Originally posted September 18, 2015.
One take-away from Thursday night’s marathon debate was the anti-Russian sentiment. But what is Russia doing that is so offensive to us? Is Putin’s support of Syria’s Assad and against ISIS not in our best interest? ” The neocons want Assad out. But then what? “Those giving us this advice are the same ‘cakewalk war’ crowd who told us how Iraq would become a democratic model for the Middle East once Saddam Hussein was overthrown and how Moammar Gadhafi’s demise would mean the rise of a pro-Western Libya.” Buchanan continues:
When have these people ever been right?
What is the brutal reality in this Syrian civil war, which has cost 250,000 lives and made refugees of half the population, with 4 million having fled the country?
After four years of sectarian and ethnic slaughter, Syria will most likely never again be reconstituted along the century-old map lines of Sykes-Picot.
Partition appears inevitable.
And though Assad may survive for a time, his family’s days of ruling Syria are coming to a close.
Yet it is in America’s interest not to have Assad fall — if his fall means the demoralization and collapse of his army, leaving no strong military force standing between ISIS and Damascus.
Indeed, if Assad falls now, the beneficiary is not going to be those pro-American rebels who have defected or been routed every time they have seen combat and who are now virtually extinct.
The victors will be ISIS and the Nusra Front, which control most of Syria between the Kurds in the northeast and the Assad regime in the southwest.
Syria could swiftly become a strategic base camp and sanctuary of the Islamic State from which to pursue the battle for Baghdad, plot strikes against America and launch terror attacks across the region and around the world.
Prediction: If Assad falls and ISIS rises in Damascus, a clamor will come — and not only from the Lindsey Grahams and John McCains — to send a U.S. army to invade and drive ISIS out, while the neocons go scrounging around to find a Syrian Ahmed Chalabi in northern Virginia.
Then this nation will be convulsed in a great war debate over whether to send that U.S. army to invade Syria and destroy ISIS.
And while our Middle Eastern and European allies sit on the sidelines and cheer on the American intervention, this country will face an anti-war movement the likes of which have not been seen since Col. Lindbergh spoke for America First.
In making ISIS, not Assad, public enemy No. 1, Putin has it right. It is we Americans who are the mystery inside an enigma now.