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The problem with Syria

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If you are a policy wonk and you love human nature, studying the Middle East, and specifically Syria, is fascinating. There are tons of ancient history and complex issues encompassing religion, tribalism, wealth and power.

Syria is located on the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea. To the north is Turkey. To the east is Iraq. South is Jordan and west is Lebanon. Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Egypt are not far. This is just an extremely difficult area the world.

Basically, as I see it, we have a president who is desperately trying to hold onto power. We saw something similar in Egypt and Tunisia recently. The United States does not have close ties with Syria. Therefore, our leverage over Syria is limited. So, the question becomes how do we influence Syria? For conservatives, the answers are not satisfying. There is no direct way that we have to influence Syria. Russia and China have direct ties to Syria. They have the ability to truly influence how Syria behaves. For the most part, over the last several weeks, neither Russia nor China has been all that interested in stopping the violence within Syria. It is only recently that the UN Security Council has taken up a resolution to seriously end the fighting and massacres. This latest Security Council resolution to impose a cease-fire was spearheaded by Russia and the European Union.

As I see it, there are no good solutions without strong intervention from Russia and China. We can do what we can to try to influence Russia and China, but I do not see a role for United States getting directly involved in stopping the violence. This is different than Libya. In Libya, we had strong backing from Britain and France. They were willing to get directly involved. There’s no such willingness from Britain or France to do such in Syria. I think there’s a huge role for the Arab League to get involved. As a matter of fact, I think they should take the lead. The Arab League in conjunction with Russia and China can fix this problem. We should have a strong but supportive role.

What are your thoughts?

By |2012-04-21T20:16:00-04:00April 21st, 2012|Foreign Affairs|Comments Off on The problem with Syria

What's Going On – News Roundup

  • The United States abstained from a UN Security Council resolution calling for an immediate and durable cease-fire in the Gaza Strip. The United States abstained. The United States abstained? I just don’t understand how we are not taking the lead in this conflict. It would seem that sitting on the sidelines is not a viable option.
  • A committee in the Illinois House of Representatives has recommended that Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich be impeached. The recommendation was unanimous. Interestingly, Ronald Burris, soon to be the junior senator from Illinois, had to testify in front of this committee. He stated that there was no “quid pro quo” for his nomination.
  • As of today, it appears that only one of Barack Obama’s nominations for his Cabinet posts is going to be scrutinized or beat up by the Republicans. Senator Arlen Specter and Senator Charles Grassley are gearing up to oppose Eric Holder (Obama’s choice for Attorney General). The part of this saga that I find intriguing is that no one had any specific objection to Eric Holder shortly after the nomination was announced. Early in December, Karl Rove called Eric Holder, “one controversial nominee.” Since then, Arlen Specter’s rhetoric has become more and more negative towards Eric Holder. So here are some of my questions. Is Alan Specter worried about a challenge from his Right in 2010? Do Alan Specter and Charles Grassley take marching orders from Karl Rove? Has Karl Rove become the de facto president of the Republican National Committee? Why would Karl Rove have any significant pull in the Republican Party after getting trounced in two national elections?
  • Terrible flooding in Washington State.
  • Missile strike has reportedly killed two top Al Qaeda operatives in Pakistan. Only time will tell if these guys where truly top Al Qaeda operatives or just Al Qaeda foot soldiers.
  • Has Microsoft thrown in the towel on Vista? Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, has announced that Windows 7 is in Beta testings. He is calling it the best Windows ever. Well, it has to be better than ME.
  • Missouri Senator Kit Bond is rumored to be retiring. No run in 2010. This opens up another Republican seat for the Dems to challenge.
By |2009-01-08T22:52:32-04:00January 8th, 2009|Domestic Issues, Israel, Legal, Obama administration, Senate|Comments Off on What's Going On – News Roundup
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