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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Why We Should Stay Out of Syria

Here are a couple different op-eds from the National Review on why the U.S. should not involve itself in Syria. The first is by Daniel Pipes, a well-known expert on the Middle-East. He writes:
Finally (as earlier was the case in Iraq), protracted conflict in Syria offers some geopolitical advantages:

It lessens the chances of Damascus starting a war with Israel or reoccupying Lebanon.

It increases the chances that Iranians, living under the thumb of the mullahs who are Assad’s key ally, will draw inspiration from the Syrian uprising and likewise rebel against their rulers.

It inspires greater Sunni Arab anger at Tehran, especially as the Islamic Republic of Iran has been providing arms, finance, and technology to help repress Syrians.

It relieves the pressure on non-Muslims: Indicative of the new thinking, Tahawi recently stated that “the Alawi and Shi’i coalition is currently the biggest threat to Sunnis, even more than the Israelis.”

It foments Middle Eastern rage at Moscow and Beijing for supporting the Assad regime.

Western interests suggest staying out of the Syrian morass.
The second is by Andrew McCarthy. He similarly notes:
To be sure, we are skeptical of the presumption, championed by progressives, that because the United States is the most important country in the world, every conflict on earth is our business — which is to say, our burden, and in the eyes of many progressives, our fault. But mainly we believe American interventions ought to be driven by vital American interests. Many times, those vital interests are best served by butting out. That is particularly the case in the Muslim Middle East, where hatred of America has a unifying effect on our otherwise fractious enemies.

In Syria, this plays out two ways. First, there is no realistic prospect of regime change favorable to the United States; intervention thus necessarily portends making one set of America’s enemies stronger than they currently are. Second, it is in America’s interest that al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood (including Hamas), the Assad regime, the Iranian mullahs, and Hezbollah all become weaker; non-intervention while they beat each other’s brains in is therefore to our great advantage.
I agree that Syria does not present a situation that requires the U.S. to expend its blood and treasure. We have no pressing obligation to assist people that were suckled at the breast of anti-Americanism. Sometimes, the greater wisdom is to simply do nothing at all.

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