Not Worth The Effort

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Last week, word filtered back from the Mideast: Syria, normally a veritable Shangri-La, loaded chemical weapons into warheads for deployment against rebels in the civil war which has torn the land asunder and absorbed billions of dollars and tens of thousands of lives. While initial reactions focused on details such as the source of the weapons of mass destruction and/or how feisty Israel might respond to the news, the bigger question loomed: whither the United States?

Outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned the regime of Bashar Assad against doing an impression of Saddam Hussein circa 1988, cautioning him against crossing what she called a “red line.” Assad should be careful. After the “red line” comes the yellow line. Beyond that lies the dreaded fuchsia line… I think. Actually, Clinton’s warning on behalf of President Barack Obama is no laughing matter. If I were Assad, I’d be quaking in my keffiyeh.

Obama’s once-lauded stance against war has, ahem, evolved. And the installation of the Islamofascist Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and absolute chaos in Libya prove that Obama’s evolutionary progression is taking him farther from the Nobel Peace Prize he didn’t earn. He seems to have developed an enjoyment of war without any sense of responsibility for the outcome. Hell, he and his cronies are behind the deaths of no fewer than five Americans, including a U.S. Ambassador. And rather than admit that he and his accomplices hit the guardrail, he led an effort to leave the scene of the accident.

Should Syria — one of the world’s top supporters of terrorism — engage in chemical weapons attacks on its own people, the eyes of the world will turn toward the United States. Like Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush before him, Obama has made it clear he won’t tolerate such tactics — hence Clinton’s “red line” remark.  But what form would the U.S. response take? As Libya taught everyone outside Obama’s coterie of cretins, aerial strikes and material support serve only to destabilize an already wobbly situation. Giving guns and ammo to the slightly less bad guys is the diplomatic version of kicking out a table leg. In a worst-case scenario (as Obama should have learned from Benghazi), covering up the murders of Americans at the hands of Islamofascists armed by America is a real hassle.

Eliminating half-assed regime change efforts — and we should — seemingly leaves only two options: do nothing or roll heavy into Damascus like we’re Notre Dame and they’re the Crimson Tide’s cheerleaders. However, dropping the proverbial house on Assad and his goons requires justification. We can’t really say it’s about human rights (ask George W. Bush how well that blarney flies). We can’t even really say it’s about securing oil; Syria is hardly a spigot — and the country’s intramural squabble has severely dented what little petroleum it does manage to squeeze from the bedrock. Heck, if we wanted oil that badly, we could invade Mexico.  Considering the success of the Democrats’ votes-for-amnesty-for-votes plan, invading our Southern neighbor would take considerably less effort; most of their population is seemingly on our side of the border already.

What about a third option? Perhaps we could give our boys and girls in uniform a break.  Instead of committing them to fighting in their third hellhole inside a decade, we could task them with securing a reasonable defensive perimeter around Syria (we could use some of those troops we’re pretending we don’t still have in Iraq). Then we can sit back and let the Islamofascists kill the other Islamofascists. That’s a win-win for the whole world.

Syria is a dump. Its leaders have wrecked their own economy, and the place is a mess. Think: Detroit with sand. Sure, there’s some cool old stuff; Jordan, Israel and Egypt have cooler old stuff. With a resurgent Russia, a still-sinister China and a host of other issues facing us here and abroad, let’s allow Syria to shake itself out… or apart.

–Ben Crystal

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.

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