So by mistake a U.S. airstrike killed sixty-odd soldiers of Bashar Assad’s Syrian army.
We abase ourselves with apologies, while the Russians (who bomb hospitals and UN aid convoys) gleefully stick it to us with breathtaking hypocrisy. Well, those soldiers were human beings after all. Or had once been. More victims, really, of this horror.
At one point documentation emerged about eleven thousand tortured to death in Assad’s prisons. That was years ago already; I wonder what the count is now. Does anyone care? Nobody has been called to justice by any international tribunal.
I have no answers. Any good options on Syria were squandered long ago. We did go through the motions of training and deploying some indigenous good guys. They were wiped out. Last I heard, the force numbered four or five. Not four or five units. Four or five guys.
And remember how President Obama made a fool of himself by failing to punish Assad for crossing the “red line” on chemical weapons use? And how Putin cynically “rescued” Obama with a face-saving deal for Syria to give up its chemical weapons? Well, guess what? Of course it was just a charade. Assad has flagrantly violated the deal, continuing to freely use chemical weapons. With not a peep from Obama about it.
The Russians are not our friends. Any cooperation or coordination with them, in their Syrian military operations, is a trap. So is any negotiation with them because any deals they make are only self-serving and never honored. They just pocket the concessions and then make a mockery of their obligations.
As in Ukraine. Russia actually had signed a treaty with Ukraine, pledging (in exchange for Ukraine giving up nuclear weapons) to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity. I guess that didn’t apply to Crimea, ha ha.
So regarding Syria, nothing negotiated with Russia could be beneficial. We’re just played for patsies. The repeated “cease-fires” are a cruel joke. And what is our Syria policy objective anyway? Just to destroy ISIS? But doing that would help not just the blood-soaked Assad regime and its Russian patrons – and our great pals the Iranians – but also Al Qaeda. Because, although this is murky, the other main anti-Assad force, rival to ISIS, is the Nusra Front, now renamed JFS, which originated with Al Qaeda. Though objectively, among all Syria’s contending forces, JFS may actually be the least bad.
And anyway, destroying ISIS is not a Syria policy because it would not resolve the basic conflict. Bashar Assad may “win” in the end by thoroughly destroying his country.
Then he can stand upon the seared devastation and declare,
“Look upon my works ye mighty and despair.”