We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
"Putin is acting out of “weakness,” he insists, and is getting himself into a “quagmire” much like the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. Even if that were true, it should provide us with little comfort. What happened when the Soviets finally withdrew from Afghanistan? "
But they withdrew because we were aiding the resistance, before that Afghanistan wasn't a bother. Since we don't seem to have the intelligence or the stomach to do what's necessary maybe it is best to leave it up to folks like Putin to clamp down on the region. He certainly doesn't have any issues with doing what needs to be done.
Nah. I'm tired of all the a-holes in Europe and elsewhere. Not to mention the "intellectuals" in the US. Let them deal with Russia for a bit.
American "Liberals" wanted the US to stand down, we're standing down. Now when their brats decide to go backpacking on the Iranian border, they can rot in Iranian jails. We certainly shouldn't risk the lives of Marines and soldiers to get the damn fools back.
"geostrategic disaster"? Not for the US, for Europe maybe? For the Middle East who decided they hate us, maybe? But if Paris and Bonn burn, does it really matter? Their leaders want that so let them have their way.
Yes, Obama is a geostrategic disaster for the US, but he's we can ride out another year.
This is typical of the wide spread delusion that grips the American elite. All the problems in the MENA and Ukraina and the Muslim invasion of Europe are a direct consequence of US/NATO/EU policies and actions. We deliberately set out to overthrow every dictatorship in the MENA and Yanukovych, Ukraina's only democratically elected president. Yanukovych was deposed for a mercantilist (remember them?) reason: he accepted a better Russian economic and loan deal instead of a worse EU one.
Now we have numerous members of the elite (including the article's author) calling for direct action against the Russians, Iranians and Hezbollah in Syria. We are indeed lucky to have a feckless President who eschews action. Stay on (the golf) course Barry.
I have seen other articles like this. The authors all seem to have the knee jerk reaction that we should oppose the Russians because . . . well . . . they are the Russians for crying out loud.
So let's look at this.
1) Syria is not strategically important. The three strategic points of the Mediterranean Sea are The Dardanelles, The Suez Canal and Gibraltar.
2) While the Russians may indeed construct a base in Syria, it has to be supplied by sea and that logistic link can be tenuous. It makes the base vulnerable.
3) If Putin's excellent Syrian adventure ends up pulling Assad's fat from the fire they will certainly have to support him financially to keep him in power and rebuild his country. From my vantage point high up in the peanut gallery, that looks like pouring lots of money down a rat hole.
4) The author worries of a Shia Alliance spreading from Syria to Iran, but as we ave seen time and time again, Muslims can change sides overnight and Persians and Arabs have never gotten along so this putative alliance strikes me as a house of cards. Putin's influence will only last as long as he can pump money into the region. Money he doesn't have.
5) The author states the Syrian conflict will be a magnet for Jihadis. Well duh! Isn't that what we want? Wasn't that one of Bush's arguments for going into Iraq and Afghanistan? Draw the Holy Warriors in and kill them over there? So what's wrong with that?
6) The S-300 AA system. I recall the Iranians wanting the system several years ago but the deal fell through because they couldn't pay the bill. So this time, is it all talk or are the Russians going to give an expensive weapons system away?
7) The author points out that the Russians are showing our word is worthless to our allies. I would counter that it has been worthless since dems allowed South Viet Nam to fall. Any foreign power would be wise to view our promises and commitments as expiring when a new administration comes to power. There has been no continuity in our Foreign Policy in 40 years. The Russians are merely exposing the obvious.
8) As for the Baltic States I suspect Russia will eventually force the issue and expose NATO for the hollow shell that it is. The Baltic States and countries in Eastern Europe should never have been admitted to NATO in the first place.
In summary, we have no national interest in Syria, we have no friends there, intervention is hugely expensive and must be funded with printed money, and it is highly unlikely we will gain a satisfactory result from involving ourselves there.
Going in just 'to oppose the Russians' is not nearly reason enough in my opinion.