Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Reply #31)
Fri Sep 6, 2013, 08:37 AM
Jeff In Milwaukee (13,992 posts)
We're not going to get all of Assad's chemical weapons -- unless he obligingly leaves them all in a neat pile in the middle of an airstrip outside Aleppo. And he's not going to just surrender; the idea that air power can effectively end a war has proven true only in the case of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, otherwise it's just an old wives' tale.
What's more, we're arming the rebels against Assad when there's credible evidence that they've been committing atrocities, as well. Are we going to call in drone strikes against the rebels if they continue to butcher Syrian soldiers trying to surrender? Understand something. There are no "good guys" in this fight. A lot of innocent bystanders, but no combatants that we have any business supporting.
I get it. We don't want Assad gassing innocent people. But airstrikes -- even targeted air strikes -- are going to bring civilian casualties. The Bureau for Investigative Journalism has estimated that 50 civilians are killed or injured for every al-Queda target that gets taken out -- The U.S. has fessed up to about 150 known civilian fatalities -- and that's JUST from drone strikes and that's JUST in Pakistan. Even Operation Deliberate Force -- our intervention in Bosnia -- had somewhere around 500 civilian casualties, not to mention the fact that we inadvertently bombed the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade.
Rather than ratchet up the violence, how about getting Russia and Iran to lean on Assad. Impossible? No. The Russians have a significant financial interest in the continuing good health of the Assad regime. What's more, one of the principle state-run arms dealers in Russia (which supplies arms to Assad) also has contracts with -- wait for it -- the United States Department of Defense. We have a half billion dollar contract with Rosoboronexport, which we could threaten to cancel if Mr. Putin doesn't help us talk Assad off the ledge.
The man who raises his fist is the man who's run out of ideas.
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