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Rooting for Casualties in Syria

Obama makes sure neither Syrian side can win.

By Hobbes  |  June 21, 2013

If there's one thing we thought the Democrats wanted America to learn from what they call George Bush's invasion of Iraq, it was that Americans should not get involved militarily in, as the saying goes, "faraway countries of which we know nothing."  Agree or disagree with that view, Barack Obama has mostly fulfilled his promise to make America a smaller player on the world stage: bringing our troops back from Iraq and Afghanistan, reducing their numbers overall, even "leading from behind" in Libya which, while it didn't exactly result in a friendly government to us or the West, at least had the virtue of being cheap.

For the past many months, Mr. Obama has taken a similar approach to the increasing bloodbath in Syria - in many ways, an even better one.  Bashar Assad, the dictator "president" of that benighted land, is a murderous secular monster.  Large numbers of the rebels who've risen up against him are murderous Islamic monsters.  Mr. Obama has kept us out of the fray.

Yes, it's a shame when innocent civilians die, but really, what interest is Syria to us, and why is the entire place worth even one drop of American blood or one cent of American treasure?  It's not and never will be even if we find out that they're hiding Saddam's WMDs - it doesn't even have any oil!

So why, all of a sudden, has Mr. Obama decided to supply the rebels with weapons, just as we find out that their uncivilized debauchery equals that of Mr. Assad?  They are gassing their own people (which Assad reportedly has also done) and torturing and murdering teenagers who are too flippant towards Islam.

It's becoming increasingly clear that the rebels are not the sort of people Americans want as friends, any more than Bashar Assad was.  Why should American tax dollars be spent on bullets that, like as not, will end up inside the head of a 15-year-old "blasphemer?"

Actually, there are three possible answers.  This White House is so Byzantine that we don't really know which is true, but let's take a look and make a guess.

Mr. Obama Is A Muslim!

The conspiracy tinfoil-hatters among us will say that Mr. Obama is naturally siding with the Islamic rebels because he himself is a closet Muslim, wanting to see the universal caliphate and global domination of the Muslim Ummah.  This seems pretty unlikely as we have argued before.  Like most modern politicians Mr. Obama worships only one god, and that's the one he sees in the mirror every morning.

Still, it's hard not to notice that every time Mr. Obama changes America's foreign policy, medieval Islamic barbarians end up the winners.

We could talk about Turkey or even the results of American support for a unified EU which has led to the flowering of  murderous Muslim subcultures that, a thousand years ago, Europe spent blood and treasure to get rid of.  But still, Mr. Obama's not a Muslim... we think.

Change Is Good

If you don't like conspiracy theories, there's another view that aligns with the platform Mr. Obama ran on: Change, more or less for its own sake.  Bashar Assad is a Bad Guy - therefore, getting rid of him is a Good Thing regardless of what comes after.  It certainly seems to epitomize a lot of what the Obama adminstration has done - shaking everything up without a care for just why things were the way they were, much less what we want them to be like and how to get there in a sane and safe fashion.

To be fair, Mr. Obama wasn't the first to apply this view to the Middle East: George W. Bush famously felt that things there needed a shakeup, and by gum he gave them one.  The Democrats to a (wo)man would argue that this was a world-class mistake.

So why then would they do the same thing themselves?  We may not (yet) be spending American blood in Syria, but surely Mr. Obama can find something here at home to spend our money on rather than funding yet another round of people we'll later wish we hadn't?

It's A Shame They Can't Both Lose - Or Can They?

There is one last theory that is almost certainly false - but, due to classic Obama administration incompetence, may turn out to work all the same.  For once, maladministration and disarray are on our side.

It's pretty clear that Mr. Obama has no idea how to win a war.  It's equally obvious that Mr. Obama has no idea how to make sure our friends and allies stay on top after we end our involvement.  Wherever he goes, or leaves, chaos follows.

In the case of Syria, prolonged chaos is great - both sides are awful.  The world would be better off without either of them!  The rebels had been making good progress, but the fall of Homs to Assad's forces sounded the death knell of the revolution in the ears of many analysts.  Only then did Mr. Obama step in with armaments for the struggling rebels.  Note: these aren't heavy weapons which might bring them victory, they're anti-tank missiles and smaller arms.  They're good for blunting Mr. Assad's attempts to regain territory, but they can't stop his air force.

A Delicate Balance Indeed

Think about it: Events were moving toward a conclusive victory for Bashar Assad.  Thanks to Mr. Obama's weak-spirited intervention, the rebels aren't any closer to actually winning, but they're a lot further away from losing. They'll continue to deal out bloodshed for the foreseeable future.

From the point of view of America, that's great!  If the world has to have homicidal crazies, it's wonderful if they can occupy themselves killing each other instead of us sane folks.

Mr. Obama may be bright enough to come up with this strategy, but there's no evidence he cares about American interests enough (or Muslim interests little enough) to put it into practice.  Nevertheless, either by accident or by design, that's what he's doing.  We're all in favor.

Three cheers for the Syrian civil war, and long may it continue!  Then when they come down to the last man standing, maybe Israel will take him out.  At long last that part of the world will have the only sort of peace possible to a Muslim land: the peace of the grave.