Quote: Originally Posted by Tecumsehsbones
... let's say we do act, and our actions prove to be the deciding factor in the Syrian civil war. What then? What assurances do we have that the subsequent government will be democratic or respect our notions of human rights (such as they are)?
It would be another mess.
Although America has way more than enough clout to decide a war, she's developed a bad track-record for handling occupations. It seems like the last time Uncle Sam did a good occupation was Japan, and that was largely due to the wizedom of MacAurther, who ended up getting shunted out in the end anyway.
The US went into Iraq with *no* occupation plan, which is nuts. American soldiers are trained to win battles, not be cops, which is a completely different skill-set (i.e., soldiers are trained to shoot on suspician, whereas cops are trained to *not* shoot even when it looks like the bastards deserve it).
Even with an occupation plan, it would be a mess. Syria took a million Iraqi refugees after George W. chose to attack Saddam, so Washington would be attacking a place harboring refugees who ran there to get away from other places that Washington had been bombing. They're going to love you for that.
But it gets crazier... many of those refugees were Shi'ite, which the Assad family is, while the majority of Syrian citizens are Sunni (which is one of the reasons Syrian citizens hate the Assad regime... it's a flip on the situation in Iraq, where Saddam was Sunni while the majority of Iraqis were Shi'ite) and so, guess who've been one of the favorite targets of Syrian rebels? The answer is, Iraqi Shi'ite refugees.
It means Uncle Sam is feeding armaments to Syrian rebels who use those arms against Iraqi refugees - refugees who moved there to get away from American bombing - as much as those arms are being used against the Assadians. That's just great. What American in their right mind would want to occupy a situation like that?
I suppose theoretically the US could say to the UN, "We'll use our forces to kick out the Assadians *if* the UN can come up with an occupation plan", but that means the hard part now lands on the shoulders of the UN's number-one provider of UN peace-keeping forces.
If I was PM, I'd say, "Sorry, you're going to have to do better than that. We're still ticked about Afghanistan, and we're not getting dragged into anything like that ever again."
And if I was President I'd say, "You guys are all insane, and we're going to focus on home-grown energy sources, like wind power, which has a better EROI (Energy Returned on Investment) than conventional oil.
(Total aside, but have you ever looked at the EROI's for various energy source? The higher the EROI, the more profitable and efficient it is. Check this out:
Conventional oil: 16
Ethanol from sugarcane: 9
Natural gas: 7
Tar sands: 5
California heavy (shale): 4
Ethanol from corn: 1.4
An EROI of 5-9 is required for the basic functions of an industrial society.)
Last edited by Omicron; Aug 22nd, 2013 at 12:08 PM..