Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and President Obama’s top military adviser, has written a letter to Congress in which he says that military intervention by the United States on the side of the rebels in the civil war in Syria would not resolve the war there or aid American interests.

The United States is under enormous pressure to intervene militarily in the wake of the alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians by the ruling Assad regime (“Bashar Assad predicts another Vietnam: ‘Failure awaits’ the U.S. in Syria” Web, Aug. 26).

We should take into account just one consideration before any decision is made to use military force on the side of the rebels: whether military force would be in the best interests of the United States. The answer is a clear, unequivocal no.

If we were to support the rebels militarily, it would dramatically increase rebel chances of victory in the war. The rebels are made up exclusively of anti-American, anti-Western, anti-Israel Islamist groups consumed by hatred. Any future government formed by the rebels would be inherently hostile to the United States. It is clearly not in our best interests to use military force on their behalf or to do anything else that might assist them.

Gen. Dempsey is right. The use of military force by the United States would not resolve the civil war in Syria or aid American interests in the Middle East (or anywhere else, for that matter). If anything, it would damage our foreign interests and lead to the loss of American blood and treasure.

If that means that the Assad regime eventually emerges victorious, so be it. Odious as the regime is, an Assad government will be far easier for the United States to deal with than a government formed by the rebels.


Comox, British Columbia

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