There were two great lessons in the game of nations we have seen in the past few decades. First is the reality that a system that has inherent fatal flaws will at some point fall due to these fatal flaws and the most one can do as a foreign policy is speed up the inevitable. The fall of the Soviet Union is the case in point. Ronald Regan may have sped up the process, but the fall would have happened no matter what US policy had been. The lesson: sometimes you just have to let things run their course and let the flaws do their work. The current regime in Iran will go the same way in time as did the Soviet Union as its core philosophy will not work for the people in the long run.
Saddam and Tito
The second great lesson should have been learned with the death of Tito in Yugoslavia, a country that was fraught with different ethnic groups and never should have been a country in the first place. Tito held it together, when he died it was quick to fall apart with horrific ethnic cleansing finally ending up as five separate countries. The aftermath of the invasion of Iraq, also a country with many deep seated divisions held together by a strong man/dictator should have reinforced the lesson. For all his ills, Saddam, like Tito was the glue that held the country together in relative calm between the various groups. When He was removed the country was destined to fall apart, and it did in spite of massive US aid and military support.
It is, therefore, quite shocking that this lesson was not applied to Syria, also a country with deep divisions held together in relative calm by a strongman regime. All those American politicians who wanted the US to aid the rebels apparently suffer from a serious case of amnesia. Even Hilary Clinton
is now saying the US should have helped the Syrian rebels and if we had IS would not be a force today. She is dead wrong and obviously has not put two and two together that the rebels were Sunni and so is the "Islamic State". Does she or John McCain
really imagine that the moderate rebels (if there were any in the first place) would be able to stand up to a ruthless organization like ISIS?
If there was any mistake in US foreign policy, it was letting our supposed friends like Saudi Arabia and Turkey, help the rebels while we criticized Russia and Iran for helping Assad. In fact, as events now show, we would have been better off stopping the aid and letting Assad put down the rebels. The Christians supported Assad as did other minorities who knew well what would happen if the Sunni rebels took over. Yes, people would have died and been displaced, but we seem to forget that the rebels are also killing people and displacing them. If Assad had been able to put down the rebels quickly, the death toll would have been far less.
What the US always seems to forget is that there are never great options in a region like this. The object should be to minimize loss of life and have the lesser of two evils win. After all we worked with one of the greatest butchers in history, Joseph Stalin, when our game was to win World War II. We supplied money and weapons to him to help defeat the Nazis. If we were smart, we would now help Assad go after ISIS as he has the only military force in the region that can stop their advance in Syria, that is serving as a base to export their brutality to Iraq. As that would be "politically incorrect" we should look at this as an ideal opportunity to work on a constructive basis with the Russians and encourage them to help Assad more than they are so we don't have to.
The ISIS philosophy
Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton, born October 26, 1947, is the 67th United States Secretary of State, serving in the administration of President Barack Obama. She was a United States Senator for New York from 2001 to 2009. As the wife of the 42nd President, Bill Clinton, she was the First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001. | Photo: |
We should also finally accept the reality of Kurdistan as an independent state and arm them with sophisticated weapons to take on ISIS from the East. Then we should put heavy pressure on the Turks, on the Northern border to do their part to stop ISIS as in the end it will threaten them as well. They will not like the idea of an independent Kurdistan, but they were stupid enough to support the rebels in Syria that enabled ISIS to create a base so they will have to pay the price for that stupidity and now do the right thing.
I have no doubt that within the ISIS philosophy, and modus operandi the fatal flaws are rampant and will unhinge the movement in due course as long as forces begin to stand up and take them on. They are too radical and too divisive to last long. They may be filling their ranks with disaffected youth, but they are building enemies even faster.
They also have the huge problem of attracting fighters from all over the world, and are an easy organization to infiltrate, and we can be sure every intelligence agency already has its operatives embedded. To protect themselves they will soon become suspicious of foreign fighters and internal divisions will grow. The seeds of destruction are there already.
Clam up, Hillary...
Meanwhile, I hope Hillary will "shut up" with this nonsense about we should have helped the "moderates" in Syria as it makes her look as stupid as John McCain. If she wants to create a more hawkish impression to win conservative Republicans should Rand Paul be the Republican nominee she should direct her argument to things that have some semblance of good sense and show that she has learned the lessons of recent history.