Paradoxically, aiding the resistance [in Syria] could drive some Syrians who desire a negotiated solution toward the government. The Financial Times recently reported: “As the civil war becomes ever dirtier, rebels’ actions are starting to mirror those of the regime.” In fact, opposition fighters increasingly kill regime soldiers and supporters, and have turned to crime, including kidnapping, to raise funds…
Intervening would give Washington ownership for the conflict’s outcome without control. Americans have no moral obligation to support either warring side in an increasingly complex conflict — think Spanish Civil War, for instance. However, helping one side win would make Washington accountable for the winner’s conduct.
In Kosovo NATO went to war to stop ethnic cleansing and stood by as the victorious ethnic Albanians defenestrated a quarter of a million Serbs, Roma, and others. In Syria the potential for a violent breakdown if the rebels triumph is even greater. Warned Holliday: “The remnants of the Syrian military and the powerful pro-regime militias are likely to wage a fierce insurgency against any opposition-led Sunni government in Syria if the Assad regime collapses.” At the extreme, imagine Iraq redux.
Who’s surprised? Not me.
Everyone should hate Reagan.