian), so here's a thought:
Personally, I believe al-Qaeda is worse, by far, than the use of chemical weapons. And someone somewhere must agree with me since Congress, by something close to 535–0, voted to authorize the use of military force against al-Qaeda. No one, by the way, needed to twist arms or promise the American people we wouldn’t put “boots on the ground” to get that authorization. It was a slam-dunk because it was so patently in the national interest — even though it has meant a dozen years of war, with ground troops, missiles, drone strikes, indefinite detentions, thousands of casualties, the whole run of gore that war entails. 
So by all means, let’s assume Assad has used chemical weapons on a small scale against other Syrians during a bloody civil war that, though undeniably awful, poses no threat to American national security. 
By contrast, Assad’s “rebel” opposition, spearheaded by the anti-American Muslim Brotherhood, systematically uses al-Qaeda in its military operations — not one or two times, but every single day, and in virtually every attack that causes real damage to the regime. 
Why is Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons worse than the rebels’ use of al-Qaeda?

Hey, I thought it was in Law School 101 that you learn never to ask a question that you already know the answer to:
It is to President Obama’s great discredit that he has staked this credibility on a vote whose outcome he failed to game out in advance.

Remember my rule of how the first person in an argument to invoke Hitler automatically loses?  I need to find a corollary of some kind for insulting garbage like this.  Three guesses who said this, and the first two don't count:
And I want to make sure I’m being clear. I’m not — I’m not drawing an analogy to World War II, other than to say when London was getting bombed, it was profoundly unpopular, both in Congress and around the country, to help the British.
I laughed out loud ... and not in a good way.  You know, buddy, if you're going to compare yourself to FDR, then maybe you shouldn't have tossed that bust of Churchill back to the UK the first chance you had when you got to the Oval Office.  Pffft.   While we're at it, I'm sure that the brave Londoners of the Blitz love being compared with Syrian jihadists.  I know you hate the Brits, but BLOODY HELL.

You know, in the Syrian mess between Assad and the worst elements of the rebels, it's a shame both sides can't lose.  So I'll end with this:
Father Amir Kassar, a Catholic priest who was severely injured when a Christian quarter was hit by rebel rockets, said he fears that if outside forces join the fight, the sectarian divisions pitching Syrians against each other will get worse. 
"We don't care who is the ruler of this country. We are against the formation of an Islamic state. We want a Syrian secular state for all Syrians," he told Sky News from his hospital bed.
From your lips to God's ear, Father.

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