Here’s my take on Syria: While it’s utterly tragic that 1,400 people got gassed, and while gas is a heinous weapon of warfare, especially when loosed against civilian populations, the true weapon of mass destruction in Syria is the combatants: Muslims from different tribes and with opposing takes on Islam (Shia v. Sunni) are fighting for control over Syria. This specific type of war (civil war, differing interpretations of Islam, different tribes) means that there is no such thing as a non-combatant . Everyone, from newborn to ancient crone, is now, has been, or will be a potentially active enemy.
This is total war, which means that there is no such thing as an “out of bounds” tactic. Indeed, the more vile, the better. We’re talking about “shock and awe” on a case-by-case basis, with awards going to the person who spatters the most blood when slowly sawing off an enemy’s head, the person who figures out the most creative way to mutilate an opponent’s genitals while he or she is still alive (with extra points for rape and sodomy); the person who slaughters the most Christians in a single attack, the fighter who chews the most hearts and lungs (preferably taken from living subjects), etc.
Please understand that, short of leveling the country, as we eventually and reluctantly did to chunks of Germany and Japan in the very last days of WWII, or as Sherman did to Georgia, bringing our Civil War to an end, there is nothing we can do to stop what’s happening in Syria. There are no surgical strikes that will stop the hominid WMDs that have killed more than 100,000 non-combatants and that are enthusiastically set on killing as many more as needed on the other side to wipe out the other side completely.
To understand what’s happening in Syria, just think about the Sudan, a country that had its own Muslim tribal warfare. There, the pale brown Muslims killed, first, all the Christians and, second, all the dark brown Muslims. The goal was to decimate every single opponent, whether babe in arms or doddering old man.
Given the nature of Muslim/Tribal civil war, unless we decimate one or both sides instantly upon getting involved in Syria’s black hole, we will be drawn into this carnage and, worse, the carnage will come to us. American-based Muslims will consider it their Shia or Sunni, Alawite or Al Qaeda duty to fight the war on any and every battleground. “Allahu Akbar” will be heard in a lot of American towns and cities. We’re already seeing intimations of this with Iranian threats to kidnap and kill family members related to Obama’s cabinet crew, as well as to kidnap and rape one of the Obama girls.
We all know that America’s first act if it engages in Syria will not be to decimate one side or another in the war. We also know, given the nature of the beast, that there is no such thing as a surgical strike in a Muslim Civil War. The only that will happen if we go in is that we will pour flammable material on an already raging fire. Anything we do, rather than de-escalating the Syrian situation, will escalate it.
In real terms, the immediate result will be that American servicemen and women will become targets everywhere in the world. Also, mission creep will inevitably tip-toe in on bloody cat’s feet, and American troops will find their boots on Syrian ground. This is especially true if Russia and Iran rush to Assad’s Alawite, Baathist aid, as we lend our blood and money to al Qaeda — which is, of course, our sworn enemy. (Only someone profoundly disconnected from the Islamic mind actually believes that, if we help al Qaeda beat Assad’s troops, al Qaeda will made nice with us later. Right. Just like they did in Libya. . . . What? Benghazi? Well, never mind. . . .) Syria will make Iraq look like a picnic and Afghanistan look like a sock hop. Our troops will die and they will die miserably.
That’s my prediction. If you have a different one, please share it with me. My prediction is depressing even by my jaundiced standards.
Assuming I am right, though, here’s my question, and I mean it quite seriously: Will America’s troops obey commands to invade Syria or will they mutiny?
To help get this discussion started, here’s a sample oath — in this case, the one that officers in the U.S. Army take:
I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.” (Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962).
Does this oath obligate our men and women in the military to follow a crazy president into a suicidal war?
UPDATE: This opinion piece by a retired general seems to answer my question: they will think their commander in chief is an idiot. That thought, however, will not destroy the fact that the America people elected him, he is the CiC, and they will follow orders. My only hope is that not too many brave men and women die, sacrificed on the altar of Obama’s narcissistic personality disorder.