War in Syria Such an Obviously Bad Idea, Even DC Insiders Know It

John Glaser, January 02, 2013

Why hasn’t the Obama administration intervened militarily in Syria? If you read this site with any regularity, you’ll know the answer to that. The great irony is that the major factors that make military intervention in Syria’s civil war impractical, unworkable, and dangerous are so obvious that the political, military, and intelligence establishment within Washington is unable to deny what we oddball libertarians at Antiwar.com constantly harangue about.

Case in point: Aaron David Miller’s latest Op-Ed in The Washington Post. Miller has been a Middle East advisor to six Secretaries of State in both Republican and Democratic administrations and he is now vice president at one of DC’s most prominent think-tanks, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. If ever there was a perspective that broadly reflected Washington, DC’s establishment, it would come from someone like Miller.

Here’s his take on Syria:

The idea that Syria was anyone’s to win or lose, or that the United States could significantly shape the outcome there, is typical of the arrogant paternalism and flawed analysis that have gotten this country into heaps of trouble in the Middle East over the years.

Miller’s position on Syria isn’t all good; he entertains the notion that “perhaps [taking] a more active role far earlier in helping to organize a political opposition, even covertly,” might have helped. But, he says, from the beginning “all of the military options for intervention have been heavily skewed toward risk rather than reward.”

To stop the regime’s assault, let alone to topple it, would have required direct military pressure, most likely a massive air and missile campaign and probably an intervention force. Those, quite rightly, were never under serious consideration. Half-measures such as arming the rebels and instituting a “no-fly” zone carried risks but no identifiable rewards. It was never clear how a limited military response would shape events. U.S. planners could not be certain that a military response wouldn’t have pushed Russia and Iran to up the ante with more weapons. And with Washington seeking Moscow’s support to keep pressure on Iran’s nuclear program, a major escalation over Syria wouldn’t have helped.

Miller then rightly asks: “And who, exactly, would we have been arming?” Ah, the perennial question of the Syria conflict, which readers have seen scrawled over this site since the start of the Syria conflict. More explicitly, the point is that the only rebel groups with a chance against the Assad regime are mostly foreign fighters with ties to extremist groups and even al-Qaeda. Only psychotics advocate arming them.

“We don’t control history,” Miller writes. “And it’s time we attend to our own broken house instead of running around the world trying to repair everyone else’s.”

Blimey! That’s a blatantly non-interventionist sentiment coming straight from a quarter-century-long Washington establishment insider. Don’t be fooled, though. Washington truly wants to intervene in Syria to effect the outcome of the conflict and establish a nice client state there when the dust settles. The resistance to intervention is not for lack of want, but for lack of ability.

There is virtually no conceivable scenario where a US-led intervention in Syria’s mess benefits Syrians or Americans. That’s a reality not even typical Washington imperialists can deny.




33 Responses to “War in Syria Such an Obviously Bad Idea, Even DC Insiders Know It”

  1. Were the Russians to actively inject troops and arms on the ground in Syria, for whatever reason, would literally make the American imperialists piss in their pants. That and that alone may finally put the kabosh on this insanity. If Americans "think" they can march into every nation and make demands without consequence they're in for a cold dose of reality. It would be a costly move for the Russians but one that would give Uncle Sam the slap in the face he richly deserves.

  2. I'm sorry, but we appear to be going round the same circuit but at higher speed.

    The whistle was blown in London months ago with leaks to the Times.

    The Psychotics have ALREADY ARMED the Wahabist Jihadists as the Cunning Plan as the only realiable para-militaries aorund to effect the pan to install a Pro-America regime in Syria and help out their mate Bibi in imposing the Clean Break , A New beginning for the Realm Report.

    The Jihadists, always regarded as "Our Jihadists" are back after a decade.

    Apparantly they went to the Saudis in 2003 and were told it was the only way it could be done.

    The Planning goes back that far.

    Miller knows THEY DID go out and create an effective political opposition, spending very serious money on it, the only trouble was the Color Revolution launched failed.

    But this is likely to be all he can say or the editor print.

  3. Part II

    The plan is a classic Destabilisation using paramilitaries based in a neighbouring country – the classic formula , rather than a direct invasion.

    The government of the target country – in this case Syria – is then forced into a "Peace Conference" and a Transitional Government , leading to stolen elections, and a new even more authoritarian constitution.

    This is what their bogus ""peace" envoy" was discussing in Moscow last Saturday.

  4. Look: if U.S regime was based on democracy then the system would work for democracy, if a functioning democracy existed in U.S or for tha matter EU, then these regimes would have worked fir a functioning democracy for last 60 years instead of creating wars, orchestrating them and even paying for it. U.S is not democracy, although they say that it is but when was the last time you heard the truth said by a vulture capitalistic regime…?

  5. "Why hasn’t the Obama administration intervened militarily in Syria? If you read this site with any regularity, you’ll know the answer to that."

    Sorry, I simply have to call BULLSHIT on that.

    This is the same old nonsense: 'If they were going to attack, they already would have."

    This is just stupid. It took ten years for the US to attack Iraq for real. It took nearly two years for the US to attack Iraq the second time.

    Glaser wants us to believe that an attack on Syria is out of the question. This is nonsense. The fact remains that a war with Iran – which the US – AND OBAMA – absolutely do want – cannot proceed without taking out Syria's missile arsenal and Hizballah's missile arsenal. This is the ONLY reason Israel has not attacked Iran yet, and that fact is ONE of the main reasons the US hasn't.

    The US WILL attack Syria in 2013. When it does, I want Glaser to explicitly admit that he was wrong about saying the US won't. In the meantime, he needs to stop reading Obama's mind and stop drinking the Obama Kool-Aid like the rest the of the liberals do.

  6. The fact that Russia has armed Syria with state-of-the-art Iskander missile in response to Patriot, and Russian "military advisors" to handle them, proves Mot´s point above. The Russians are 25-30 years ahead of anything the west can come up with in missile technology and the latest, Iskander , is technically and theoretically unbeatable.

    Another thing is that Russia within the week will have the biggest naval war games since Sovjet times with an impressive amound of gathered fire-power from war ships of every major base of the country, in the Mediterranean. Now, THAT´s a language USA understands perfectly well…

  7. If taking into consideration Mr. Miller's "article" in totality, it doesn't make a whole lot of 'sense' and contradicts itself…

    Mr. Miller does, however, arrive at some obviously correct conclusions, such as: the Oompa Loompa so-called "Syrian rebels" have absolutely no chance of 'toppling' the "Assad 'regime'" on their own–which I've been explaining for months and months now…which I would assume only fools, like Jason Ditz, and possibly others, still now believe they can…if any still actually do.

    The so-called "Syrian Rebels" are not even going after Assad now–which should be/is known by anyone actually paying attention. I have also explained this. This whole thing is to lay the foundation for a "direct" military "intervention" from outside…and is funded and directed from outside to meet that end. The US is obviously the ring leader of all of this…as the US is the sole "global superpower" at present.

    Should I/do I need to list all of the "nations" who are now (openly and 'officially') in favor of "direct military intervention"? They include several NATO nations and Gulf Arab states… There are many…

    Anyway…Mr. Miller either doesn't understand the "conflict" in the first place–he keeps mentioning an "outcome"–which I assume to mean a "political outcome" of 'leadership' in Syria moving forward; or he has an alternative objective. This premise that this 'conflict' is about a "political future" in Syria is partially/mainly flawed in taking this into context of the bigger "game". While the game-plan is partially to get rid of Assad, that is just one component. 'Syria' is part of a bigger game…which Mr. Miller does not seem to understand, based on the context of his "article".

    President Bashar al-Assad is doing a great job "protecting Syria"–and is, I'm sure, an 'unanticipated' "complication" in many ways.

    Obama needs to immediately concede defeat, in one form or another, and immediately proceed to stop/shutdown the proxy war against Syria. This is similar to "declare victory and leave"

    Sounds simple enough…doesn't it?

    If he (Obama) does not, it could, and most likely will, be an unmitigated disaster for us all–all of us…

  8. Article part of saving Assad, or what is left of him, with experts like these, liberals or not, who needs enemies,,,,,,,,,,

    Does Mr Miller knows in what part of Africa belongs the Middle East, this is typical empty foreign policy garbage favoring a confused, lost state in ME geopolitics : Israel

    It is a pity being the advisor for six previous administrations and things are where they are for Israel today, thanks to "experts" like these, including the current "defense" minister in Israel, if Iran reached that stage of power in the region, it is thank to his repeated mistakes who laid the ground for Hezbollah to reach its peak . It is very visible that Israel backs Assad, the " devil" they now, until they will be faced with another holocaust and then trigger a nuclear war in the Middle East that will burn the entire planet. Yes the US needs to interfere by proxies & shape the events in Syria favoring the West , If Assad stays, Iran will not only win Syria on the chessboard but topple the entire Middle East into a radical context and if the Sunni radicals wins in Syria, even worse, the Caliphate will be coming , all the way to Jerusalem.

    Russia has armed Syria with the Iskander missiles to face the Patriot,,, wow, what a dangerous precedent for Russia,,,, Maybe when Assad will be on his one way ticket to hell or to Iran , Russia will understand the magnitude level it lost on the Syria platform. Russia could have played smart and cut a deal with the Syrian opposition.

    Yes, the US will definitely need to break its silence, cultivate & support further the center stage underground in Syria's conflict and they are the majority within the rebellion that dominates the ground,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, No the revolution in Syria is not the work of Al Nusra, they are only 10% of the rebellion on the ground, Syria's past & history is 90% beyond these, enough hypocrisy!

  9. [...] War in Syria Such an Obviously Bad Idea, Even DC Insiders Know It [...]

  10. [...] More here: War in Syria Such an Obviously Bad Idea, Even DC Insiders Know It … [...]

  11. america is finished in the middle east bring the zionist back to america.

  12. [...] Read the rest here: War in Syria Such an Obviously Bad Idea, Even DC Insiders Know It … [...]

  13. I have a feeling that the Russians are much smarter than to confront Washington directly. They KNOW that the ROI is one of negative return over even the short run, so they've chosen the most sensible option, one that they've chosen in response to events in Iraq, Libya, and elsewhere: let Uncle Sap march right on in and embed himself in a quagmire from which he won't be able to extricate himself, a quagmire that will slowly bleed him to death.

    Unlike Uncle Sap and the Bankster-Industrialists he fronts for, the Russian Bear doesn't consider any "client" state worth starting a world war over.

  14. What if the US doesn't attack Syria in 2013? I don't know if an attack on Syria is out of the question or not. I don't have a crystal ball. I believe -BELIEVE- the US won't attack Syria this year. Syria has proven to be a very tough nut and besides we have international and domestic factors. I may be wrong though because the US has always surprised people with their very irrational behaviour.

  15. [...] War in Syria Such an Obviously Bad Idea, Even DC Insiders Know It [...]

  16. All the above prognostication fails to understand that the rebellion was started by the Syrians who had had their fill of abuse, neglect, oppression and down right crimes committed by the Assad Regime. In today's age of the internet, the Syrians will not give up until they succeed. Fortunately for them, they have some help,as incomplete as it is, from others to carry on with their goal. America will not be able to make a Puppet state out of Syria,for the sake of Israel or any body else. We will continue to watch as the trajedies persist.

  17. Unfortunately this is not the case as Americans on this site have tried to explain.

    It was planned from Washington as a Color Revolution, with training outside the country, the spending of a fortune of American taxpayer's money and conferences in America from 2008.

    This can be proved because the same standard insignia, gestures and slogans used as in a franchise were used.

    But this would mean those involved betrayed their country and would be regarded as such in the US. as committing a very serious offence.

    US policymakers have every intention of making the country a puppet state as this was the plan and the people are assets under their control.

  18. [...] war. The fact that the Syrian rebels are largely made up of extremists is one of the major factors persuading Washington not to intervene [...]

  19. [...] war. The fact that the Syrian rebels are largely made up of extremists is one of the major factors persuading Washington not to intervene [...]

  20. I am certainly inclined to agree with you. "There is virtually no conceivable scenario where a US-led intervention in Syria’s" (or Vietnam's or Iraq's or Afghanistan's) mess " benefits anybody." Yet the Washington psychopaths continue to insist ten years later on the success of these acts. If there is money to be made or reelection to be assisted, these creatures are likely to do anything. (Except of course their ritual honor suicide on the Capitol steps, which would be the most desirable outcome for my taste.)

  21. [...] The fact that the Syrian rebels are largely made up of extremists is one of the major factors persuading Washington not to intervene [...]

  22. wow!! you really like war and suffering and destruction of OTHERS, you were saddams best pals armed him and etc for 8 years of war of aggression against iran and only dumped him after the darkie started to become "clever", for you its a game of checkers to bet on? you wanting glaser to admit being wrong is the criteria for you? after a million is killed and maimed and the country razed to the ground as you did in iraq? shame on you you pitiless ingrate

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  32. Yes the US needs to interfere by proxies & shape the events in Syria favoring the West , If Assad stays, Iran will not only win Syria on the chessboard but topple the entire Middle East into a radical context and if the Sunni radicals wins in Syria, even worse, the Caliphate will be coming , all the way to Jerusalem. Russia has armed Syria with the Iskander missiles to face the Patriot,,, wow, what a dangerous precedent for Russia,,,, Maybe when Assad will be on his one way ticket to hell or to Iran , Russia will understand the magnitude level it lost on the Syria platform.

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