Russia sends attack choppers to Assad....
1. Tell Russia "reset" is over if it continues to prop up Assad.
2. Make closer contact with the Syrian opposition, and identify possible elements we can constructively work with.
3. Do NOT empower the Muslim Brotherhood types, among whom there are few, if any, true moderates.
AND WHAT ARE THE ODDS THAT TEAM OBAMA WILL DO THIS?
Slim, none and less than none. Team Obama still tries to propitiate Russia, prefers to "lead from behind," and cannot imagine an Islamist world without true moderates.
To give the opposing side due process, here is Mideast maven Daniel Pipes explaining why we should not intervene. Pipes believes that the civil war will be protracted, and will energize Iran's opposition movement; he also sees the Sunni/Shia split being exacerbated, with zero chance of a multi-confessional government taking power in Syria. In sum, he thinks Iran loses even without our intervention.
WHAT MIGHT CHANGE US STANCE?
Syrian forces are using children as human shields. A new UN report found this re Syria:
The Syrian military and armed militias loyal to President Bashar Assad have used children as young as 8 years old as human shields, a new United Nations report has found.
Children have also been tortured and killed by the Syrian army and its allies; whipped, beaten, subjected to sexual violence, burned with cigarettes and even given electrical shock. One former soldier told the U.N. he had been ordered to shoot “without distinction” during protests in the city of Tall Kalakh, even though children were there. Three girls roughly between the ages of 10 and 13 were killed, he said.
Though most of the reported abuses were carried out by the Syrian army and its allies, there are also credible allegations that the armed rebels fighting Bashar's forces have recruited children to fight, the U.N. report said.
Tragically, it will take a video-recorded atrocity--torture of children, attack chopper massacre of a crowd, use of chemical weapons--to force the West to act. Even then, after NATO's weak performance in Libya, it will be the US, with a few local allies willing to help unseat a friendless dictator.
Even if an unfriendly regime replaces Assad, it will be a huge defeat for our mortal Mideast enemy, Iran. It may even re-energize revolution inside the Ayatollah Khomeini's ghastly clerical fascist creation. That prospect alone makes regime change in Syria worth the effort. If it is beyond our ken to sort out the rebels, we can tilt the playing field a bit by imposing a no-fly zone to ground the choppers.
Bottom Line. We are 16 months into the Syrian insurrection--now, arguably, a full-fledged civil war--and the US watches from the sidelines. While there are substantial risks associated with outside intervention, and we cannot contemplate boots on the ground, the risks of continued inaction are greater. We must ensure a defeat for Iran, above all. Put simply, America's reputation in the Mideast is collapsing. Restoration requires resolute action.
Letter from the Capitol, LFTC, National Security, Foreign Policy, Conservative Politics