If you want to know why our “war on terrorism” has failed so miserably – if you want to understand how and why the harder we fight the more enemies we have to face – then read this recent piece in the Wall Street Journal on the evolution of the Syrian civil war, which opens with this startling query:
“In the three-way war ravaging Syria, should the local al Qaeda branch be seen as the lesser evil to be wooed rather than bombed?”
How can such a question even be conceived, let alone asked? After all, wasn’t the whole purpose of the nearly fifteen-year US military campaign in the region supposed to have been the eradication of Al Qaeda? Aren’t we being constantly reminded of the fact that another 9/11 may well be in our future if we don’t destroy “the terrorists,” denying them safe havens and pursuing them to the ends of the earth? And wasn’t it Al Qaeda that conceived, planned, and carried out the attacks that changed our world on that fateful September day?
Oh well, never mind that – don’t be so closed-minded! – because “This is increasingly the view of some of America’s regional allies and even some Western officials.”
As to how one could possibly justify a deal with such a devil, we are told that the Syrian war has killed 230,000 people, and 7.6 million have been forced to flee. The Journal is taking the numbers of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a pro-rebel group, as definitive, yet others put the figure lower, ranging from roughly 140,000 to 215,000 killed. Left unsaid (by the Journal) is who did all that killing, although the clear implication is that Syrian despot Bashar al-Assad is the culprit. And while Assad’s forces have done their share of slaughtering, they have suffered a little less than 85,000 dead, at this point. The rebels, on the other hand, have seen a little over 100,000 killed. To say nothing of civilians caught in the middle….
The assumption that we have to “do something” – even something so downright crazy as allying with Al Qaeda – in order to pull off a “humanitarian intervention” flies in the face of the facts. Both sides are mass murderers. I say both sides – as in two sides – in spite of the Journal‘s insistence that this is a three-sided war:
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