Let’s nuke’em

The cover of a Norwegian newspaper the day of the election. Showing Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump
The cover of a Norwegian newspaper the day of the election. It was the election without a candidate.

There are many troubling aspects about the war in Syria. Who or what is running the USA for example? If Trump is in charge does he even know what he wants? Now he wants to help Syrian children, something he could have done by inviting more of them to the USA, and by supporting countries like Lebanon and Jordan, where there are more refugees than they can handle. Incidentally, there also many Iraqi refugees in Syria, quite of few of them are Christians.

President Trump just made the sharpest u-turn I have seen in politics. In just a couple of days he went from saying that Assad had to be a part of the solution, which is the opposite of what the USA has said during the whole war, to launching the first ever direct attack on the regime. He supposedly did this because he had seen some children suffering and dying. That has been going on for six years at least, so I can only assume it’s acceptable with children being killed by bullets and bombs, but not by chemicals.

I wonder why it was so urgent. There have been allegations after every chemical attack in Syria, and fours years ago the UN accused rebels of using the nerve gas sarin. I don’t suspect the leaders in Syria, Iran or Russia of having an intelligence deficit. They play the propaganda game just as well as the NATO countries and they know how to use information that favours them. The USA is in charge. NATO takes action when the USA decides and if the Americans wait for their allies to show some initiative, they are going to wait a long time. Trump’s original decision to accept the regime could therefore be seen as a major victory for Assad and his two allies. So why would Assad do something he knew would get everybody against him? It doesn’t make any sense. I wasn’t surprised when allegations of the so-called evidence of Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction resurfaced yesterday. Shouldn’t we have some evidence before we attack a legitimate government?

In her first interview since the election Hillary Clinton called for the USA to take out Assad’s air fields, in other words the entire air force. Some people still think she was electable, but the dramatic election of November last year really gave the people an impossible choice. So what are Trump’s options from now? If the regime really was behind the chemical attack, bombing this airport may seem like a good idea. The problem is that you can’t win by arming Al Qaida and Taliban, while the Syrian regime supported by Russia and Iran have troops on the ground. That’s where NATO need to be if they want to win the war, but I can’t see anyone being willing to sacrifice what will probably be tens of thousands of lives, because it won’t be anything like the invasion of Iraq.

What happens when Assad is gone? The so-called moderate Muslims are hundreds of groups with different agendas, and many are affiliated with Al Qaida. They are fighting for Syria to become an Islamic state. There are also so many alliances and groups working together without formal ties, it is impossible to know who or what you support if you help moderate Muslims.

It’s the same dilemma as with North Korea. What happens after the regime is gone? What I think many fail to consider with Muslim countries is that the violence goes back to the 7th century when the prophet and founder of Islam died. There’s  been a struggle for political and financial power ever since. Religion is almost irrelevant. There is no tradition for Sunnis and Shiites to work together. Saddam Hussein was a Sunni and gave the Sunni minority privileges, and there hasn’t excactly been a spirit of cooperation in the “liberated” Iraq. Besides, there are different branches and ethnic groups. Syria has for example Kurds (the majoity of them are Sunnis), Alawites, Druzes, Ismailis, Twelver Shias, Sunni Muslims, Alevi Turkmens, Sunni Circassians, Sunni Muslim Greeks, black people of Yarmouk Basin. There are also Christian groups ( Greek-Orthodox, Greek- Catholics, Maronites, Assyrians and Armenians) and Jews. Source:Wikipedia.

Nuke’em is an answer to a problem that doesn’t have a solution. It’s not a good one, and what are you going to do if it doesn’t work? It’s sort of like trying to teach children to behave. If you warn about consequences, but don’t follow up, you have lost. It’s not much better if you start with a too strong reaction. Then we could get a war that nobody started and nobody wants to end, because it’s not about doing the right thing. It’s about being right. I am not optimistic about Syria. I remember hearing headlines from Lebanon and the Iran-Iraq war when I was  growing up in the 80’s, and this was followed by the Gulf War and the invasion of Iraq. We still assume the Arabs want democracy, our democracy. We don’t even want our democracy!

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