Friday, March 2, 2012


Syria, needless to say, has been a very dreadful place to live of late. What's taken place in the Baba Amr neighborhood of Homs over the past couple of weeks is comparable to what happened in Srebenica back in 1995. Something, it appears, really ought to be done by outsiders.

The $64,000 question, of course is what? The situation is totally crazy.

Some, like John McCain, want to ship arms to the "opposition" — but which opposition? The anti-Assad Syrians are not especially unified. The Free Syrian Army probably would like to have some heavier weaponry, but, unfortunately, it's not really an army. It's fragmented. Its self-proclaimed leaders might not be leaders at all — just a few disaffected officers with big mouths. The protests in Syrian cities other than Homs — Damascus, Hama, Deraa, Aleppo, and others — seem to be led locally, and not even prepared to accept and use armaments.

A NATO invasion aimed at deposing Assad — in the manner of Libya — won't work. There is no "liberated" area to work from and, again, no unified opposition. An assassination of Bashir al-Assad might make a significant difference, but I doubt we could get him to smoke any official CIA poisonous cigars — and a drone attack is not an especially good strategy in Syria, especially since it probably would miss Assad and kill a bunch of civilians. Anyway, what Assad really deserves is good old fashioned South African necklacing.

Then, it remains to consider what might happen after the Assad government falls. Allawites, Christians, and Druse are likely to find themselves in the same kinds of situations the Sunnis of Homs find themselves in now.

It's times like this I'm glad to be powerless. I wouldn't want to face the decisions now faced by the leaders of the US, Turkey, Israel, Europe, and the Sunni monarchies right now — because, honestly, I don't have a clue.

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