Every morning I awake to more reports of hell in Syria. Hell generated by an administration and fighters sponsored by a series of outsiders. It is truly insufficient to call this conflict a Civil War or an Insurgency. It might be better to call it a War of Independence.
Syria’s history is not that of a State, in truth the only State in that region is Turkey. But even there, today, that fracturing inherent in the followers of a religion developed in the sands of Arabia is clear. No, Syria is a conglomeration,  families, clans, tribes, religions and people’s held together with hate.
But what is going on now with the gas.
Gas being deployed in a Civil War means the target is not of the family, clans, tribes, religions and people of the people pulling the halyard. It means the town or neighbourhood is different from the personnel pulling the trigger. A form of ethnic cleansing.  But whether shells or aerial bombing or 9mm parabellum bullets, the people in that town are equally dead. It is frankly pointless making fish and fowl of good weapons and bad weapons.
Gas is a not an offensive weapon. Syria has it for one reason and one reason only. And that is to prevent the Israeli Defence Force coming up and over the Golan Heights. It’s a statement of essential weakness and Kerry and Obama insisting on its removal WILL have the exact opposite result as it will strip Syria of its primary defence.
But what to do, what’s the answer. Are we about to see a Rwanda, a Srebrenica where women and children were rounded up, locked in buildings and then burnt to death. Are we going to spend thousands of lives while we wring our hands being too much of a pussy to call it as it is.
What we don’t need is the US and the UK, or the faintly ridiculous specter of France posturing like some terrier in a bear fight pretending they have the moral authority they had in 1999. And how galling would it be sitting in the Kremlin listening to this holier that thou drivel emanating from Washington and London or being lectured by Ms(Rambo) Power in the UN. But it is time for the UN to pull on its big girl pants and put together a peacekeeping force with teeth and get in there and run an election.
Internally, it is utterly impossible to separate out the what is going on when you are looking at the current position. You need to go back 100 years. Most have seen Lawrence of Arabia. In it we see the Arab ruler, the Hashemite family, a bedouin nomadic militaristic clan more like the Apache than leaders. Who survived on raiding the trade routes and demanding tribute from towns and farmers. An unpleasant bunch really. But it was to them the French and British looked to lead the new countries formed after WWI. That family held (Trans)Jordan Iraq Syria and Arabia -the Saudi bit was added only after that clan took over- for one reason and one reason only. Had they been excluded or even a one amongst many, they were the only group that could destroy and lay to place to waste.
Iraq and Syria removed them in a shift to Republicanism. But it is this that has Arabia’s Saudi ruling family supporting one of the belligerents. It has nothing to do in truth with Syria, but what Syria can do inside Arabia. Which is very very very fragile. As are all the gulf States.
All in all, Syria is a headache. She, with her arms threaten the attack posture of Israel. Israel could never do to Syria what it did to the Lebanon where it invaded shoving aside a UN peacekeeping force while Syria holds those gas stocks. Russia sees her as a bulwark shoring what could easily become truly nasty all across central Asia. What the US is doing with its size tens is a bit beyond me. You’d think the sawing saw dust they’ve done over the last ten years in a deluded attempt to find ‘nice’ muslims would have taught something. But the new Monroe Document might read ‘we need pliant administration in charge of the oil’ and so any move they make is profoundly coloured and every more they make is parsed with this in mind irregardless of what they say.

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6 Responses to Syria

  1. Kelly says:

    It’s a tough situation and one on which I have wavering, sometimes conflicting, opinions and emotions. Therefore, it’s best I just sit back and listen to what others have to say. 😉

    • V.H says:

      Yes me too, on the wavering.
      Things have moved along since I was listening to the BBC News at 6:00am. Now it seems the Russians want Syria to hand over the Gas to an international group. But as I said in my post, what earthly difference will that make except remove a weapon useless in a narrow conflict. It would be like gassing the house you are living in. And really you are just as dead with a bullet as you are with sarin gas.
      This focus on the gas has distorted the narrative hugely. And it seems downright perverse that 100,000e have been killed and it wasn’t until a few canisters of flyspray and 400 people were killed that the diplomatic gears started to mesh.

  2. Ed says:

    I’m against lobbing bombs at Syria as a form of retaliation against their regime using gas bombs. It is barbaric and hard to watch but in a war that has already taken 100,000+ lives, how can we say the latest 1400 was the tipping point just because a different weapon was used?

    Perhaps I might be persuaded to take the humanitarian approach since we (America) have the power to do so but I would have to be convinced that A) we don’t make things worse with our relations with the Middle East, B) we can actually make a difference with a couple hundred bombs and not just increase the retaliation slaughter and C) there is some sort of concrete plan for day two, day three, etc. What happens if Iran blows up a dirty bomb in New York six months later in retaliation of our bombing Syria? So far, I haven’t seen any of those addressed or proven and I think that is because it is all but impossible to do.

    My heart does go out to the Syrians slaughtered with gas bombs. But in the end, it is their war, they began it and so they must finish it without our involvement.

    • V.H says:

      I’m against lobbing bombs when the only reason for doing so seems to be an odd punishment. But one way or another the existing regime has no legitimacy and needs to either move aside or be reaffirmed. In this the UN is the only valid body with both the legal and moral authority. What needs to occur is a major force to impose a peace while elections are carried out. At that point whomever has won, has won, and the UN force withdraws. This should take 6 months tops. But whoever has the authority has it.
      At the moment we have agents and proxies from every regime in that region with what seem to be the sole exception of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Every darn one of them.
      Well, suppose the Baathist are tossed out by this hodge-podge. What will happen is they will turn on each other, for Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Arabia and the Gulf States have ancient dislikes. But make no mistake it is not the people of Syria’s war, this is proxy all the way.

  3. Kimberly says:

    I, too, wondered how are the deaths by gas any different than the death by bullets or missles or bombs, why suddenly the outrage. It is scary to think about gas as a weapon, but, to be blunt, dead is dead. I’m not knowledgeable enough to comment on what’s going on there. It seems so convuluted. All the talk here is whether we should intervene or not. I have my own opinion, of course, but I think our leader has made a big mistake bringing the decision to our disfunctional Congress. It almost seemed like a passive agressive move – you don’t like anything I do, so YOU decide.
    Tonight’s news does seem a bit more positive though.

    • V.H says:

      I was up and saw POTUS live. So really what’s biting his ass is the gas. Just the gas. Not the sheer volume of deaths. If the administration used parangs machetes or Kukri, that’d be fine, yeah ?. I don’t think I seen anything so craven in years.

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