Steven G. Percifield--author

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Steven G. Percifield  Author and consultant
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Syria: Another Victim
of the Arab Spring?


Think back: it wasn't that long ago. Both the White House press machine and its mouthpiece, the major national media, were gushing over what they romantically identified as the "Arab Spring;" dictating despots were being overthrown by the popular uprisings as "democracy" was washing over the Middle-East like a tsunami wave.

Egypt, Tunisia, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, etc., etc.: Inspired by the support of a an empathetic US which believed in their causes, they were throwing off the chains of subjugation and fighting for the democracy that was their God-given right.

And now, Syria; the same story. And, initially at least, most American's supported what they were doing. Democratic (lower-case "D" please) traditions are, after all, what our country was built upon. And if it's been good for us, it must be good for them. More power (and, if necessary, maybe even a little assistance) to them in their efforts we seemed to collectively say.

But then, when it appeared that the good people of Syria were holding their own (and maybe even  a little more) the ruthless dictator who had kept them under his heel did the unconscionable: he (purportedly) indiscriminately released a weapon of mass destruction (sarin gas) upon his own people to teach them a lesson.

Indignant over such an atrocity, our President threatened to rain our military might down upon Syria in a "humanitarian" gesture to prevent a repeat. What we were going to rain down upon, avoiding the good guys and hitting only the bad guys, or how this would prevent a repeat was never really explained.

Fortunately, at the eleventh hour, that esteemed humanitarian Vladimir Putin stepped in and diplomatically persuaded Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad to give up his chemical arsenal thereby saving us from yet another Middle Eastern war (not to mention the Syrians and possibly the Russians).


Permit me a few observations--

  • in virtually every instance where an "Arab Spring" uprising actually succeeded in overthrowing a dictator, a theocracy (in these cases a dictatorship by Islamic religious zealots) replaced the original dictators; These were the uprisings of which our President and press were originally so enamored
  • this was certainly the case in Egypt where a sectarian, elected (even if dictatorial) government was overthrown and a Muslim Brotherhood-backed government replaced it (note that the Islamic-backed government was subsequently overthrown by yet another "Arab Spring" uprising--this one largely sectarian)
  • Egypt and Syria both have (had?) significant indigenous Christian populations which were (are) persecuted to the point of extinction after thousands of years in their places--a subject our press and government have chosen to be all but silent about. God forbid we have a religious war; at this point our efforts in the Middle East are religious wars only from one side's perspective (and it ain't ours)
  • the oil and gas pipelines which flow back and forth between the southern tip of the Arab peninsula and Russia pass from north to south through Syria--both countries have a vested interest in keeping these intact. If we launched a "humane" military action (one that doesn't target people), what do you think might be our first targets?

...and a few conclusions:

  • Arab Spring uprisings were not a revolt by democracy-loving freedom fighters; they were inspired by religious zealots intent on increasing their power by replacing their sectarian governments with Islamic theocracies
  • Our President and the press were blinded to this by (what I will politely call) idealism
  • It is doubtful that anything we might do in Syria will bring any lasting peace there
  • As the entire region seems intent upon destruction (ours as well as their own), irrespective of what we do in the short-term (other than protecting Israel) what business do we have being there in the first place?
  • Any military assistance we might provide to the Syrian uprising will benefit radical Islamist who have sworn to destroy us (death to America, anyone?)

Money and power (the terms are interchangeable) is what it's all about presently. And unless it's our butts on the line, we really have no business in Syria; with our own energy independence looming on the horizon, our economic need for the Middle East will be greatly reduced.

And our government certainly has no business sending our or our kids' butts over there to conduct the business we won't need to begin with.