Another compare and contrast exercise.
Dan Simpson: Invade Syria? Insane
U.S. forces have started fighting Syrians at Iraq’s border. Can anybody say ‘Cambodia’?
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
As I suspected six months ago, U.S. military and Bush administration civilian officials confirmed last week that U.S. forces have invaded Syria and engaged in combat with Syrian forces.
An unknown number of Syrians are acknowledged to have been killed; the number of Americans — if any — who have died in Syria so far has not yet been revealed by the U.S. sources, who by the way insist on remaining faceless and nameless.
The parallel with the Vietnam War, where a Nixon administration deeply involved in a losing war expanded the conflict — fruitlessly in the event — to neighboring Cambodia, is obvious. The end result was not changed in Vietnam; Cambodia itself was plunged into dangerous chaos, which climaxed in the killing fields, where an estimated 1 million Cambodians died as a result of internal conflict.
The End of the Beginning
The Belmont Club
October 15, 2005
(Speculation alert) I think most rational observers, however anti-American, must have by now come to the grudging conclusion that the insurgency is a lost cause in Iraq. As Athena at Terrorism Unveiled and Dan Darling pointed out in their analysis of the captured letter from Zawahiri to Zarqawi, the insurgency’s terror tactics have been a huge mistake from Day One. Athena puts summarizes Zawahiri’s message to Zarqawi eloquently. “His cowboy ways aren’t winning him any strategic alliances. And on the sectarian strife among Sunni Muslims, Zawahiri is basically saying ‘Drop it.’ “
. . .
While the situation in Iraq seemed doubtful, the US could not credibly address the Syrian issue because its Iraqi commitments precluded any action against Damascus. Now the Assad regime knows that US forces will not long be occupied in Iraq they are sweating bullets. Ironically the availability of US forces means that they will probably not have to be used in Syria. Newsweek Magazine claims that the US had considered launching cross-border operations against Iraqi insurgent targets Syria on October 1 — another publicly released telltale that US policy is ready to come out of the closet — but were dissuaded by Condoleeza Rice who argued that “diplomatic isolation is working against al-Assad, especially on the eve of a U.N. report that may blame Syria for the murder of Lebanese politician Rafik Hariri”. Diplomacy would not have been enough while the insurgency tied down America. With the insurgency fading fast, diplomacy may be enough.
Nobody knows what the future holds, but how can two opinions vary so dramatically about what’s going on right now? Hint: one opinion comes from a hopelessly biased political partisan.