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Whenever Syria is mentioned on Talk of the Nation, I immediately turn to any other station on the dial. Okay, not right-wing "hate radio."
First off, most Americans do not care about Syria. If we can't place Benghazi on a map, after months of Fox News coverage, we sure as hell don't know where Damascus or Aleppo or Homs are.
Evidently, the "Arab Spring" of 2011 is still trying to bloom in Syria in 2013.
The Assad boy, though, learned a few lessons from his dad, and has massacred his own people. Obviously, he's been using chemical weapons for awhile now.
This has prompted President Obama to do something.
But, what can the U.S. do?
If we arm the "rebels," we'll be arming elements of al Qaeda. We did arm rebels in Afghanistan in the 1980s, which only resulted in 9/11.
Apparently, Iran and Hezbollah, another terrorist group from Lebanon, are supporting Syria.
Russia, naturally, supports the authoritarian regime of Assad because, hey, they buy a lot of AK-47s.
The reason any of this menagerie matters to the American power structure, is because Syria borders Israel.
Otherwise, it would be like the decades-long civil war in the Congo. I won't even begin to explain where that country is.
The best that we can hope for is to sustain the rebels so that the Syrian civil war can last a few more years, or longer.
This might prompt Iran (Shiite Muslims) to take more direct action, which could provoke Saudi Arabia (Sunni Muslims) to challenge Iran.
Wouldn't that be beautiful? The more time Arab countries fight each other, the less time and money they'll have to fight us.
There is no reason whatsoever to get more involved in the Syrian civil war other than to provide some night-vision goggles or a few rocket-propelled grenades so that the rebels can survive, but not really win anything.
We saved the Muslim-dominated Kosovo in the 1990s and it didn't buy us much goodwill in the Islamic world.
Supporting the Syrian rebels would yield the same long-term results.
We certainly do not want Syria, as inconsequential to world affairs as Sarajevo's Bosnia was in 1914, to drag Russia and the western powers into another pointless world war.
Let the Muslim sects of the Sunnis and Shiites fight it out in the Middle East. If Israel is content with that arrangement then the U.S. should be too.
This would let NPR talk about Siri or Sirius, but not Syria.