It’s funny, if you watch the main stream media, you would think that there was a big debate going on over whether to intervene in Syria or not. There isn’t. Over 90% of Americans are against it. Let me tell you why I’m against it.
First off, Obama clearly stated that we’re not after regime change, so changing the balance of power is not our goal. What is our goal? Is it to stop Assad from killing Syrians? Let’s assume that’s the reason, even though no one has made that clear. I have to wonder, who are the “good” guys in Syria? Do we know that the rebels are any better than Assad? Why would we intervene without making that determination? Do we really need to go in without all of the information again? Remember, we didn’t know shit about the relationship between the Sunni and the Shia before going into Iraq. Do we really need to make that fucking mistake again?
Secondly, 30 years ago, we thought that training the mujahideen was a good idea. A strong argument can be made that doing that directly led to 911. Obviously, it wasn’t just that, but it was that and installing the Shah in Iran, and our continued interference between Iran and Iraq, plus our blind support of Israel. We need to stop leading the efforts to control the middle east. We clearly don’t understand it well enough to be an authority on what the “right” thing to do is.
Let’s assume something we categorically don’t know for a minute; that the rebels are the “good” guys. We’re stuck in this endless loop where we have the world’s biggest military, so we’re the ones best positioned to intervene in other countries’ “atrocities” (real or manufactured). This leads to having to spend even more money on the military. This reminds me of the cocaine commercials from the 80s; “I do more coke so that I can work more, so that I can earn more money to buy more coke”. It’s endless. The only winners here, seem to be the military industrial complex. They win whether we do the “right” thing or the disastrously wrong thing.
And lastly, no one has explained why intervening in Syria is good for America. What are our interests here? I’m sorry for the Syrians who are suffering, and I hope that they get a good outcome for themselves, but I’m not interested in selectively playing the role of “moral authority” in the world. Bad regimes have eventually fallen at the hands of the oppressed people throughout time. When Syria is ready for regime change, they will change it.
Our history of selective intervention is so tainted, that we aren’t even seen as a moral authority anymore. Everything we do is questionable now, and anything we achieve in another country will always be seen as “illegitimate” in the eyes of the people in those countries. Even if we manage to help the “good” guys, they will never be seen as the good guys. They will forever be seen as another symbol of western intervention.
There is no benefit to be had here, for anyone. I honestly can’t come up with a single reason to get involved in this conflict. I am by no means a strict isolationist, but just like Iraq, I can’t see what “winning” looks like. At least in Iraq, the interests of Exxon and all of the other oil companies was clear. There is no clarity of purpose here, not even a perverse purpose.