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Laelth's Journal
Laelth's Journal
September 26, 2013

Pope Francis on abortion, gays, and contraception (toon).

To quote Frank Herbert from Dune (with a little twist): "Against my better judgment, I like this Pope."

September 3, 2013

I have to disagree with Mr. Anatol Lieven on one crucial point.

He says:

Victory for either side would mean dreadful massacres and ethnic cleansing, as well as an increased threat of international terrorism.

I don't think that's the case. Certain rebel factions, if they can seize power, have announced their intention to deport Christians and massacre Alawites in aid of their goal of creating a unified Sunni-Muslim state. If the rebels win, Lieven is correct. There would likely be dreadful massacres and ethnic cleansing.

If Assad can manage to quell the uprising and stay in power, massacres and ethnic cleansing are less likely. Heterogenous Syria (Sunni Muslim, Christian, and Alawite) has been sustained by the Assad family for several decades. While it's likely that a victorious Assad would punish his most vocal and belligerent opponents, it is not in Assad's interests to wipe out the majority of the population in Syria who happen to be Sunni Muslims. Mass deportation and genocide are unlikely if Assad wins.

The problem, of course, is that Russia has a near monopoly on the export of natural gas to Western Europe. Assad will not allow the construction of a proposed natural gas pipeline through Syria from northern Iraq to the Mediterranean Sea that would cripple Russia's lucrative monopoly. Our allies in Europe want a rebel victory in order to get the pipeline. Humanitarians want Assad to win to prevent genocide.

This is the dilemma. Cheaper natural gas in Europe vs. lots of lives lost while the NATO allies become Al Quaeda's air force. Our choices are not good, but it is disingenuous to suggest that an Assad victory will lead to genocide. It is the Assad family that has so far prevented genocide in Syria.


Edit:Laelth--word choice.

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Wills Point, TX
Home country: USA
Member since: Sat Oct 16, 2004, 02:36 PM
Number of posts: 32,017

About Laelth

I am a native Georgian who's currently hiding out in Texas. I am a liberal, and I am extremely proud of the imperfect (but evolving) republic that we call the United States of America.
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