jaywhat wrote:Yes . When this is all over things will not necessarily be much fun if there is not some sort of civilised cooperation between sects and secularists - but I feel that Assad is beyond redemption (?)
I agree, but this does seem to be an area where the politicians are damned whatever they do (or would have done.)
I think Syria has become a proxy power play between the West and Russia. If the West had been more directly interventionist, in any way, the chances are things would have been even worse if Russia tried to "balance" the situation in their values. I, personally, was for ensuring that the more liberal Syrians had the upper hand from the beginning - not doing so has allowed Islamist forces to gain strength. That has the effect of making Assad's claims that "terrorists" are responsible for certain acts almost certainly true, no Syrian worth his or her salt is going to kill fellow Syrians - Islamist insurgents are not going to be so fussy.
If, when Assad falls, and Islamists take over then, for the moment at least, the West will be the ones in greatest danger. However since Russia also has trouble with its own Muslim states the time will almost certain come that they turn their interests in that direction. It does not seem to matter who gave them aid in the past, fundamentalists only seem to have honour towards fundamentalists of exactly their own type in the final outcome. If then.
I can understand, from previous experience, the danger of injecting modern weaponry, or even the funds to buy such because there is a danger that "the wrong people" might end up in charge of them. Its Hobson's choice written in the lives of, basically, innocent people, who deserve a better deal, and I wish there was a valid solution but cannot think of one.
How could we have done better? What can we do better now? We have not given either Iraq or Afghanistan any cast iron guarantee of a better future, even if that is partly because of the nature of the people in those countries themselves.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."