Dead is dead; let Allah sort it out

The usual war on women liberals who mocked vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin (R) for not attending a prestigious college were baffled that she made it on her own, not with inherited wealth or her husband's influence. 

And so they laughed when she predicted death panels under Obamacare; they're not laughing now.  And they continued their laughter and their mockery over the past few years including more than two months ago, pre President Barack Hussein Obama's (D) allegedly broken "red line" in Syria, when she bluntly stated,

"Militarily, where is our commander in chief? We're talking now more new interventions. I say until we know what we're doing, until we have a commander in chief who knows what he's doing, well, let these radical Islamic countries who aren't even respecting basic human rights, where both sides are slaughtering each other as they scream over an arbitrary red line, 'Allah Akbar,' I say until we have someone who knows what they're doing, I say let Allah sort it out," Palin said at the Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference.

Ooooooh--let Allah sort it out!  So politically incorrect!  So insensitive to delicate Muslim feelings.   But so true!  And now, after some Syrian faction allegedly used chemical weapons against their Syrian enemies, the not easily mockable, the properly credentialed are saying the same thing, just not so bluntly.

Writing in the New York Times last Sunday, Edward N. Luttwak of the Center for Strategic and International studies advised

But the Obama administration should resist the temptation to intervene more forcefully in Syria's civil war. A victory by either side would be equally undesirable for the United States.

At this point, a prolonged stalemate is the only outcome that would not be damaging to American interests.


Given this depressing state of affairs, a decisive outcome for either side would be unacceptable for the United States. An Iranian-backed restoration of the Assad regime would increase Iran's power and status across the entire Middle East, while a victory by the extremist-dominated rebels would inaugurate another wave of Al Qaeda terrorism.

There is only one outcome that the United States can possibly favor: an indefinite draw.

By tying down Mr. Assad's army and its Iranian and Hezbollah allies in a war against Al Qaeda-aligned extremist fighters, four of Washington's enemies will be engaged in war among themselves and prevented from attacking Americans or America's allies.

That this is now the best option is unfortunate, indeed tragic, but favoring it is not a cruel imposition on the people of Syria, because a great majority of them are facing exactly the same predicament.


Maintaining a stalemate should be America's objective. And the only possible method for achieving this is to arm the rebels when it seems that Mr. Assad's forces are ascendant and to stop supplying the rebels if they actually seem to be winning.


A decisive move in any direction would endanger America; at this stage, stalemate is the only viable policy option left.

In other words, let Allah sort it out. 

Meanwhile, also in the New York Times, the very anti Israel, Stephen M. Waltz, professor of international affairs at Harvard,  thinks:

Even if proven, the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government does not tip the balance in favor of U.S. military intervention. To think otherwise places undue weight on the weapons Assad's forces may have used and ignores the many reasons that U.S. intervention is still unwise.

Of course it is not good that Assad's forces may have used chemical weapons, but it is not obvious why the choice of weaponry changes the calculus of U.S. interests in this case. The brutal nature of the Assad regime has been apparent for decades, and its forces have already killed thousands with conventional means. Does it really matter whether Assad is killing his opponents using 500-pound bombs, mortar shells, cluster munitions, machine guns, icepicks or sarin gas? Dead is dead, no matter how it is done. (bold added)


And intervention is still a bad idea.  Airstrikes cannot eliminate Assad's chemical arsenal and are unlikely to tip the balance in favor of the rebels. And even if they did, this situation would give Assad a bigger incentive to use these weapons more widely. Assad's fall would create a failed state and unleash a bitter struggle among the various rebel factions. The Syrian uprising may have started as a peaceful reform effort, but today the most powerful rebel groups are jihadi extremists, the last people we want in power in Damascus. These prudential concerns still apply, regardless of the weaponry Assad's forces may have employed.

Lastly, Obama may be tempted to strike because he foolishly drew a "red line" over this issue and feels his credibility is now at stake. But following one foolish step with another will not restore that lost standing.

In other words, let Allah sort it out. 

Even experienced US military personnel have their doubts about a strike on Syria according to the Washington Post.

Former and current officers, many with the painful lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan on their minds, said the main reservations concern the potential unintended consequences of launching cruise missiles against Syria. (snip)
Still, many in the military are skeptical. Getting drawn into the Syrian war, they fear, could distract the Pentagon in the midst of a vexing mission: its exit from Afghanistan, where U.S. troops are still being killed regularly. A young Army officer who is wrapping up a year-long tour there said soldiers were surprised to learn about the looming strike, calling the prospect "very dangerous."

Et cetera and et cetera.

As former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is once rumored to have said about the Iran-Iraq war "Too bad both sides can't lose."

So, unless all this chatter is really to distract about an imminent bombing of Iran's nuclear sites--and even then...

All together now--let Allah sort it out.