Yes but Assad is aligned with Iran.
I’d have taken Assad out when we had our whole army in Iraq and he was supporting attacks on our troops. And we should have put a moderate government in power, not the al queda factions.
It doesn't work that way in that part of the world.
Woulda, shoulda, here we are in the real world. You either back Assad, or you back al qaeda, or you stay out of it. Choose.
“Id have taken Assad out when we had our whole army in Iraq and he was supporting attacks on our troops. And we should have put a moderate government in power, not the al queda factions.”
I respectfully disagree.
The USA shouldn’t be “putting” any more governments in power. We need to stop it!
Yes, it is true that Assad is aligned with Iran. The problem though is this - when it comes to geopolitics and trying to distil probable ramifications going forward, things are never black and white. Syria has been another Alawite minority leadership for decades, and while they have been a constant thorn in the side of the West/Israel it has been largely a stable situation. Just like Iraq under Saddam, or Egypt under Mubarrak, or even Libya under Gaddafi (once he stopped financing terrorists taking down planes and decided to focus on simply being mad), radical Islam was more or less kept firmly under control. Those strongmen were definitely not saintly, and every now and then you'd hear of Israel sending some F-16s to bomb some random site in Syria or Gaddafi threatening to expose some financial dealings with Sarkozy, etc. But generally it is a stable relationship in the vein of how cops sometimes have a 'relationship' with a criminal gang ...where the gang is operating, but they know not to shoot a cop or to do certain types of crimes, and the cops arrest the gang members but generally don't do a huge operation to get the gang's leadership. Not the best of situations, but a situation that can create a 'stable relationship' for a very long time.
Now, change that. Since Assad is aligned with Iran, let's take him out.
The first (probably the main) question that should be asked is WHO WILL BE THE REPLACEMENT. I think that is the problem that has plagued a lot of Western influence in other countries, where certain leaders are replaced without careful thought on who will fill the power vacuum created.
Now, let's look at this particular situation. The groups seeking to replace Assad are aligned with Jihadi organizations, and are already executing attacks on minority groups (Alawites, Christians, etc) in the parts of Syria that they control. Those groups are unlikely to be friendly towards Israel if the problem was Assad's relationship with Israel. Or take Egypt. Egypt some decades back was one of the main adversaries to Israel, engaging in serious war with the Jewish state. With Mubarrak, Egypt not only had normal relations with Israel, but it became the USA's main ally in the region. When Mubarrak was taken out, the Muslim Brotherhood started rattling sabres against Israel, and it is only with the new revolution (coup?) weeks back that they were taken out. Or look at Libya ...Gaddafi was not a nice guy, but are the people running the place now better than he was or far dangerous?
I cannot predict the future, but I can assure you that if Assad is removed in a year or so people will be wishing that hadn't happened.