Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Let Russia Defeat ISIL, all others go home

The genesis of the Syrian Civil War was in the so-called Arab Spring.  The Arab Spring should not be thought of as an entirely grass roots event.  It was backed by US and Gulf State support going back to  mid 2000's, backing rebel groups that opposed Assad for largely religious reasons.  The rebel groups wanted theocracy, as in Saudi Arabia, whereas Assad has continued the Baath tradition of secular pluralistic democracy.  We should put aside any notion of Syria as being any more "undemocratic" than, say, the USA--which itself is now declared by political scientists to be an Oligarchy.  Assad wins internationally certified elections with large majorities, large majorities that want Syria to remain a secular state.  Elections in the USA are not internationally certified and often called into deep question both inside and outside the USA.

Given that context, Assad's reaction was perfectly predictable and cannot be entirely--or even mostly--blamed on Assad but rather on the US and Gulf States who were the first actors.  Needless to say, the US has always wanted Assad to go precisely because he is a Russian ally and not a US client.

WRT chemical weapons, at least one (and probably more) uses of chemical weapons in famous attacks was not by the Syrian government but rather by an Islamist army, al Nusra, which was directly supported by Gulf states and indirectly supported by the US through it's support for the feckless Free Syrian Army whose soldiers and weapons often seem to end up in al Nusra.

So at least half of the fingers we point at Assad for being a tyrant or whatever who "must go" should instead be pointed right back at US.

Since we're not talking about forcible regime change in the US who was the largest actor in the start of this conflict, we should not be talking about forcible regime change in Syria.  Assad has never been a threat to any other country (very much unlike the US regime and others) and so it is none of the business of other countries.

But that appears to be the aim of all other actors in the region except Russia and Iran.  Only Russia and Iran are supporting the still sovereign government of Syria.  All other actors are invaders.

The genesis of ISIL was a direct consequence of several US actions, including the Arab Spring, the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and the de-Bathification of the Iraqi government.

There is no moral, ethical, or defense reason why western countries should continue their invasion of Syria.  Russia and Iran are perfectly happy to defeat ISIL without western "help" which is really imperial competition, and a proto world war.

A "moderate" friend of mine rationalizes it differently, though to the same end.  "Considering how much we've screwed this up from the very beginning, and then continued doing so until now, at this point the best plan would be to slowly back away and hope to be quickly forgotten."

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