February 24, 2012
THUS EVER rEALISM:
America's Alibis for Not Helping Syria: We can lend a hand to its tyrannized people or risk turning the country into a devil's playground of religious extremism. (FOUAD AJAMI, 2/23/12, WSJ)
Yet the tortured dissertations on the uniqueness of Syria's strategic landscape are in fact proofs for why we must thwart the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah nexus. Topple the Syrian dictatorship and the access of Iran to the Mediterranean is severed, leaving the brigands of Hamas and Hezbollah scrambling for a new way. The democracies would demonstrate that regimes of plunder and cruelty, perpetrators of terror, have been cut down to size.Plainly, the Syrian tyranny's writ has expired. Assad has implicated his own Alawite community in a war to defend his family's reign. The ambiguity that allowed the Assad tyranny to conceal its minority, schismatic identity, to hide behind a co-opted Sunni religious class, has been torn asunder. Calls for a jihad, a holy war, against a godless lot have been made in Sunni religious circles everywhere.Ironically, it was the Assad tyranny itself that had summoned those furies in its campaign against the American war in Iraq. It had provided transit and sanctuary for jihadists who crossed into Iraq to do battle against the Americans and the Shiites; it even released its own Islamist prisoners and dispatched them to Iraq with the promise of pardon. Now the chickens have come home to roost, and an Alawite community beyond the bounds of Islam is facing a religious war in all but name.This schism cannot be viewed with American indifference. It is an inescapable fate that the U.S. is the provider of order in that region. We can lend a hand to the embattled Syrians or risk turning Syria into a devil's playground of religious extremism. Syria can become that self-fulfilling prophesy: a population abandoned by the powers but offered false solace and the promise of redemption by the forces of extremism and ruin.We make much of the "opaqueness" of the Syrian rebellion and the divisions within its leadership. But there is no great mystery that attends this rebellion: An oppressed people, done with a tyranny of four decades, was stirred to life and conquered its fear after witnessing the upheaval that had earlier overtaken Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen.
Sure, Turkey and Israel prefer "stability" to the freedom of the people in Syria. Tough.
Posted by Orrin Judd at February 24, 2012 6:33 AM