Friday, July 21, 2017

Iran, Iraq, Syria

Further to my last post regarding President Trump's wanting to bash up Iran... I used the term 'bash up' because it seems a more accurate term than any other to describe the thing he seems to have in mind.

Trump has now announced the end of secret support for antigovernment forces in Syria.

Screenshot from Washington Post article 19 July 2017, click to read

The decision to stop supporting anti-government forces in Syria is reported by some as 'Russia wins' but also by others as a Trump decision they can support. Anti-government forces in Syria have become increasingly divided and many radicalised. Overall the program of support for them has brought vastly more horror to the lives and cities and countryside of Syrians than anything the ruling Assad family has inflicted. Easier to announce the end of a secret program than either [1] admit defeat or [2] admit aiding crimes against humanity.

We are left with a situation of Syrian government remaining in place with support of Iran and Russia. Here's the geography:

How did all this begin, how long has this been going on? The non-profit educational resource IamSyria has this valuable page, from which I copy today this map of the civil war, probably not up to date as I borrow the screenshot, assuredly out of date by the time you read this... but indicative of the disorder. And the tragedy.
screenshot from article at IamSyria
Violence begets violence. The problem is that you can't undo the mess created by this 'secret intervention'.

Go back to this Guardian article in 2013 to see how many were yapping at Obama to get into the fight more extensively.

Of course some senior soldier somewhere will be planning another book or PhD on the rotten failure of civilians to do more killing, the 'losses' incurred by not using overwhelming force, war by war. A habit begun with MacArthur, wanting to cross the Yalu River and head from Korea to Peking with nuclear weapons in 1950, sacked by President Truman, back home to Republican hugs and adulation.

The limits to the value of the use of force and the long term poison to the planet of resort to force remain unlearned. Not just by governments, but also in popular discussion.

In the 1990s I fantasised that the internet would be uplifting for the world as people began to write more... Here's a sample discussion at Fox News, discussion of what Trump must do about North Korea.

from a Fox News article on what Trump must do about North Korea

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