Removing Assad is not a good idea, even if it were feasible. In fact, I reckon that it would be a terrible idea, just as it was in Libya. War with Russia, Syria’s closest ally would likely ensue.
Assad may be a dictator, and he does have a history of violently oppressing his own people. That said, he threatens the Kurds fairly and provides a safe environment for the myriads of Christians and other minorities (religious and otherwise) within his borders. The vast majority of Christians that live in Syria are strong Assad supporters. To them, Assad in power means safety from the brutally inhumane persecution that the rebel groups bring with them. Generally, his heavy-handedness comes only on those that oppose his rule. But that is the sort of thing you get with a doctoral government.
Removing Assad is not a good idea, even if it were feasible.
Americans are not Syrians. A constitutional republic may be the best form of government ever contrived among men, but it is a government that must be submitted to and desired by all men within it. Syria, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Afghanistan: the people in these nations, primarily due to the culture, I believe, cannot abide by the sorts of governments we see in the west. Egypt is the only one of these nations that have come out with a relatively stable government system after the US toppled their evil dictators. The rest of these countries, with the exception of Afghanistan, were more stable before the US intervened. In fact, I am apt to say that these middle eastern cultures tend to be more stable and secure underneath a despotic government, despite the adverse facets of such a system. Look at Suadi Arabia as an example of this, they have a top-down monarchy. And as a side note, even a democratically elected government can still get away with great evil and injustice in the world. Look no further than Vladimir Putin as an example.
…the people in these nations, primarily due to the culture, I believe, cannot abide by the sorts of governments we see in the west.
My last point is that the alternative to Assad is much, much worse. These rebel groups that the US has been funding are Islamic extremists that torture, rape, and murder Christians and other minorities at will, including burning people alive in cages and crucifying them. In many respects, their behaviors are quite similar to that of ISIS. I am far from what we would call “an isolationist,” but we need to leave Syria alone or even partner with Russia to help Assad bring stability to his country.
Yes, I think we ought to help Assad, but that comes with a very huge ‘IF’. If Assad was responsible for this recent chemical attack (and the one about April of last year) on his own people then absolutely the military response of the United States was not only justified but is also our responsibility. However, there is no absolute evidence for either of these two incidents over the past 13 months. Our governments are using the phrase “confident that” Assad was responsible, not the phrase ‘absolutely sure of’ that fact.
The truth is that, yes Assad is verified to have used chemical weapons on his people years ago. But in the meantime, these rebels that the US is funding have captured the facilities where they are manufactured and have obtained these chemical weapons for themselves. Given the barbaric manner in which they treat people that are different from them in ethnicity or religion, I would not put it past these rebels to have gassed innocent civilians in order to bring global wrath down upon Assad. This seems much more likely.
Perhaps this is conjecture but look at the circumstantial evidence. Both this most recent attack and the attack last year came at a time when everything was looking up for Assad. His image on the international stage was improving and he was beginning to regain control of territory formally controlled by the rebels and ISIS. Things were becoming more peaceful and stable in many parts of Syria. Why would, at a moment like that, Assad go out of his way to drop a couple of chemical bombs on civilians and stir up the wrath of the entire international community? It does not make any sense.
…these rebels that the US is funding have captured the facilities where they are manufactured and have obtained these chemical weapons for themselves.
Assuming my theory is correct, it also makes sense that the United States government would not want the world to believe that the very rebels they are funding and arming are the ones gassing civilians. If it does indeed come to light that rebels gassed their own people for strategic gain and the US has been shown to have known this, things are going to play out very interestingly both in geopolitics and in the fast approaching 2018 and 2020 elections.
I write all of this under the pretense that there has yet to emerge verifiable evidence implicating or exonerating either Assad of the rebels in these gas attacks. I am by no means a conspiracy theorist. I am however an observer. When the pieces do not seem to fit and the facts do not seem to be adding up we should all stop and ask what could be going on behind the headlines and the rest of the media’s conjecture.
Guest Contributor Loren Dueck