The latest month’s wackiness in the world of international relations, politics, and brinkmanship.
Heavy clashes hit Syrian capital for second day: The unrest, hell call it what it really is, the Civil War in Syria seems to be entering a new phase as the rebels gain in strength and/or competence and are actually starting to bring the conflict to the capital Damascus. The big question mark is not can the rebels win but what will the international community do? As things now stand they will offer only condemnations of the Assad government because they are stymied by Russian and Chinese support for Assad and his government. I don’t see that changing any time soon. Then again, I think that the Syrian civil war is an internal matter best left up to the Syrians to fight out to a solution. Will it be bloody? Undoubtedly, but the eventual decision will be more likely to be lasting if the Syrians are left alone.
Syrian Defense Minister Killed as Rebels Strike at the Heart of Power: The civil war in Syria continues to escalate. This attack shows that rebel capabilities are better, it does not show that the rebels are smarter or operationally any better. I also wonder if their attack against Damascus is smart given Assad’s virtual control of information flow in the country. It seems to me that the rebel assault on Damascus and the ruling family is somewhat stupid. The worst thing they can do is go after Assad’s clan because that will cause him to double down on trying to stomp the rebellion. This attack against the government is questionable strategy at best in my opinion.
Police seek bomber identity, Israel blames Iran: This story makes me wonder if Iran is in fact continuing their proxy war against Israeli interests and citizens. If they are, Iran is playing a dangerous game. Israel takes the security of their people seriously and understands and plays the game of Middle East power quite well. Iran may end up biting off more than they can chew because eventually Israel will retaliate. Added to this is that US influence with Israel is less under Obama than it used to be so there is not a lot the US can do to restrain Israel right now if they feel the need to retaliate.
Russia, China veto of Syria sanctions spark West’s outrage: The fake outrage is funny. Russia and China have aligned themselves with Assad and it is, or should be, a given that they will veto anything coming before the Security council. What should surprise people even more is that Russia and China are getting along as they are traditional enemies. The West needs to give up on the UN and if they feel the need to do something about the Syrian Civil War they are are going to have to do it unilaterally. Of course, that will highlight the hypocrisy of the post-modern left as they have built their foreign policy views on being able to use international institutions to advance their assault on national sovereignty over the past 90+ years. It is somewhat amusing to see them blocked by institutions they helped create.
Syria says it will use chemical weapons if attacked: Finally, a Mideast regime openly admits they posses WMD. The better question is how serious is the threat of their use? It is probably fairly likely that if the regime feels itself in a position of use them or go under they will get used. At that point there is no downside to their deployment as Assad and others are probably for the rope anyway if his government falls. The prospect of personal demise focuses the mind greatly and in today’s climate their are probably no governments willing to accept Assad in exile that will also guarantee his immunity from prosecution by the ICC. I would expect to see chemicals used at some point although I highly doubt the Syrians have biologicals and if they do they would be extremely stupid to use them. The possible intervention of Israel if they are used must not be discounted either. The Syrian Civil War just got a lot more interesting though.
There will be no update in August because I will be on vacation and only have previously written posts set for publication.