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Monday, June 10, 2013

Should the United States Provide Aid to the Syrian Rebels?

(en) Syria Location (he) מיקום סוריה
 Syria Location  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

   The ongoing war between government forces in Syria and the opposition rebel forces has cost the lives of tens of thousands of people on both sides and of those caught in the middle.  Billions of dollars of damage has been done to the country while more billions have been spent in weaponry and other resources to kept the fight going.   How many of the billions should be coming from the United States?

       The Syrian government has been no great friend to the United States in the past, but it's highly questionable how many true friends to the western world can be found in the opposition forces.  This is an internal conflict that has been fueled by the entrance of a melange of groups including radicals like Al-Qaeda.  All of these movements of militant change want control and if they gain that control it's likely they will not be siding with the United States and its allies.

       A power play is going on in the region with many nations stepping into the arena.   The Syrian government is backed by Russia, China, Iran and the notorious Hezbollah.  With support from the majority of Arab countries and others the rebels have managed to prolong this war for two years.  In the end it may not matter initially to most of the world which side wins, but no matter what, the powder keg that is the Middle East is destined to explode in a big way.   How much money should we invest in that?

        So what's the scenario here?   If the Syrian government regains complete hold on the country and ousts the rebels, Israel will be under the threat of Syria.   If the rebels take over, then Israel will be under the threat of Syria.  The bottom line in all of this is Israel--no surprise for anyone who has studied this history for the past 6000 years.

        Personally, my solution is to take all the politicians who advocate supporting the rebels and issue them a weapon out of the government arsenal and ship them off to the Syrian border.   John Kerry, John McCain, and all the others can take anyone else who wants to join in and at their own expense they can fight the war they want taxpayers to support.  They'll have to buy their own ammo and supplies though.  The weapons and transportation are as far as I want my tax dollars to go.   It would be worth keeping all of this bunch busy over there so more sensible minds can stay to figure out how to spend tax dollars here at home where they're needed most.  I think this group would make for a pretty small army as I don't think many Americans support this uprising in Syria.

        Do you think the U.S.or any of its allies should be sending tax supported military aid to the Syrian rebels?   Should we send our forces there to end the conflict?   A victory from which side do you think would benefit the world most?

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  1. I am not into political issues but it appears whenever there is trouble in the world Your country as well as ours seems to be expected to help either by sending troops or supply money. I don't know what the answer is as it is always the innocent people of these countries that suffer,


  2. Supporting rebels over a legitimate government, no matter how screwed up, is never smart business. I say no.

  3. I honestly wish that America and all other countries would stop with their interference in the situation. I mean America actually supplied the current government with things that helped them to power so to turn around and support the rebels now would be hypocritical. One thing I can't stand is interference in Syria, I know some Syrians and what's most important to them is that conflict is stopped and their people have peace, it's a very sensitive issue which I'm sure you understand man, it needs to be treated with caution if any governments are going to involve themselves in the war.

  4. Better the devil we know than the devil we don't.

  5. No. Divert some of that aid back to your own people.

    This is a chess game with a lot of bite you in the ass potential.


  6. Deja Vu. Didn't we support and train another fellow called Bin Ladin some years back? I understand the humanitarian impulse to save the innocents, so I'm torn in this debate about supporting the rebels. But in that area of the world, a righteous rebel often becomes a terrorist shortly after gaining the power base he needs.

    Huge and horrible decision--one that will land the US into more trouble (politically and financially) either way we respond.

  7. I have a theory about modern warfare. If the leaders of countries had to lead from the war front like in ancient times, we wouldn't have any wars. As long as leaders, us and everyone else, can send young people to fight while they stay safe, we'll never have world peace. So I guess I agree with your idea.

  8. @Alex: The French supported us in overthrowing our legitimate government. Just sayin'.

    The problem with us supporting anyone in any conflict is that we never want to do the work needed after the conflict is over. Until we're ready to step up and help countries rebuild, especially educationally, we can't get involved. The fact that we pull out just makes things worse.

    I think we just have something against education.

  9. Yvonne -- Maybe the US and UK need to think about themselves for a while.

    Alex -- If rebel factions formed within our borders and took arms against the government, our government would be taking military action and would not be happy with other countries supporting the rebels.

    Yeamie -- I don't think the US has provided any arms to the Syrian government, but the Assad government has plenty of benefactors from countries that would like to see the West weakened. I say stay out. Fighting Syria would be much like Viet Nam in that we'd really be fighting other powers.

    L.Diane -- At least Assad has maintained some sense of sanity within its own borders.

    Sia -- You said it the way it is. The western nations are growing weaker the more we divert resources into conflicts that benefit us in few ways.

    C. Lee -- We can't save the world that doesn't want our way of life and wants one that is out to eventually bring ours down.

    Susan GK -- Most of the citizenry of most governments are merely commodities to be spent for the gain of those in power.

    Andrew -- The support of the French came in different times and they were more in tune to the motivations of the U.S. We have nothing of common gain with either side in Syria. You make a point that I strongly agree with about the follow-up. We spend billions to destroy a country, then more billions to kind of rebuild but mostly line the pockets of those who were kind of responsible for the whole mess in the first place. Let's face it, the goals of Islamic revolutionaries are not on track with our own. They don't want us meddling in their affairs or changing them to our way of belief. We did virtually nothing to improve Iraq and Afghanistan is headed the same way.


  10. I think when a government abuses and kills its own citizens then we have plenty in common with anyone that wants to rebel against the government. Either way, if it is okay for us to have rebelled against what we thought was an oppressive government (much less oppressive than what these people have been subjected to) and seek assistance in our rebellion, then we can not condemn any other peoples for doing the same thing.

    On a separate but same topic, if we had just stayed and helped the people in Afghanistan after we assisted them against the USSR, we might have much fewer problems in the Middle East today. But we stopped short of any actual assistance.

    (Have you seen Charlie Wilson's War? Just as an example.)

  11. When you take into consideration that many of the rebel factions have strong ties to Al-Queda, it doesn't make ANY sense to me that we fund them or even provide them with guns, ammo, and definitely NOT our people. Al-Queda has made it very clear how it feels about America. I think they hate us more than they do the Syrian Government. I can see them gladly taking our money, guns, and ammo and then using them on our own soldiers (and later on our citizens in this country given the opportunity). And LAUGHING AS THEY KILL US all the way.

    Far better to support the one ally that we know we have: Israel. If we are going to send guns and ammo to anyone, it only makes sense to send it to the country that you know won't turn around and use it on YOU. Seems like a "Duh" to me. But, we can't seem to learn this one.

    Fast and Furious Anyone?

  12. I basically support your last paragraph Lee.

  13. I think it would be cool if the Syrian Rebels starting sending aid to the USofA. I don't know what they could start off with at first, maybe send foreign language tutors, send their best calculus people, definite need for calculus tutoring. Perhaps they could send people who know how to fix parking lots. the guys who worked on my asphalt did a terrible job. Yes, Asphalt Repairmen should be a top export.

  14. I say no. We should not get into a war that does not affect us at home.

  15. No, no and no. If I have learned anything in recent times it is the fact that people who live in a free democracy in the west do not understand the machinations of Islam or the Arab world. It is extremely painful to watch, but that is all we should do. Do what is necessary to protect our boarders, for sure, and let these countries sort out their own problems. They think and operate in a way that is totally alien to us. Our imposition of western values up till now has been a disaster. Keep out.

  16. Andrew -- There are many regions that fit the description you describe. Let's face it, we can't solve all the problems of those regions and we are wasting resources that could be more constructively applied elsewhere.

    Robin -- I'm in agreement with you. If I want to be on any one side, it's that of Israel.

    Jo -- Thank you.

    esbb-- Kind of a foreign exchange program? Nice to dream about, but I think we'd just be importing the revolution to our own soil.

    Gina -- Strengthen our defenses in case the war does start heading our way.

    SK -- You said it well. We're on the same page.


  17. Well, no, I'm not advocating for that. In actuality, that should be the job of the U.N.

    It's like this, if you know that there is child abuse going on down the street, and you -don't- report it, you held accountable for that, as guilty as the person committing the abuse. That's pretty powerful stuff.

    Why is it not the same with the world?

  18. The child abuse is a crime and can be reported to authorities who can deal with the issue.

    The problem with conflicts in nations is that they deal with ideologies and factions. Who are we to decide which is right? In Syria, even the opposition is divided into differing sides and if the Syrian government is overthrown a power struggle will continue just as we see in Iraq or Pakistan.

    We are measuring the problem by Western standards and want to impose our solution and this is not something everyone over there wants from us. Best to let them sort it out and take care of the issue if it directly threatens us.

    So often the U.S. has taken a side only to have it backfire on us or as you indicated earlier, we don't do the necessary follow-up.

    Who should we help in Turkey? I've been watching those protests today and that country may be the next in line for insurrection.

    We need to keep our own house in order. I think we have our own problems brewing with potential for rebellion on the way.


  19. Oh, and I meant to say Afghanistan rather than Pakistan, but the latter has plenty of internal problems as well and like in the other nations, everyone thinks that they are right.


  20. I would prefer the U.S. stay out of Syria too--talk about a no-win situation. However, the geo-politics of that region and our country's interests there will likely preclude my wish.

  21. It's no easy thing being a carnival of fun and cotton candy. Congrats to you for achieving that happy state of mind and I hope it rubs off on people like me who occasionally have to fight off the pessimism and insecurity.

  22. Apparently, you have one reader who still believes in nation rebuilding, AFTER Vietnam, AFTER Afghanistan I, when we helped kick the Soviets out and helped create Al Qaeda, AFTER Afghanistan II, in which we've helped strengthen an opium economy and a democracy for Muslim males, and AFTER Iraq, where we stirred up a civil war between opposing Muslim sects. How much farther do we go down this road? As to the French help in our revolution, it actually came from their King, Louis XVI. Their subsequent revolution and his beheading was a direct result of the example we provided to their regiments returning from America. Throw in the Reign of Terror and Napoleon, and I don't see a lot of benefit to France from helping us.

  23. Jagoda -- There is much evidence that the Middle East will burden us for years to come. Will we pick the right side?

    Kim -- You're replying to the post that is prior to this one. Remember that happiness is a matter of choice. For some that choice is not easy if habits have been ingrained. I hope you start seeing sunnier days.

    Jack --The proper follow-up is rarely if ever done. Revolution often turns on its benefactors. A rattlesnake doesn't make for a good pet.



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