Thursday, October 1, 2015

Will The Russians Thwart The Unimaginable Clusterfuck We're Trying To Achieve In Syria?

The news that the Russian military is carrying out airstrikes in Syria disturbs me, and it should disturb any loyal citizen. These actions threaten to block the unimaginable clusterfuck we're trying to create there.

Now, no one is arguing that Syria isn't already a gruesome human rights disaster. Hundreds of thousands of people are suffering and dying. The flood of refugees is causing chaos all over the region. But our policy is to turn this grim situation into a uniquely American clusterfuck - and the Russians might prevent that.

Putin and his administration claim that they're only targeting terrorist groups, but we know better. They've clearly launched attacks at the shadowy operatives our CIA is arming and training. US policymakers need these groups to make our intelligence analysts look like idiots when they inevitably betray us and help destabilize the country for decades to come so that thousands of militants have a place to set up shop and begin planning to take down the next national landmark. Are we seriously going to let the Russians stop all this?

Of course there's still plenty we can do: We can help resettle refugees and use diplomatic pressure to curb atrocities. We can give increased aid to relief organizations and even join the International Criminal Court, so that it will have more power to threaten war criminals with prosecution. But none of that helps us get to our goal of toppling a brutal regime and aiding an assortment of combatants in the melee that follows to escalate the situation into a magnificently hideous clusterfuck that people will blame on the US forever.

We need to stand up to Putin and communicate loudly and clearly that inciting violence and smashing political institutions throughout the Middle East is our duty and our right. If anyone is going to send a bunch of their own kids to get shot to pieces over a conflict none of the policymakers understand, that's going to be us.

Don't let him take our clusterfuck away. The day he does that, he's welcome to all the other clusterfucks in the area - maybe even the world. And then where will we be?

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