Syria – May 2013

Syria – May 2013

No Intervention in Syria
by Sheldon Richman, May 15, 2013

If after the debacles in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya (dare I say Vietnam?) some people still want the U.S. government to intervene — further — in the war inside Syria (but fueled by outsiders), we must conclude, not that they can’t learn the lessons of recent history, but that they won’t because doing so would be contrary to their assorted political, ideological, and material interests.

It is quite clear that the U.S. military is powerless to make things better in Syria. That’s right. For all the trillions spent on the national-security state and global empire, the United States stands as a pitiful giant on the Middle East stage. Sure, it could increase the bloodshed on the ground and perhaps even cause the release of chemical agents. Indeed, it could even turn the dominant al-Qaeda-related rebels, some of them the same jihadists the U.S. government fought in Iraq, into a better-armed force.

An Atrocity in Syria, With No Victim Too Small

Syrian Rebel Defends Eating Soldier’s Heart as ‘Legitimate’
Sociopathic Commander’s Video Raises Ire Among Rights Groups
by Jason Ditz, May 14, 2013

Turkey PM to Push Obama for Action Against Syria
Efforts to Pin Border Bombs on Assad Continue, But Is Anyone Buying It?
by Jason Ditz, May 14, 2013

Days later, however, the Assad allegations aren’t holding water.

Turkey arrested nine people over the bombings on Sunday, every last one of them a Turkish citizen, and all reportedly linked to an “old Marxist terrorist organization.” A key opposition MP said he believes that the Jabhat al-Nusra, a Syrian rebel group with links to al-Qaeda, is the culprit.

Protesters in southern Turkey have also clearly repudiated the government’s narrative, saying they believe the bombings are simply blowback from the Erdogan government’s hasty intervention in Syria’s fighting.

Still, the Turkish government seems to be sticking to its story no matter how few people believe them, and that is fueling the push for US intervention as well.

Is Israel Hastening the Fall of Assad?
John Glaser, May 14, 2013

If you compare the threat assessment Israel must be doing on Assad with the threat assessment Israel must be doing on Sunni rebel extremists possibly coming to power in Syria, clearly the latter is significantly worse. Israeli foreign policy is menacing and criminal, but it isn’t stupid.

Not only does Israel in all likelihood see Assad as less threatening than al-Qaeda-affiliated militias, but there is also an argument out there, made yesterday by Thanassis Cambanis in Foreign Policy, that Iran’s backing of Assad is draining the Islamic Republic’s resources and reputation in the region. Israeli policymakers may be viewing that favorably.

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