I am watching MSNBC, and Chris Hayes suggested that after the break he would tell us what we should do next about Syria. Okay, that might be interesting, but let me see if I can answer the question first.
It seems quite possible–though by no means certain–that Syria’s leader Assad has used Sarin gas. President Obama has warned of fearsome things we will do if Assad were to commit this crime…so now what?
I say: Let the punishment fit the crime. Or, maybe I should say: punish the crime.
The problem over these many months is that intervening in Syria is not a simple thing, or else we would have done it already. Libya wasn’t simple, but it sure was simple in comparison. Syria is a hard problem.
To re-ask one of Chris’ questions to his panel: Is there something we could do to make things better?
No. Not with any certainty. Most ideas would make matters worse.
Assad is doing nasty stuff, and, though there is plenty we could do, it isn’t clear that any of these things will make matters better.
So what in hell do we do about this red-line we talked up? If Assad has gone from being extremely nasty in nearly every way he can imagine, to being extremely nasty, plus using some Sarin, what do we do?
Arrgh. Just just because some red-line might have been crossed doesn’t change that Syria isn’t something we can’t obviously fix.
So what do we do?
Allow me to interrupt for a moment: Chris Hayes’ program just ended and it seems that they didn’t hit on an answer, so it is up to me. Oh, the responsibility! Good thing no one reads these things I write.
Let the punishment fit the crime. Punish the crime.
What has changed is that Assad (possibly) has committed a new crime. So the answer is to punish Assad–or whomever might have done it if we can figure it out (this is complicated!).
We should not try to fix this war, because we can’t. Even with Sarin on the ground, we still can’t. Sarin doesn’t make anything easier. So we should punish Assad–or whomever might have recently used Sarin, if anyone did.
Okay, maybe we start flying deadly drones over Damascus, or Tartus, and if we get a shot at someone responsible, then yes, we take it. We are causing lots of people to hate us for using drones around the world, I think we might improve our reputation with a drone or two over Tartus.
The crime was (possibly) using Sarin, in which case we should punish those who (possibly) did it.
The news out of Syria for the last two years makes me sick. It is horrible. Tens of thousands have been killed, raped, tortured, imprisoned. If you like “culture” more than humans: centuries old cultural heritage sites have been destroyed. It is horrible no matter how you look at it.
I would like that there would be something that we could do to make Syria better. And…if our punishment for this crime were to kill senior figures in Assad’s government and army…maybe it would make things better. I can’t see how it would make things much worse.
Let the punishment fit the crime. Take out those who (might have) done this.
-kb, the Kent who in fact does like The Mikado, and who wonders “Why do you ask?”
© 2013 by Kent Borg
P.S. “The struggle continues. Love, Daddy.”