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Sarah Palin vs. Barack Obama: Should We Arm Syrian Rebels?

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From U.S. Decision on Syria “Earlier this week, the White House announced it confirmed that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime has used chemical weapons in the fight against its own people, and the Obama administration will provide more ‘direct support’ to the Syrian opposition since the president’s ‘red line’ has been crossed.”

Sarah Palin recently criticized Barack Obama for sending weapons to arm the Syrian rebels. No matter how you feel about Palin, on this she’s right.

Media can mislead, but substantive messages within can be disseminated effectively. An existential summary of history, politics, journalism, and attempts to learn from experience (Afghanistan) lead to this conclusion:

Sending weapons to the rebels in Syria might be the most egregious decision of Obama’s tenure.

Who are the rebels? They may be civilians fighting against evil, defectors from the Assad regime, or fanatics inspired by religious ecstasy as they commit horrors only replicated in history by entities such as the Khmer Rouge:

Beheadings by Syrian Rebels Add to Atrocities, UN Says

Syrian rebel apparently eating the heart of a slain government soldier

Al Jazeera:  Syrian rebels “execute” teenager in Aleppo

A Syrian Refugee Wedding:  Early marriage and domestic violence in the camps are a fact of life for girls fleeing the civil war

Yes, civilians are stuck in the middle, but the response must be practical. No force has shown capability of responsibility and restraint. At present all actions lead to hell.

Despite benevolent intent, as the most humane soldiers learn the art of war and the consolation of destruction, their love of humanity dissipates.

Obama’s recent UN appointee Samantha Power’s basic premise is that armed intervention can be the only effective means to counter war and genocide in certain areas. The Congo is one such place, and recently the UN dispatched arms and soldiers to keep peace and protect citizens (See Art of Darkness from The Economist). This seems like sane policy.

The case has not been made for Syria. If the Obama administration feels intervention in Syria worthwhile, then the administration needs to make a cogent argument to the public. Otherwise, stay the fuck out.

Update:  The Economist – Pacifying Syria: A Complex Conflict / Francois Murad, Catholic Priest ‘Beheaded By Jihadist Fighters In Syria’


Written by Caleb Powell

June 18, 2013 at 2:01 pm

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