The Economist
25 St. James Street
London SW1A 1HG

So you do not like Assad. (How to Fight Back, Economist vol. 427 n0. 8965 November  11, 2014 page 13) I was not brought up that way, but I see hate all the time.  Of course if Assad is taken out of power he will either be killed by a mob along with all other Alawites or he will be executed.  Let’s try to remember, once upon a time we took out a democratically elected leader in Iran (I’m sure he had done dreadful things.) and installed the Shah.  For our pains we got the cordial hatred of a great nation, the first really major Islamic uprising, and a whipping boy we have treated wretchedly ever since.  Later we helped push the Russians out of Afghanistan – I’m sure they were really awful – and for our reward got September 11.  So we overthrew Hussein, who did plenty of bad things but never to us, and in triumph got our payment in the form of ISIS.  Then came the Arab Spring, when we colluded with others to bring down Quadafi, a bad sort but rather westward leaning with an interest in women’s rights, and got our ambassador killed and rumor has it had bad things done to him before and after; we now have no diplomatic mission in Libya at all, but nobody seems to think it was a diplomatic failure.  Now it’s Assad’s turn.

He’ll be killed, and it’s most likely that we shall have handed Syria with an apple in its mouth over to Isis.  But like love, hate does not count cost.  So suck it up.  We need to work with the man, not against him.  Nobody else has a prayer of obtaining order there, barrel bombs be … well forget them just for a moment.

Russia and Iran will embrace us.  ISIS will get scared.  If they look weak there are plenty of folks ready to commit war crimes on them.  We can’t put boots on the ground, but Russia just might have some men and Iran, too.  They fight; we foot the bill.  Situation stabilizes.  Yes, you are going to have to suck up Russian annexing the Crimean Peninsula.  It was in their vital interest; they had no choice. 

Then we call for the place to be partitioned.  It worked in Yugoslavia.  It worked in Greece and Turkey, and as a control they did not bother to sort the population out in Cypress so trouble have smoldered there.  Don’t like a man who dropped barrel bombs on his own people?  No problem.  They won’t be his people.  His Alawite allies will forgive him, why not you?  And he has regularly protected minorities – Christians, Assyrians and what not – which is something nobody else in that part of the world seems able to do any longer.  The Syrian refuges of various stripe will all, for the first time in their lives, actually have a country they can call home. 

Yes, you wind up with ISIS running a large hunk of what they now control; so far as I know they are honest and will do a good job of that.  A few years of isolation, and they may stop being quite such a nuisance.  I don’t like them … okay, maybe I hate them … but I’d hate them a lot less if they didn’t execute people.  Kind of hard for an American to claim high moral ground on that one, eh?  Oh, yes.  The terrorism thing.  An acceptable arrangement at home should draw them away from that.  How many people have to die before we search for a decent settlement?  Oh, yes.  You can’t count. 

Linton Herbert

There have been 110 visitors over the past month and YouTube has run “Babies Triumph over Evil” 184 times.

Home page