The question many ask is why we don’t support Syria and Yemen, while supporting Libyans who may have fought us in Afghanistan and Iraq?
If you are asking my opinion: I will first state that if democracy is the final goal, I will always help anyone who fights to overthrow the dictator that rules them, regardless of what country they live in. That is what theRevolutionCenter.com is all about. However, I do not choose sides lightly, and I refuse to side with anyone that I believe is just replacing one dictatorship for another.
If you are asking instead about the opinion of my own government: then I must sadly say that they will be of little use, either in Syria or Yemen. We are now involved in three wars, only one of which is righteous. The USA will however follow its usual ineffective tactic, by attaching sanctions on those countries it disapproves of. It will be too little too late, but in most cases that is as far as it is willing to go. This serves the tyrants of the world nicely, by decreasing our chances of success, when we ever do get more involved in bigger and more serious ways.
First, a little history
Afghanistan was won 9 years ago and we should have left as soon as Al Qaeda was defeated. After all, that was the sole reason we went there. Bringing democracy to that country was an after thought and has always been a losing battle because they don’t want it. Let Afghanistan serve as an example to the world of how not to win a war by overreaching.
Afghanistan isn’t just one country and it will never stay united under one flag. Instead it is a group of races which are further divided into tribes, further divided into provinces that, at best, should be split into 4 or more different nations. Pashtuns are in the south, Tajiks and Uzbeks in the north, and Haraza in the center. Then you have the Kyrgs, Turks, Aimak, to name just a few.
Afghanistan was made into one country back in 1919 when the British Empire left. We all know how well the British were at dividing up their previous colonies. The division of India and Pakistan should serve as another constant reminder.
Iraq was an illegal war. At least it is ending so enough said about that. I realize that If you are Iraqi, you have a lot more to say about it. Their contributions could be especially illuminating.
Back to the present:
Syria is a cause that we could never win without massive casualties. We just don’t have the stomach for it, and for good reason. Just some of the problems in Syria have to do with population, geography, and as always politics.
Syria had 21 million in 2009, according to the World Bank, Libya has 6.5 million. Syria is mostly urban cities and in today’s world politics, without total Arab support, using air power alone in a city would be the sign of a lunatic. Unless Syria attacks us, we will not have “boots on the ground.”
While Assad may not be loved by the Arabs, he is not hated the way Gaddafi is. Many in the Arab League agree we should go after Gaddafi. They would never agree to our attacking Syria. We could turn world opinion against us in a way that we might never recover.
Yemen is another losing battle. In this situation politics is also involved. Even a bigger concern is: I have no idea which of the multiple sides we should support. Can anyone say who’s in charge there? Can we say for sure that they are fighting for democracy? Finally Yemen’s population is 23.5 million, even more than Syria’s.
As mentioned above, Libya had only 6.4 million people in 2009, again according to the World Bank. The major difference between Syria and Yemen, when compared to Libya, is considerable. First it is mostly desert. It is a lot easier to halt attacks and reinforcements, with air power alone, in open desert. Second is that the USA has experience in Libya. We have fought there twice before, once in WWII during the Desert Campaign, and once during the First Barbary War. Finally it is closer to the USA and our allies.
The reason for supporting Libya is simple; aside from it being the right thing to do. The people are crying for justice and democracy. Too often we involve ourselves in losing battles and hopeless causes that have nothing to do with democracy. For once I am proud to support a war that aspires to the core beliefs of my country, even as we go about it all wrong. Now if only we had competent leaders and generals.
To those who say we shouldn’t help the Libyan’s because they might have fought us in Afghanistan and Iraq, I ask them to consider the following: We fought against the Germans and Japanese in WWII. We also fought against the Chinese, in Korea and Vietnam. Today all is forgiven, and that’s a good thing.
After years of war the USA is war weary. Those who believe that we are in wars to steal resources know nothing about this country. As of March 29, 2011, we have spent $806 billion in Iraq and $444 billion in Afghanistan. The costs just keep rising. We are more concerned about raising our debt ceiling so that we can pay off our debts. The American public would never stand for 4 wars at 1 time, especially if a Democratic president were to send us there. Times have changed since George W. Bush left in disgrace, and they have not changed for the better.