Monday, August 26, 2013
the Ghost of Syria
President Obama has been positioning naval vessels off the coast of Syria. Is this a good idea?
The use of chemical weapons seems to be an understandable trigger point.
Obama can look to the example of Clinton who bombed the be-jesus out of Belgrade with great civilian casualties, but without the risk of American troops on the ground -- and that worked. We can hardly remember the dictator's name -- Milosovic -- he has been blotted from memory, and peace, or an ugly calm, pervades the Balkans.
Or Obama can follow the example of Geo. Bush who invaded Iraq, but not to the benefit of the Iraqi people nor to the benefit of regional security.
"It could be worse" -- we sometimes say that in our country. But they don't say that in the Middle East, they make some bitter joke instead.
Still they survive these wars and the olive trees still grow. Read a history of the Crusades or a history of the Roman Conquest, and the names of Tripoli, Homs, and Damascus are mentioned as battle sites. Syria recovered then, it will recover again this time.
"Syria" as a geographic entity has often included Lebanon, Palestine, and what we know call Israel -- with more trouble per square mile than any place on earth. And still it is beautiful. It must be worth fighting for. Nobody wants to leave, or if they do leave they make desperate efforts to return.