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29 May 2012


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Col: Since there is zero chance that a stable, properous, and democractic Syria will result from our intervention (See Iraq), maybe McCain simply prefers destroying all Arab countries that don't do our bidding. What other motive can he have?

Iraq should have stripped "idealists" of their illusions about the contructive use of force. For me, the question is, "Does Syria threaten America?" If not, then military force is off the table.

The Moar You Know

I understand McCain's desire for payback - oh boy, do I ever - but he's not going to find it in the Middle East, and the taxpayers are done with war for longer than he's likely to live.

I'd send McCain some Kipling, but he doesn't strike me as the reading type. Which is too bad, he could learn a thing or two about the wisdom of trying to teach that part of the world a lesson.


The Syria play is too tempting for the NeoCons, and anyone else, with political ambitions, and thimble full of knowledge about the ME, to resist. They see a chance to take down the 'Crescent'...Nasrallah in Lebanon, Assad, and Iran. It is irresistible. So....here we go.

If we arm anyone...do we have a fallback plan for the chaos sure to follow? Do we have one for Lebanon? Do we have one if a Sunni-Shia battle overflows (as I'm fairly certain it will) into Iraq? What are the Kurds gonna do in this upheaval? The Jordanians? I see lots of questions and few answers.

William R. Cumming

Was McCain [USNA '58] a fighter or bomber pilot? If the Republicans take the Senate he will definitely Chair some key Committee!

Some Washingtonians are telling me the Gingrich Campaign was to lock in Romney to the war position with respect to Iran! Thoughts?


Events in Syria seem reminiscent of those in former Yugoslavia in 1990s--another episode of nasty, ugly ethnic conflict that went out of control and one that I still think was a mistake that we eventually wound up being involved. This same comparison, I suppose, would also be made by many who want to be involved as well--those who are still convinced that the West stopped an "evil" in those parts, and in so doing, often wind up revealing their own racist attitude towards the "uncivilized" Orthodox South Slavs. I suspect, though, that the truth in the Balkans was that we were really just lucky and that we would be foolish that we would continue to be so just because "we are right, great, and just," or whatever.

Lord Curzon

Where is the US' "Sikundar" Burns? There must be at least one chap who has been in-country at length and knows the lie of the land. Who can warn those who would precipitate the opening shots of a Thirty Years War in the the ME.

Where is he/she?

Augustin L

Having sowed chaos in Lybia Nato's
takfiri auxiliaries,are now turning
their sights to the next strategic
target, Proof:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuGhi-WlBEU&feature=player_embedded
Should they succeed this dreadful
enterprise in the Levant and destroy
what's left of the rich oriental
orthodox church, yes the
meditarranean will finally be a
Nato lake (btw we are already arming them).Bonifacius thought similarly
when he invited the Vandals in North
Africa. Financial derivatives,
plutocracy, criminogenic "markets",
rising police state asking to be
fed "14% of minorities incarcerated, entangling pseudo-alliances, we
shouldn't be worrying about those
trivial problems. The sleep of
reason produces monsters.
A bon entendeur, salut!


A pertinent warning from the Imperialist bard Rudyard Kipling's "The Naulahka:"

"Now it is not good for the Christian's health to hustle the Aryan brown,
For the Christian riles, and the Aryan smiles and he weareth the Christian down;
And the end of the fight is a tombstone white with the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear: 'A fool lies here who tried to hustle the East.'"

Kipling can still bring it on home, can't he?

steve g

McCain flew the A-4 attack fighter
and was involved in the USS Forrestal
conflagration in 67. Largest loss of
Naval life since WWII on ship.

different clue

Probably the best antidote for active involvement into war in Syria is steady well-placed fact-based reminders that
Syria just simply is not "do-able" in the way that Libya was.
Syria has a real army, real air defense systems (possibly with real Russians right there on site keeping them running right), etc.
We can't afford to risk real hostilities with Russia, real trade-hostilities with China, etc. to go to real war in or against their client Syria. And in fact, it might be continued overt Russian/Chinese support for the Assad government that keeps us aware of the risks of too much too deep involvement. ( If Putin still hates America as much as he did when he overtly and openly supported Bush against Kerry in the 2004 election, he will spend the next few months staging a Russian "backdown-retreat" so as to create the appearance of a protection-vacuum over Syria in order to lure America into humanitarian intervention. I would watch out for that sort of Putin-trick in my totally lay amateur opinion).


McCain's "American Leadership" translated in reality means lots of maimed and dead people in some country far away with a burning emnity towards all things American in their hearts, their son's and daughter's hearts and permanently woven into their cultural mosaic.

Given a free hand the man would have had us in wars with N. Korea, possibly Russia over Georgia awhile back, Iran and Syria just to mention a few. With a net sum gain of what?

Put him out to pasture, give him a good fantasy novel, perhaps The Hobbit and he can war eternally in his head against all kinds of evil.


"The Iranians seem to be trying to "outplay" us.  This is a foolish thing to do."
What does outplay mean? What would Syria have to do with the "game"? And what is this "game" to begin with?


John McCain appears to be most interested in his celebrity status and hearing himself talk. I cannot recall anything plausible or coherent coming from the man in a decade or more. And whom does he represent - other than Joe Lieberman? The reasonable thing is to filter him out - along with several others who long since have worn out their welcome.


The massacre in Syria is being laid at the feet of Assad's government based off of... what, exactly? Because the rebels said so?

What a fucking mess.

William R. Cumming

Thanks Steve G!


This is an update I find informative. Direct intervention in Syria may not be neccessary to bring Assad down.


As it is mentioned in the article, I have seen in the smuggled videos out of Syria tanks I identified as T-72s burning out in the open and in urban settings. Could an effective guerilla war bring Syrian Army down? It can, wear them down moralwise and equipment wise, cause them to strike in response even more fereciously on the civilan population since they can not find the rebels, in return increase the international pressure and erode Russian and Chinese support, and also shake the confidence and support of the middle class to Assad. It will be slow, but it can go only one way.

I see it possible that Assad may be smart enough to leave Syria and save his life at a point where it becomes clear that Syria will never be the same. Following chaos will settle in time, as it always does in ME.


I respectfully disagree with you. I think taking out the Syrian 'real army, real air defenses, and such' are eminently doable. If that is the main bar in your argument, or, in thee argument, you are in trouble. That is the easiest (not to be mistaken with easy)argument to refute.

Same with the Russian/Chinese issues. More problematic, perhaps, than the Syrian military, but also doable.

Rather, I would suggest, the intractable and unpredictable problems arise after you have decapitated the Syrian regime. Who comes next? Who have you sided with? What is THEIR agenda? How does it differ from yours/ours?

I strongly suspect we can 'knock the house over', I am dubious about what we build in its place.



"Could an effective guerilla war bring Syrian Army down?" Yes, it could but the struggle would be long, hard, bloody and expensive. We discussed this a while back. Libya wasa smalltarget. The Alawis are facing sectarian suppression and will fight for a long time. pl



Is it "amir" or amiir?" THe Iranians vs. West "game" appears to be an Iranian game to learn if they can prevaricate and deceive long enough to achieve a military nuclear capability. If that is the "game" then the Iranians are fools. Syria as a conflict situation is, for the Iranians, a useful distraction for the West. pl


Lord Curzon

There is not such a person. They have all been long eliminated from the system and replaced by phantasms driven by the 24/7 media and celebrities of th ekind who often drove Britain to colonial adventure under Victoria. pl



The Syria play is too tempting for the NeoCons, and anyone else, with political ambitions, and thimble full of knowledge about the ME, to resist. They see a chance to take down the 'Crescent'...Nasrallah in Lebanon, Assad, and Iran. It is irresistible. So....here we go.
I think you are right.

The see the situation, have a motive and at their fingertips tools (agit prop, proxies, the US military). How was that again? "What's the point of having this superb military that you're always talking about if we can't use it?"

The Neo-Wilsonians and Neo-Cons pushing this are still unshaken in their belief that they can shape and control the course of events, if not history. The US is the world's Hegemon after all, and the pro-Israeli types have wanted to re-shape Israel's strategic environment for decades, apparently in the (IMO foolish and mistaken) belief that change will inevitably favour Israel, and/or the US.


I wrote only of Neo-Wilsonians and Neo-Cons. They aren't even the only players in the game.

The Israelis, Turks and Saudis, not to mention the various regional factions, have their very own ideas about what Syria ought to look like.

Babak Makkinejad

I do not think that any country in the world can be hegemon; I think largely because 2/3 of the surface of Earth is covered by water.

Babak Makkinejad

I agree; the post-war situation in Syria cannot be controlled or managed by US and her allies.

I think what happens in Mexico over the next half decade is hundred times more important to US than what happens in Syria.

Rex Conrad

I don't think we'll be forced into war with Iran, given our leadership has been agitating for just such action for quite some time. Both sides of the political aisle want war with Iran (or at least the leadership among both sides). We've been essentially in a state of war, albeit in varying degrees, since the beginning of WW2.

A big reason behind it all, IMHO, is the desire to maintain a military foothold in a region with vast known oil reserves. By extension, or as supplementary reason, is the desire to maintain control over whatever currency oil trades in today and in the future.

The best way to achieve these goals is through a constant state of warfare ("war is the health of the state"), and a methodical march towards global government. The creation of fiat currency was a major step in facilitating the achievement of both.

McCain and his ilk are but useful puppets to those who truly wield the power behind the curtains.

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