Andrew Coyne is one of the bright moral lights of Canadian journalism: hard-working, articulate, intelligent, principled, brave and frequently wrong, though I never mind his being wrong, because he never assumes his view is the only one possible, unlike another Globe and Mail pundit, whose pomposity is legendary.
However, Andrew comes close to complete folly this weekend, arguing that because we know that Assad is doing bad things and “because we have at least a fighting chance to stop it.”
No we do not. If we overthrow Assad, which cannot be done at any reasonable military cost (to us), we have in fact bought Syria, and once we own it, we have to figure out how the Sunnis can be prevented from massive ethnic cleansings and exterminations of Alawites, Christians, Shi’ites, Kurds and Druze. How many hundred thousand troops will this take? Will the expeditionary forces of the West have brief rest between our brilliant exploits in Afghanistan and Iraq before reforming another Islamic country?
The question answers itself. Let them kill each other into stalemate. Let the Sunni Arab powers put some skin into the game, instead of running to Uncle Sam to solve their political problems with Iran.
Then we have to figure out how to disguise this fact from ourselves. How will our political leaders defend bringing Al-Qaeda supporters into power?
When in doubt, do nothing. Stop digging a bigger hole for ourselves. Stop wasting treasure and precious lives on futile causes.