Wanting Assad Out In Syria Is Understandable…..But Forcing Him Out Would Be A Huge Mistake
In 2012, President Obama now famously warned Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad that any use of chemical weapons would constitute the metaphorical crossing of a “red line” and would be met with military action.
Then Donald Trump got elected and finally made good on that red line promise.
Many on both sides of the aisle pushed President Trump to intervene from the day he took office, and in April of last year, he launched a targeted strike on Syria.
I was hoping it would end there, but unfortunately, that does not seem to be the case.
Secretary of Defense James Mattis is now talking about a more pronounced and permanent presence in Syria, including a full-throated push to force Assad out of power.
That would be a mistake. A big mistake.
I am a supporter of the president, so I would like to offer him some words of wisdom from a very prominent world leader who seems to agree with me that intensifying our military efforts in Syria would be a bad idea.
“If the U.S. attacks Syria and hits the wrong targets, killing civilians, there will be worldwide hell to pay. Stay away and fix broken U.S.”
In another statement, this same prominent world leader said, “We should stay the hell out of Syria, the ‘rebels’ are just as bad as the current regime. What will we get for our lives and billions of dollars? Zero.”
Finally, this same world leader wondered aloud, “What will we get for bombing Syria besides more debt and a possible long-term conflict?”
If you guessed that the world leader I’m referring to is President Trump, you are correct. Those were tweets he sent out in 2013 when President Obama was pushing involvement in the Syrian conflict. He was beat back at the time, although as I mentioned, he simply began drone bombing them instead.
I said this about Vladimir Putin and I will say it about Bashar al-Assad as well: he is a very bad man and I weep for his victims.
But we simply cannot be the world’s policemen.
We have done it countless times and it always ends in absolute disaster. The disastrous results of what happened when we toppled governments in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Nicaragua, unfortunately tell that tale all too well.
Regardless of intentions, the unintended consequences — piles of bodies and a regime that takes over and ends up being even worse than the one it is replacing — are often staggeringly terrible both for the country we are invading and for us.
I sympathize with those who want Asaad out, but greater intervention is not only going to be ineffective in the long run, it is also going to get a lot more people killed.
So, what can we do?
Well, it would be nice if other countries in the region like Saudi Arabia would help out, but since that is not going to happen, there needs to be some sort of international cooperation and the International Criminal Court should get involved.
To a great deal of people that will not be considered a strong enough action to take. I’m not 100 percent convinced myself that it would work.
But what I do know is that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it, and our history shows that an operation to depose Assad would likely cause more problems than it would solve.
I wish President Trump would listen to his own words from 2013, rather than those of the bloodthirsty foreign policy establishment that dragged us into perpetual Middle Eastern war in the first place.
And when it comes to taking further military action in Syria, I have only one request: Please reconsider.