Today’s NYT contains an editorial by it’s op-ed board that warns against any escalated U.S. involvement in the Syrian civil war. They draw parallels between Syria and Iraq and Afghanistan warning of lost blood and treasure in recent Mid-East conflicts. They also warn that if we increase our aid to the rebels than Russia will just increase their aid to their ally Assad. And they also warn of Islamic jihadists obtaining American weapons. But I do not see these arguments as convincing as some others might.
First, I do not recommend a ground-troop invasion of Syria like the ones that took place in Iraq and Afghanistan. That is a ridiculous possibility to even conjure. At most we could send in military advisers, but I am not even endorsing that yet. What about supplying the troops with anti-armor and anti-aircraft weapons to start off. What about just the body armor they are requesting right now?
Secondly, do you think that Russia really wants to get into a proxy war with the United States in somewhere as inconsequential as Syria? Putin may supply Assad with more weapons at first in a competition between our two nations but I do not believe they would be in it for the long haul for they would ultimately lose, and Putin knows that.
Third, some weapons, if reports of jihadists fighting in the war are true, will end up with them if we supply enough of them. But you know what? Not everything is perfect all of the time. Plus, who in the region will they attack if said weapons are obtained? We have pulled out of Iraq and have one foot out of Afghanistan. They could attack embassies, I guess. But that is miniscule in the place of my fourth and final point.
93,000 people have died in the conflict between Assad and the freedom-fighting rebels which has included the bombing of civilian targets by the Assad regime and the use of chemical weapons. The point here is we have got to do something. Maybe the United States should be on the right side of history for once in the Middle East. The rebels are fighting a leader that is willing to do anything, including killing his own countrymen in unspeakable ways, just to preserve his position as supreme leader. There is a time when, even though it is a subjective perception, to do the “right thing.”