Wednesday, August 29, 2018

How Evil Wins

Dictators count on this attitude to survive a rebellion:

In Syria, an Ugly Peace Is Better Than More War

And that attitude encourages dictators under attack to hold their people hostage.

Indeed, the attitude encouraged Assad to promote jihadis as the opposition to him to make his continued rule seem better for Syria than losing. And encouraged him to promote the flight of refugees to Europe to pressure them into seeing and ugly Assad as better than more refugees.

Just remember that about 500,000 deaths and more than six years ago, America refused to help non-jihadi rebels unseat Assad--who President Obama said must step down--out of worry that we'd "further militarize" the conflict.

But Assad got the whole new war he needed to win despite early American government assessments that Assad would lose without America having to intervene by backing the rebels firmly.

And here we are. With a Russian flotilla gathering off of Syria in a likely move to provide visible Russian missile support for the offensive into the last rebel stronghold in the west.

Although Assad's victory doesn't prevent more war. It just makes a different war more likely and just means that absent an evolution of the Alawite government to be more inclusive that there will be another rebellion in a generation when the memories of this bloodletting fades.

Maybe an ugly peace is better than more of this war.  But don't pretend that is the only choice or that this particular choice wasn't the result of our past  policy failures.