Good Luck Syria

So, yet another US backed military operation is imminent. After the Afghans and the Iraqis, it is now the Syrian people‘s turn to be gloriously “liberated”, live on CNN, one smart bomb at a time. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for freedom. I’m an Indian after all, that great country which earned her freedom almost 70 years ago, and yet passed a Rs. 1.3 Trillion bill only yesterday to make sure 67% of its population don’t go hungry. Neither am I a great one of those America haters who can give you a dozen examples of the so-called “Imperial ambitions” of the US before Barack Obama can say “Change.” No, I’m just an average opinionated guy, whose opinion does not matter any more than the average American’s view of America’s war on terror.

I’d agree that the situation in Syria deserves a response of some kind from the international community. I don’t know if Assad has to go, or if he should stay. I’m not sure if handing over the reins to the so called Free Syrian Army would improve things over there, or whether it would just do to Syria what the Taliban did to Afghanistan. I don’t know. I’m not a Syrian. Do you? If President Assad is actually using chemical weapons against his own people, then yes, he has to go. However, allow me a skeptical word here. By all accounts, he was already winning the war. Why would he choose to use the one option, that too at this stage, which is almost guaranteed to invite a military intervention by the West? Anyway, no matter who is using those weapons, I’d agree that the best possible option would be for the bloody war to end, and if that means another “liberation” by the US, I’d say so be it.

However, this time there seems to be a twist in the story. Any military action, it has been said, will be targeted at “punishing Assad, not removing him.” Forgive my ignorance, BO, but what exactly does that mean? For starters, you’re gonna bomb or invade a country to punish a man? Doesn’t really sound very logical to me. Besides, how exactly are the US and its allies gonna take some military action without bringing about his removal? I mean, going by the last few wars fought by the US, we can look forward to all those hi-tech precision strikes against military targets, command and communication centers, weapons depots and government installations. Does it really take too much brains to figure out that this would all but win the war for the rebels, and achieve the exact same objective that the US officials are saying they do not want to achieve? I don’t really care if Assad is exiled, hanged or just vaporised, but why the fancy footwork to pretend that the West is on a hands-off approach this time? Besides, tell me, if the US was actually planning to remove Assad, how else would it have gone about it? A no-shit invasion? Somehow I don’t think the administration would have taken that kind of a political risk.

Once again, I’m not really against foreign intervention in Syria, yes, military if necessary. The situation has reached such a stage that the best solution for the ordinary people over there will be for this war to be over as soon as possible, regardless of who wins. And yes, a US led attack seems to be quickest path to that objective.

It’s just that I’ve heard all this before. I’ve heard the same tales of torture and tyranny, the same stories of chemical and biological weapons  attacks or stockpiles, the so called weapons of mass destruction. I’ve heard oppressive regimes and tyrannical dictators, I’ve heard strong arguments for “regime changes”, the need for immediate action to “deliver a strong clear message” to those misguided rulers. Last but not the least, I’ve heard of “irrefutable evidence” before, that of terror links and gas attacks and WMD stockpiles. I’ve heard of the desperate need to “liberate” the helpless citizens of Afghanistan and Iraq, more than once. Those countries have all been liberated, more than once by the US.

And guess what, they’re still burning.

Good luck Syria.

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