May 07, 2013

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Now the Israelis have bombed weapons intended for the Syrian government. Worse, multiple air strikes were conducted, in effect goading Syria or its allies into retaliating against Tel Aviv.

This would indubitably drag the ordinary American kicking and screaming into yet another Middle Eastern conflict he doesn’t want and, televised indoctrination aside, generally doesn’t care to think about at all. The public’s wants and needs have never gotten in the way of policymakers ginning up a good war.

Although far from ideal (much like every government since the beginning of time), Syria under al-Assad is a cosmopolitan oasis of secularism in the Middle East, with at least provisional protections for minorities and women. Would a Syria under al-Qaeda be preferable? Would a Damascus ruled by no one and engulfed in lawless turmoil be better for its people? Would complete regional bifurcation of Sunni and Shia make anyone safe?

The Arab world has the population and the resources to seriously affect the course of global events. What it wants is a global leader. To the extent Muslims should ever put a man in authority with the integrity to lead and the wisdom to act in the interests of his people rather than himself, a Middle Eastern uprising might occur whose outcome would deviate from the past. As for now, the West and the Sheiks are complicit in ensuring no man lives to reach that seat of power.

Chaos is being promoted in Syria, and it is in chaotic times that interesting men rise to prominence.

Returning to World War II, aside from German demonization there is also quite a bit of sport these days made of the French effort during that struggle. As with so much surrounding the era, this is largely due to ignorance. Some are wholly unaware that during World War I, sixty percent of France’s male population from ages 18-28 was either killed or maimed.

Recalling a past in which so many of your friends were harmed gives good reason to avoid making ultimatums in the future. Is it any wonder so many Frenchmen preferred to avoid conflict merely for the sake of the Poles? And although Germany did eventually invade, it was France who declared war first.

That is the thing about red lines; they are almost always written in blood.


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