On December 25, 2011, I called for armed intervention in Syria in my Blog Post, which you can read in this Blog.
It is almost two months later, and the massacre has only escalated, The Syrians are arming themselves, to the extent they can, with rifles and machine guns against tanks and artillery. The massacre of civilians has not only continued, but it has escalated, even despite the temporary presence of the Arab League.
Now as the country descends into civil war, the world has itself to blame. Analysts, politicians, and commentators refer to the “Tipping Point” at which opposition to the regime outweighs its support, and the military and others in power begin defecting to the opposition. But as Elliott Abrams has pointed out in a recent interview on CNN, if the violence continues for too long, the time will pass for a peaceful reorganization of the country and there will be to many deaths and to much “blood spilled” for a peaceful ending.
It should already be noted that Syrian Dictator Bashar al-Assad has already attempted to blame the opposition for the violence, citing two car bomb attacks on government buildings. While the people responsible have not yet been determined, and it is not beyond comprehension for a murderous dictator to create an attack against his regime to justify war (Hitler did it before he invaded Poland by creating a false attack on German border patrol which was really carried out by SS soldiers in Polish uniforms), it matters not who is really responsible.
What does al-Assad expect as he shoots, and now uses tanks and artillery to indiscriminately kill (what is now estimated to exceed) a hundred innocent civilians a day?
Of course, the Syrian opposition will eventually use force to attempt to stop the murder of innocent civilians and topple the regime. If car bombs are the most effective weapon they have, then they will use them. They were certainly effective against US forces in Iraq (although condem their use in that war).
We need to remember that the Syrian Opposition movement started as a non-violent exercise of freedom of speach and freedom of association to opposie a rutheless, corrupt, and murderous dictatorship. It is the actions of al-Assad, the inaction and apathy of the world, and the collusion of Iran and Russia, which will necessitate the violence.
I believe in legal non-violent opposition and resistence. Ghandi, King, and Egypt showed us that this works. But that is not the same as self-defense. It is predictable, if not inevitable, that the Syrian pro-democracy groups will need to defend themselves. We (the world) must intervene to stop the violence and prevent Syria from sliding into a violent civil war.
Since the entire world feels the same way, the United States need not and should not shoulder the burden as it has in so many efforts. Furthermore, in today’s “high tech” world of warfare, minimal effort with no “boots on the ground” are necessary (as they were not necessary in Libya).
Since Syria is the principal ally of Iran (our main enemy in the region and the cause of world instability and a principal sponsor of worldwide terrorism), and since Syria is a supporter of Hezbollah, it is hard to see how the demise of the current Syrian regime is not in the best interests of the United States (not that this should be our main motivation for intervention).