Where are the suicide bombers when they’re needed?

There’s been a plague of suicide bombers – throwing away their lives (and their victims), to achieve nothing, for causes that are bad ones anyway. Wouldn’t it be nice if, just once, a suicide bomber did something good: like blowing up Bashar Assad.

Am I advocating this as the solution for Syria? Not really; life is rarely that simple. But I can’t help reflecting on the legions of people willing to die to kill innocents, while not a one tries to kill this monster. Yet of course it’s explicable, in a way. Suicide bombers have something greatly twisted in their minds. Their ranks would not include any rationalist humanistic people – the kind of people who would loathe Assad. And the latter sort would not be suicide bombers.

The Syrians who go into the streets don’t want to throw away their lives; but are willing to risk them in a just cause. That’s not irrational. It’s the tragic aspect of the human condition that sometimes confronts us with such awful choices. And so, for want of a single suicide bomber, probably thousands more Syrians will have to lose their lives before Assad is done (or done for).

 I must reiterate that this is not a “government.” It is a criminal gang ruling Syria the way Al Capone ruled Chicago. Assad apparently believes he can prevail if he kills enough people. And he’s still a long way from his daddy’s death toll.

The Obama administration is on the right side – sort of. Yet again, the U.S. is “leading from behind,” much too slow and much too timid. How long was it before the administration finally said Assad must go? Why the squeamishness? This guy was never one of our sonofabitches – to the contrary, always our outright enemy.

Indeed, as Charles Krauthammer explains in an excellent recent column, the U.S. interest in scuppering Assad goes way beyond just Syria – because he’s been a linchpin ally of Iran – its only Arab ally, and its only Sunni Muslim ally. (Iran is non-Arab, and Shiite.) Assad’s fall would be catastrophic for Iran’s strategic position. It would also pull the rug out from Lebanon’s Hezbollah, and Gaza’s Hamas, backed by Syria. And let’s not forget that the Iranian regime itself vulnerably rules (like Assad) a rebellious population kept down only by brutality. Iran is the final domino. And tipping over that one would be a gigantic boon for us and world peace.

So, as Krauthammer argues, aggressive action to crunch Assad would not only serve our ideals, of democracy and human rights, but would also serve our hard-nosed geopolitical interests.

What should we do? Krauthammer says, “Force the issue. Draw bright lines. Make clear American solidarity with the Arab League” in its stand against Assad and Iran. (If even the once-feckless Arab League now wants to be on the right side of history, so should we!) Push a total economic and arms embargo on Syria; rush aid for the resistance; and insist that Assad scram or else. Military measures should not be ruled out. Why not a little bombing to raise the cost for army guys sticking with Assad? The payoff could be huge. This is a fantastic opportunity for us.

We should not be deterred by the fact that the Russians and Chinese vetoed the UN resolution. Their shameful obstructive role renders the UN irrelevant in situations like this. We must not allow their Bad Guys Protection League to dictate what the good guys may do.

What’s stopping us?

2 Responses to “Where are the suicide bombers when they’re needed?”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I lived in Homs, it’s very sad what is happening today in Syria, Bashar is a monster…

  2. How many deaths will it take till he knows that too many people have died? « The Rational Optimist Says:

    […] Furthermore, acting as I urge would show the Syrian people – and people throughout the world suffering under such tyranny – that we really and truly are on their side. And on the right side of history (which the Russians and Chinese are not). And, who knows, it might encourage the Syrian opposition just enough to tip the balance of the situation against Assad. His fall would would pay us priceless geopolitical dividends (as I explained in a previous post.) […]

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