Skip to comments.McCain Urges War on Syria
Posted on 07/19/2012 9:37:34 PM PDT by robowombat
The dogs of war are straining at the leash once again. Senator John McCain, who never met a military intervention he didnt like, is now calling for the United States to begin bombing Syria.
Saying that the time has come for a new policy in Syria, McCain called Monday for the United States to lead an international effort to protect key population centers in Syria, especially in the north, through airstrikes on Assad's forces. Lest anybody mistake his intent, the Arizona senator and one-time presidential aspirant further clarified that this will require the United States to suppress enemy air defense in at least part of the country, with the ultimate goal of U.S. airstrikes being to establish and defend safe havens in Syria where enemies of the Assad regime can organize and plan their political and military activities.
Given the situation in Syria, McCain averred, there is no longer any question of whether foreign interests will intervene to support the Syrian opposition. The only question is whether the United States will have a stake in shaping post-Assad Syria:
Some kind of intervention will happen, with us or without us. So the real question for U.S. policy is whether we will participate in this next phase of the conflict in Syria, and thereby increase our ability to shape an outcome that is beneficial to the Syrian people, and to us. I believe we must. However, it is not clear that the present policy can succeed. If Assad manages to cling to power or even if he manages to sustain his slaughter for months to come, with all of the human and geopolitical costs that entails it would be a strategic and moral defeat for the United States. We cannot, we must not, allow this to happen.
For those who havent been staying abreast of events in Syria, the country is now in a state of civil war, with government forces determined to wipe out opposition at any cost. Widespread massacres are apparently being committed and thousands of Syrians, many of them unarmed protesters, have been slaughtered since resistance to the regime began a year ago. Last week government forces overran the city of Homs after a four-week siege of indiscriminate shelling that cost hundreds of civilian lives, including several Western journalists who had managed to gain access to the city.
Let us be clear: The Syrian regime under Basher Assad (and before that, his father Hafez) is one of the most appalling tyrannies on the face of the Earth. Like the Gaddaffis in Libya, the Assads (whose party, the Baath Party, is essentially the same organization that kept Iraqs Saddam Hussein in power) have ruled Syria with a dynastic iron fist for decades, filling government and military posts with family members. Back in 1982, Hafez Assad razed the Sunni Syrian city of Hama for rebellion, slaughtering as many as 40,000 Syrians. For the next three decades, terrified Syrians submitted to the yoke of the Assads security forces (the dreaded secret police, known as the mukhabarat). When Hafez Assads Western-educated son Basher assumed the mantle of leadership, many outsiders hoped that he would prove to be a reformer. Syrians, emboldened by the events of the Arab Spring, dared to hope the same. But Assad the Younger proved to be cut from the same murderous cloth as his father, and appears determined to make a desolation of Syria rather than give up power or institute meaningful reforms.
The bloodbath taking place in Syria right now cannot fail to inspire sympathy from those of us who take our freedoms for granted. Countless YouTube videos of unarmed Syrians (some merely guilty of trying to cross a street covered by government snipers) being gunned down in cold blood suggest that tales of government atrocities are not mere propaganda. The emotional desire to do something to help innocent Syrians is certainly understandable.
But Syria has committed no offense against the United States, atrocious though the Assad regime is. Although Damascus has sponsored terrorism in the past (and continues to give support to groups like Hamas and Hezbollah), it has not unlike Libyas Gaddafi generally supported terrorist groups who attack Westerners. The regime in Damascus has no ties to al-Qaeda, and has proscribed the organization as a terrorist group. Syria does support anti-Israel terrorist activities but the Israelis are more than capable of dealing with Syria by themselves, as they demonstrated in October 2007 with a strike on what later proved to be a Syrian nuclear site.
Nor is there any clear idea of who the Syrian opposition may consist of. Alongside the thousands of doubtless sincere demonstrators working for what they believe will lead to a free Syria, there are others like al-Qaeda itself who have thrown their lot in with the opposition and have a rather different vision for Syrias future than idealistic, sign-waving youths.
Syria, like its neighbor Lebanon, is a mishmash of different feuding ethnic groups and Islamic factions, many of which appear still to support, or at least not yet actively oppose, the Assad regime, especially in the political and mercantile capitals of Damascus and Aleppo, respectively.
Finally, Syrias geography her hilly terrain and dense population would require a full-scale military invasion and occupation to effect regime change. And we all remember how well that approach worked with Iraq.
Even if none of the above were true, it would be very difficult to justify yet another war on a vile regime that has done us no harm. America has been waging war nonstop in the Middle East for two decades, at a cost of many thousands of lives (ours and theirs) and incalculable national resources. But the promised flowering of liberty and eradication of tyranny have yet to materialize just ask the Iranians, the Saudis, the Bahrainis, the Syrians, the Yemenis, and the Egyptians (who, more than a year after their own nearly bloodless revolution, are still ruled by a military dictatorship). How many more unconstitutional wars of choice do we need to embark upon before learning that we cannot remake the world by force of American arms?
In the Middle East especially, America has a very shallow understanding of the broils, intrigues, allegiances, and counter-allegiances of that fascinating but ultimately fathomless region whose culture is so alien from our own. If there is to be intervention in Syria, let it be perpetrated by those who understand Syria best her Arab and other Islamic neighbors.
As for the suffering masses of Syrians, we cannot but wish them well, but with John Quincy Adams resolve to reserve American arms for vindication only of our own liberty.
This is part of the reason I’m glad McCain didn’t win, that bastard probably would have gotten us into WWIII.
McCain = the problem. How much damage is this guy going to do with the time God gives him?
I’m pretty certain that Juan McCain has finally reached the age of senility, joining Charlie Rangel and Joe Bite-Me.
Nah, how about we let them kill each other? Let’s not make them mad at us and maybe it’ll end up a Shiite/Sunni battle royale!
As disastrous as Barry is, I am so happy McCain is not President.
Bomb, bomb, bomb...
Bomb, bomb Damascus.
Bomb, bomb, bomb...
Bomb, bomb Damascus.
I can see McCain in the White House going, “The missiles are flying...Hallelujah...Hallelujah!”
Actually, had he been elected it would have been WWIV by now.
Which would have been fought with rocks and sticks.
Why should we be helping bastard islamists in any way, shape or form?
I will never comprehend men like McCain who linger on in power well past their best years. He doesn’t need the money, and only seems half interested most of the time. His bid for the Presidency was laughable, so I doubt his drive. Why isn’t he on a beach somewhere?
Perhaps a combination of his insecurity from being near-last in his class at Annapolis, shame over his incompetence as a pilot, and guilt over his having been kept alive in Hanoi for the sole reason that his father was an Admiral.
He is a moron. A NIce even good guy but a moron
lol! That reminds me of this.
As well as destroy the Republican Party, as his Progressive idol T.R. nearly did.
So we can spend/waste billions to make them hate us more.
Because our King says we must.
Debtor nations cannot be choosy, apparently.
My guess is Romney is gonna make McCain look like a church choir boy. We independent conservative Freepers will be all over Romney. And Jim has given us the green light. Gonna be fun.
McCain literally waved his pom poms while Klinton bombed Serbia.
His family admirals are all that kept him in Annapolis and in flight school. The maintenance officers on his carrier were quite relieved when he was captured. Although he was an ace, you know? Yes. At least 5 American aircraft damaged beyond repair.
I think the Argentines are still flying the old A4, let's strap old John into one and send him over Syria. Works for me. Works for Arizona!
I say let’s find an old A-4E Skyhawk somewhere, rebuild and overhaul it, and let McLunatic lead the first sortie himself.
Hey, Syria has SAM batteries not unlike the ones North Vietnam used to operate, maybe somebody will get lucky.
She'd be perfect for Rush Limbaugh's "All American First Cavalry Amazon Battalion" ....."I AM OUTRAGED!"
Well, I'm impressed that we still have a navy, what with all the crazed bulldike ship "captains," competing in incompetence with the zombie-like Affirmative Action stooges. If only Commander McHale were still alive!
The A4 was a great little plane in the right (non-McCain) hands. But this could be jealousy on my part. Dammit! I am the one who should be married to a beer distributor.
They seem to be doing a great job of bombing themselves. Whats to improve on?
McCain - Helping Obama expand the power of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Works for me too.
Intervene in Syria?
Sure - send in the new military units of gays and lesbians.
I am in several acrimonious threads about this, but personally, I do not wish to spend American treasure and lives to make the ME safe for the Islamic Brotherhood. McCain wants to bomb? Cool. Bomb Toledo, OH. Enough terror-supporting Islamofascists living there to satisfy any warhawk.
We are so screwed.
The case for intervention in Libya was weak enough, but the case for intervention in Syria is non-existent.
There can never be a pro-western government in Syria such as they have in Jordan so what’s the point of backing one group of nut-cases against another?
However, we must be aware that the outcome in Syria could be a huge security nightmare, there are many weapons about to become loose from their overseers, and all kinds of armed factions in Syria and Lebanon with different ideas of how to wage jihad (and also how to punish Israel).
El-Assad, for all his faults, has kept up a shaky peace with Israel and has presided over a tense but not entirely dysfunctional Lebanon which is basically a Syrian protectorate these days. But soon it won’t be and Iran will have even more influence there.
The lid appears ready to blow off the region, so it won’t be a case of intervening in Syria but intervening in ISRAEL and that means Armageddon. Nobody should be under any illusions, the situation in the Middle East is about a week to a month away from an all-out war and only incredible good fortune or divine intervention can prevent that almost mathematically certain outcome. The Israelis know it, even if we here in North America might not be quite as alert, but as the Bible says, when you see the fig tree in leaf ...
Romney’s proposed visit to Jerusalem is a strange detail given the times, one wonders what he might say or do there.
Where’s the link?
“Why should we be helping bastard islamists in any way, shape or form?”
Exactly! We’ve pissed away money we don’t have, and far more importantly we’ve caused the death of literally thousands of our country’s finest young people for a part of the world, that if it ceased to exist tomorrow would be a good thing. It’s just too bad Israel is where it is, but they chose it.
Seriously I think the guy is showing signs of senile dementia. He has looked literally demonic in some of the recent interviews especially on Greta. Its downright creepy. Maybe Cindy can get him committed.
I mean seriously, WTF?