Are American interests harmed when the Syrian government governs Syria?

My Facebook feed is now 99 percent hysteria regarding the U.S. policy shift in Syria. Trump has decided to scale back involvement in the Syrian civil war, now in its 8th year. My friends who identify as Democrats are demanding continued U.S. military action (none has demanded a 600-ship Navy yet, but I remain hopeful!). Note that none of these folks are actually in the military or young enough to join, so they take no personal risk by advocating that others fight.

From a recent New York Times article:

The Syrian government had been almost entirely absent from the northeast since it withdrew or was chased out by armed rebels. The Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish-led militia that worked with the United States to fight the Islamic State, soon became the region’s overarching political force.

If Syrian government forces can reach the Turkish border to the north and the Iraqi border to the east, it would be a major breakthrough in Mr. Assad’s quest to re-establish his control over the whole country.

In other words, while complaining that some Russians may have purchased a Facebook ad falsely asserting that Hillary Clinton was an elderly tax-and-spend Democrat, we have been supporting a group trying to carve off part of another country and run it for themselves.

(I recognize that Bashar al-Assad may have shortcomings as a leader, but he has a challenging task and it is unclear that the Syrian government is worse than a bunch of other governments worldwide. If it is legitimate for us to help an armed rebellion against Assad, shouldn’t we also be helping armed rebellions all around the world?)

Readers: Plainly it would be better if Syrians were more like the Costa Ricans and the Syrian government were more like the Costa Rican government. But, given that Syrians are not like the Costa Ricans, does it make sense to be continuously outraged that the Syrian government is not like the Costa Rican government? What are we buying with the money and American lives spent over the last eight years in Syria?

Is it enough to say “Because terrorism”? Why is it obvious that some government other than Assad’s would do a better job of discouraging Muslims in Syria from waging jihad? None of the September 11 jihadis were from Syria and, in fact, all came from countries whose governments we have supported.

8 thoughts on “Are American interests harmed when the Syrian government governs Syria?

  1. Meanwhile, ABC News took clips from “Knob Creek Machine Gun Night Shoot 2016”, and falsely called it a “slaughter in Syria”. NY Times reporter took pictures from a 1983 earthquake, and falsely claimed it was “Kurdish children are being slaughtered”. Somebody sure wants more war in Syria …

    • Interesting links, “1984 media”. Perhaps simplistically, I assume the answer to “who wants more war in X” is always Israel, if X is vaguely in or around the middle east. Syria, Iraq, Libya, maybe Afghanistan, definitely Iran if they can pull it off. Has anyone else benefited more from these wars?

      It makes sense for Israel to exploit its “dumb big brother” while it still can. There are signs that Jewish influence is weakening, see Ilham Omar for example, or the previously invincible Epstein and Weinstein. Isn’t it logical for Israel to squeeze all it can out of the US before Wokeism turns definitively against them?

    • Lord P: I’m not sure that it is obvious where Israel’s interests are regarding Syria.

      says that Assad has allied with Iran and Hezbollah and, as such, is someone Israel might rather see removed. But, on the other hand, Assad has observed a truce with Israel.

      (Al Jazeera notes “Syria and Israel have technically been in a state of war since 1948, after the ethnic cleansing of Palestine by Zionist militias, and the Arab-Israeli war that ensued in the same year.” so I don’t think we can accuse the news outlet of being in Israel’s pocket somehow. Though maybe they are subtly accusing Israeli Jews of being incompetent? The newspaper says that there was an “ethnic cleansing” operation in 1948 and yet today there are 1.9 million Arab citizens of Israel. That’s not very “cleansed”.)

    • Lord P., do not try to look for mythical Israeli interests in Afghanistan, when you personally were involved in ruining advance Afghani civilization, according to wikipedia: “In 1837, Lord Palmerston and John Hobhouse, fearing the instability of Afghanistan, the Sindh, and the increasing power of the Sikh kingdom to the northwest, raised the spectre of a possible Russian invasion of British India through Afghanistan” British Empire was the only country that tried taking over/ care about Afghanistan since Alexander the Great and until advance of Brezhnev’s mental retardation.
      Really all countries that you mentioned were once occupied either by British Empire or France with some Russian and Soviet involvement (Iran in WWII, Libya) a while before modern Israel declared independence. Anti-Semitism is going to cause Europe self-destruct.

    • > Lord P: I’m not sure…

      Nor am I. But Syria has historically not been exactly a staunch friend of Israel, and truces can be broken. If you have the ability to damage a potential enemy at no cost to yourself – and especially if that ability might disappear soon – wouldn’t it be tempting?

  2. “What are we buying with the money and American lives spent over the last eight years in Syria?”

    Does America not owe anything to Syria for the fallout of the illegal and immoral Iraq War?

  3. During the end of the 2nd Gulf War, a Middle East analyst came on Nightline and he explained the situation most eloquently. There were effectively, 3 “tribes” in Iraq at the time, the Sunnis, the Shias, and the Kurds. The analyst basically said that it was a waste of money and time keeping Iraq intact, and that the US just needed to divide the country into 3 countries, Shia, Sunni, and Kurd. Twenty years later and 60 billion dollars later, we all agree that making Iraq a Democratic nation was a failure. Democracy does not work in Muslim countries. Creating 3 countries allows the US to trade oil for arms for each of the 3 countries as they continue their centuries long quest to dominate each other. My hope as the US withdraws from Iraq that we follow that analyst’s advice and recognize that Syria is not a country either, but a conglomeration of tribes.

  4. “that making Iraq a Democratic nation was a failure.”

    Huh? The U.S. tried very hard to make sure it was not democratic. They sided with the minority in fear that Iraq would ally w/ Iran. The initial elections were as corrupted as when Saddam was in power.

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