Some random thoughts on Syria

Another messy military affair is unfolding in Syria where the US are drifting into a war no one wants or needs. Here is my take on what is going on there.

  • The public deliberations under way in the UK and US on whether and how to pummel Assad are absurd. From the military point of view the spectacle borders on insanity and will lead to more pain and civilian casualties. In normal circumstances the side about to be attacked has to use intelligence or espionage to guess the plans of the attacker. Assad only has to turn on CNN to find out what is in store – a short, sharp hit using stand-off weapons like cruise missiles, with no American boots on the ground. Of course there are things he can do to thwart this particular scenario and he is doing just that. Using the tried and tested Palestinian tactic the Syrian army are busily re-locating close to schools and hospitals. When the bombs fall, the same people currently egging the US on will start lamenting the loss of civilian lives.
  • Why are we going through this insane exercise of leaking the normally top secret plans of the impending attack to those about to be attacked? The answer is democracy. We all want to have a say in what is unfolding. But this is not the way to fight a war! The most successful military raid in history – the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor – was so devastating because it was executed in absolute secrecy. Imagine the Japanese Army carrying out a public debate with the Emperor and strategists on how exactly to hit Pearl Harbour, what forces to use etc. Does it not sound absurd? If it does – can you see similarities to the current developments in Syria? Of course pre-WW2 Japan was not a democracy so they could proceed to efficiently smash the living crap out of PH…
  • Let me briefly summarise the achievements of the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Barrack Hussein Obama, as the US president. Five years into his White House tenure he is still actively fighting the war in Afghanistan. Under his reign, both the Iraq and Afghanistan engagements went largely according to the schedule set by Obama’s predecessor, George da-butcher Bush. The use of drones by Obama is particularly contentious as it has led to numerous civilian casualties. He also pursued the military attack on an independent country of Libya and ordered the extra-judicial killing of a Saudi citizen resident in Pakistan, Osama Bin Laden (who was not convicted of any crimes). Recently Obama failed to condemn the coup in Egypt in which a democratically elected president was deposed by the military. The Guantanamo prison Obama was so outraged about during his first election campaign is still open. How does the Obama’s fan-club view all this?
  • There is a certain irony in that this champion of consulting with the allies, getting on board with the UN etc will go it alone in Syria.
  • Smashing Assad will hand Syria to America’s most determined enemies – jihadists affiliated with Al-Qaida. This will put the US allies, Israel, in a very difficult strategic position and the situation is bound to blow up at some stage.
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