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Maaloula Has Fallen To The Jihadists

The ancient Christian village of Maaloula has fallen: [1]

Rami Abdurrahman of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Nusra Front [Note: Al-Qaeda linked — RD] backed by another group, the Qalamon Liberation Front, moved into the village after heavy clashes with the army late Saturday.

“The army pulled back to the outskirts of the village and both (rebel groups) are in total control of Maaloula now,” he told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

He said pro-government fighters remain inside the village, in hiding.

Initially, troops loyal to President Bashar Assad moved into Maaloula early Saturday, he said, “but they left when rebels started pouring into the village.” Now, Abdurrahman said, the army is surrounding the village and controlling its entrances and exits.

A Maaloula resident said the rebels, many of them sporting beards and shouting Allahu Akbar, or God is great, attacked Christian homes and churches shortly after moving into the village overnight.

“They shot and killed people. I heard gunshots and then I saw three bodies lying in the middle of a street in the old quarters of the village,” said the resident, reached by telephone from neighboring Jordan. “So many people fled the village for safety.”

Now, Maaloula “is a ghost town. Where is President Obama to see what befallen on us?” asked the man, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal by the rebels.

President Obama, sir, is preparing to talk to the American people to convince us why our missiles should come to the aid of the people shouting “Allahu akbar” and attacking your homes, churches, and selves. That’s where the American president is. Perhaps he went to church this morning. Perhaps he took a short respite from pondering the fate of his credibility to say a prayer for you all.

UPDATE: I’m gratified to see that Southern Baptist leader Dr. Russell Moore, and Pastor Rick Warren, are among the prominent US Christian leaders who have spoken out against Obama’s proposed war on Syria. More American Christians need to find their voice, and use it to speak loud and clear to their Congressmen.

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38 Comments To "Maaloula Has Fallen To The Jihadists"

#1 Comment By Frank Cannon On September 8, 2013 @ 12:49 pm

President Obama, sir, is preparing to talk to the American people to convince us why our missiles should come to the aid of the people shouting “Allahu akbar” and attacking your homes, churches, and selves.

I think you know the reason but are afraid of articulating it. We didn’t destroy Iraq as a country for oil as the left said and not for WMD as the neo-con manipulators used to instigate it. We didn’t subvert and make Egypt another dysfunctional state and bomb and make Libya a dysfunctional state for some democratic revolution. The people behind instigating the destruction of Syria are already pushing phase two which is to move on and destroy Iran. The slaughter of Christians, Christianity, innocents is collateral damage.

To paraphrase Mark 8:36, What does it profit a people to destroy all of the world and lose their soul?

#2 Comment By Frank Cannon On September 8, 2013 @ 1:20 pm

[2]

But of course the White House, Kerry, and the loyal Congressional Democrat neo-hawks will point out that at least she wasn’t gassed.

[NFR: Until we have confirmation from a more reliable source than Russia Today, I won’t believe this report. The video is not of the supposed dismemberment. It sounds like propaganda. I think these jihadists are capable of such things — they’ve shown that before — but we have to be careful not to let ourselves believe these things without confirmation. — RD]

#3 Comment By Henri James On September 8, 2013 @ 1:25 pm

This is good for no one.

#4 Comment By Carol On September 8, 2013 @ 2:17 pm

Yes, American Christians need to find their voices. Also, where are all the anti-war Hollywood liberals?

#5 Comment By David T On September 8, 2013 @ 2:31 pm

“President Obama, sir, is preparing to talk to the American people to convince us why our missiles should come to the aid of the people shouting “Allahu akbar” and attacking your homes, churches, and selves. That’s where the American president is. Perhaps he went to church this morning. Perhaps he took a short respite from pondering the fate of his credibility to say a prayer for you all.”

More likely Obama is laughing at people like Dreher who don’t realize that he would be quite happy to lose in Congress on this issue: “oh, please, Congress, don’t toss me into the briar patch.” Yes, of course, he will lobby for the attack (to advocate it yet not to lobby would be a bit too transparently hypocritical) and in the unlikely event he gets the votes he figures that an attack with congressional backing is better than one without consulting Congress. But mostly this is simply an attempt to get out of the corner he painted himself into, and has greatly reduced the chances of an attack.

The best analogy I can think of is his negotiations with the Iraqis: “Oh, please don’t deny immunity to US soldiers! If you do that”–and everyone knew the Iraqis were unlikely to allow immunity–“I’ll have to withdraw all US troops!”

#6 Comment By Ivan K On September 8, 2013 @ 2:35 pm

The Daily Mail reports that, between 2004 and 2010, British companies sold the chemical components used to produce sarin gas. Now Britain, the US, and the EU are “shocked” that Assad used chemical weapons. The genocide of Syrian Christians does not even rise to the level feigned outrage and hypocritical protests.

#7 Comment By Church Lady On September 8, 2013 @ 2:38 pm

Isn’t the important point that the rebels are winning this war, and that Assad is going to fall, whether or not the US enters the picture? And doesn’t that mean that Christians will be killed (propaganda or not, there’s reason to suspect it will happen to some degree or another) in any case?

So, if we are not going to support Assad, shouldn’t we at least support the moderate rebels, the FSA, etc.? That would at least mitigate whatever repression occurs, I would think. Staying out of the picture, while innocent people are slaughtered, doesn’t seem like a terribly moral position to take.

#8 Comment By Bubba61951 On September 8, 2013 @ 2:46 pm

I’m no fan of Obama but I find the anti-Obamism hypocritical and counter productive. As Rod’s previous post points out, Obama is merely attempting to continue on the policy of the U.S. government and the will of the American people in place since 1980.

For real positive and long lasting change, we need to be pointing the finger of blame not at Obama and the liberals but at all of ourselves in the mirror. If we don’t realize that we the American people have been our own worst enemies, we will have wasted a great opportunity for positive change away from nonsense of Democratic liberal interventionism and Republican neoconservatism.

Rod, please use your voice to get this message (and not one of anti-Obamism) across.

#9 Comment By alcogito On September 8, 2013 @ 3:11 pm

Yesterday the Pope fasted and celebrated a Mass for Peace and was joined by churches around the world – 10 a.m.mass here on the west coast. There were as many people at that mass at our church as there were at a regular Sunday mass, although it did not replace the regular weekend masses so everyone there would be back later Saturday evening or Sunday. Regular folks I have spoken to have already contacted their senators and representative. This is what we can do this far, if we don’t have more power or access. Speak and pray.

#10 Comment By Andrew On September 8, 2013 @ 3:26 pm

[3]

Russia calls for protection of Christian holy places in Maalula

#11 Comment By Andrew On September 8, 2013 @ 3:29 pm

Obama is merely attempting to continue on the policy of the U.S. government and the will of the American people in place since 1980.

Forgive me, but that is rich;-) Last time I checked the “will of the American people”(c) (about an hour or so ago) it was overwhelmingly against this “continuation” of said policy.

#12 Comment By JohnE_o On September 8, 2013 @ 3:44 pm

Who is funding these rebel groups?

That’s the question that never seems to get asked or answered in these reports.

#13 Comment By Richard Johnson On September 8, 2013 @ 4:00 pm

“I’m no fan of Obama but I find the anti-Obamism hypocritical and counter productive.”

I agree in part. We know that Senator McCain (GOP Presidential Candidate 2008) and [4] (GOP Presidential Candidate 2012) would have taken us down this same path, perhaps even sooner than fall 2013.

But, as another occupant of the Oval Office once said, the buck stops there. President Obama is our President. It will be his call, ultimately, on whether we start the attack or not. He is making the case for the attacks to begin, and has called on Congress and the American people to support him.

So…like it or not, this is and will be Obama’s war. Therefore it is right and proper to point out the blatant hypocrisy between what Candidate Obama said and what President Obama is doing.

#14 Comment By Richard Johnson On September 8, 2013 @ 4:05 pm

“The Daily Mail reports that, between 2004 and 2010, British companies sold the chemical components used to produce sarin gas. Now Britain, the US, and the EU are “shocked” that Assad used chemical weapons.”

The same thing happened in Iraq, and President Reagan’s “special envoy”, Donald Rumsfeld, did nothing to dissuade Saddam Hussein from using them…until 2002, when Hussein was no longer of use to our nation.

Assad made the mistake of joining forces with Hezbollah, and making nice with Iran. When he did that he was no longer of use to us, therefore we discovered our outrage over his accumulation of nerve gas.

#15 Comment By Fran Macadam On September 8, 2013 @ 4:38 pm

“the will of the American people”

That’s evocative of the justification by the failed leader who authored a failed war, but blamed failure on the people he deceived for being unworthy of his own greatness.

#16 Comment By ArizonaBumblebee On September 8, 2013 @ 4:52 pm

I am no fan of the neocons and voted for Jill Stein of the Green Party at the last election, but I do think that President Obama’s mishandling of the Syrian crisis is justified. He set himself up for this criticism by campaigning for hope, change, and transparency and for a different king of foreign policy when he ran for president in 2008. As demonstrated by his actions (or proposed actions)in this crisis and his reactions to outrage over his handling of drone attacks and the unconstitutional invasions of privacy at the NSA, he no longer deserves to be given the benefit of our doubts. Quite frankly, I have concluded the American people were sold a bill of goods in 2008. For all intents, he has the same outlook on the world as Senator McCain and the neocons. Ralph Nader was right when he said we were conned into believing Obama as president would be different from Bush/Cheney.

#17 Comment By Ivan K On September 8, 2013 @ 5:01 pm

“Assad made the mistake of joining forces with Hezbollah, and making nice with Iran. When he did that he was no longer of use to us, therefore we discovered our outrage over his accumulation of nerve gas.”

Assad has been allied with Hezbollah and Iran for a long time. The shipments of sarin constituents went on until as recently as 2010. The recently discovered outrage has little to do with Iran and Hezbollah.

#18 Comment By Bubba61951 On September 8, 2013 @ 5:04 pm

I by no means meant to indicate that Obama has no responsibility here. In fact, I distinctly said that I was “no fan”.

What I was trying to point out was the fact that the American people would prefer to place partisan blame rather than look in the mirror at themselves or at their own political party. (How many people out there are trying to forget that they supported the war in Iraq and thought it was a good idea?)

Thankfully, there are people like Rod and The American Conservative who are not johnny-come-lately’s to knowing that carrying the sword abroad in search of monsters to destroy is pure folly. Now is our time, let’s not blow it by being seen as partisan “anti Obama-ists”. If we do, we will alienate the 50% of American voters who supported Obama and miss our chance for a real permanent change for the better in our country.

#19 Comment By Church Lady On September 8, 2013 @ 5:39 pm

So…like it or not, this is and will be Obama’s war. Therefore it is right and proper to point out the blatant hypocrisy between what Candidate Obama said and what President Obama is doing.

I don’t recall Obama ever saying he wouldn’t attack Syria if they used chemical weapons in a civil war.

Nor do I recall Obama campaigning against military interventions in all forms, only against ones that committed us to land invasions and occupations, as in Iraq. On the other hand, he was quite hawkish on the use of the military in situations just like this, where we could deal with actual violations of the use of WMDs (rather than pre-emptive strikes on the basis of their mere possession).

Obama is not a left-wing anti-imperialist peacenik, and he never said he was. That wasn’t what “hope and change” was all about. He’s fairly middle of the road, actually, and his actions here show it. He’s not as hawkish as McCain, but not dovish like Kucinich either. He said very prominently in 2008 that he would not hesitate to use America’s military might if he thought the situation warranted it, and the risks were proportional to the benefits. That’s why he got involved in the Libyan campaign the way he did – with air support, but no ground troops or occupation. We can expect something similar here.

#20 Comment By FL Transplant On September 8, 2013 @ 5:40 pm

As I understand the history of “modern” Syria, the tribes of Christians–and Syria is based on tribes not religious groupings, even though tribes also break along religious lines–aligned themselves with Assad’s father and now Assad. They have been both supporters and active participants in all the Assad dictatorship has done. In the current civil war the Christian tribes are supporters of Assad and are actively supporting his continued power through fighting for him, among other things. The Christian tribes are not non-violent bystanders suffering as collateral damage; they’re active participants.

Given that the Christian tribes picked a side decades ago and are fighting for that side, what makes them exempt from the consequences of their side losing–beyond the obvious humanitarian/human rights concerns that it’s not acceptable to us to slaughter those supporting the other side, similar to our norm that it’s not acceptable to use gas in warfare (and given the demographics of Assad’s forces there’s a high probability “Christians” were involved in the use of gas)?

#21 Comment By J R Cooper On September 8, 2013 @ 5:44 pm

The article demonstrates exactly why the US mustn’t pursue Obama in this action for numerous reasons. But Mr Cannon is wrong about Iran.
Since 1980 Iran has planned & sponsored terrorism. Syria’s filled with competing factions like outlaws bikers in a border town. Iran wins in an unstable Syria. For Iran, dead Christians arent collateral, just an early start. Remember Sept 11, 2001?

#22 Comment By Tom S. On September 8, 2013 @ 5:50 pm

From the description, it is not clear whether or not it has fallen. If it has, it looks like the Syrian military was not fighting terribly hard to defend Maaloula. No tanks, no planes, no artillery?

Bear in mind that while Syria’s Christians may have an affinity to the Assad regime (understandable considering the likely alternative), there appears to be little evidence that the Assad regime reciprocates it, other than to use them as symbols to woo the Russians and well-meaning Americans. If it come down to it, the Assad regime will sacrifice Syria’s Christian community in a heartbeat.

#23 Comment By SDS On September 8, 2013 @ 6:14 pm

JohnE_o asks-
“Who is funding these rebel groups?”

I think it’s pretty well known that Saudi Arabia; Qatar; Bahrain; other Sunni fiefdoms….all those bastions of democracy and civil rights are funding them; as well as YOUR tax dollars….
After all to the Sunni fiefdoms, the only good Shiite is a dead Shiite…..And that goes for Christians, too….

#24 Comment By EliteCommInc. On September 8, 2013 @ 7:22 pm

Laughing.

It’s has got to be hard for believers based on the Iraq invasions. Unless they first disavow support for that matter. It is hardly carries much weight. I certainly oppose the matter on it face given the lack of credible evidence. And the description of this assault hardly sounds like the town has fallen. Apparently it is still in dispute.

I can mourn the death of christians as anyone else. But that christians who signed on the previous dotted line and believe a chemical attack was launched by the Aassad government should be signing on now. Without disavowing the previous, they remain entrenched in a pool of hypocrisy.

I am not sure there is evidence here to question the veracity of the News agency merely because they are Russian.

#25 Comment By Chris 1 On September 8, 2013 @ 8:08 pm

Rod, the position that you credit to Obama is actually that of John McCain, and it is a position that Obama has resisted since the beginning of hostilities in Syria in 2011.

Indeed, when Obama talked about Assad stepping down in 2012 he was urging an orderly transition of power within the government, not the abdication of the government to Islamist rebels.

#26 Comment By VikingLS On September 8, 2013 @ 9:16 pm

Church Lady how do you think that supporting the moderate elements of the FSA is going to save the Chritians? Do you think they’ll restrain the hardcore Jihadis who’ve been the ones winning the war for them?

#27 Comment By Rudy Haugeneder On September 8, 2013 @ 11:13 pm

When the Christians are massacred by Islamic extremists, will Canadian Prime Minister Harper and American President Obama attend their funerals — or laugh the dead Christians away as collateral damage?

Harper and Obama will just laugh it off and say there were only a few thousand Christian lives compared to larger numbers of anti-Assad protesters. Will Harper and Obama open their borders to Christian refugees and will they in fact help them escape Syria and resettle in North America? Well. Will they? Not a chance.

#28 Comment By Bob Wilcox On September 9, 2013 @ 2:20 am

Re-found Knights Templar.
Launch Tenth Crusade.
Found the Christian Kingdom of Maalula.
Check.

#29 Comment By Church Lady On September 9, 2013 @ 2:51 am

Church Lady how do you think that supporting the moderate elements of the FSA is going to save the Chritians? Do you think they’ll restrain the hardcore Jihadis who’ve been the ones winning the war for them?

The majority of the Sunnis in Syria are not Islamist or Jihadist or Al-Qaeda sympathizers. And the reason those elements are winning a lot of the rebel victories is because they are the best funded and trained – by Sunni sources like Saudi Arabia and others. Given that the rebels seem destined to win, it’s best that the FSA and other moderates have real military might and power and contribute more strongly to that victory, so that they can have a stronger say in the government that succeeds Assad. They would certainly better represent actual Syrians than the foreign jihadists who are currently getting the most funding. And they would certainly have a better shot at helping keep post-Assad Syria from being taken over by Islamists, and thus reducing the odds or degree of persecution of Syrian Christians – which is all most people here seem concerned about anyway. I’m really not getting why such people think the US staying out, and letting jihadist rebels dominate the opposition, is going to help them. No one has yet come up with a decent argument for that. Is there one?

#30 Comment By Wes On September 9, 2013 @ 7:04 am

“President Obama, sir, is preparing to talk to the American people to convince us why our missiles should come to the aid of the people shouting “Allahu akbar” and attacking your homes, churches, and selves. That’s where the American president is.”

This is a bald-faced lie. I thought that I would never say something like this to somebody talking about Obama, but I am now. But I know that if we had a Republican president, you would be saying the same thing. It is because of those people in the Christian village who were “shouting “Allahu akbar” and attacking your homes, churches, and selves” that no American weapons have reached the MODERATE rebels yet.

[NFR: Look, you can’t hurl a brace of Tomahawks at Damascus and fail to assist the radical Islamists. There’s no such thing as saying, “We’re going to strike the regime, but only insofar as it helps the Free Syrian Army.” — RD]

#31 Comment By EliteCommInc. On September 9, 2013 @ 8:33 am

I don’t believe they intend to stop ata few cruise missles. And I don’t think I buy that this about Aassaad alone but a core of actors we think we can thwarst and given out track record, not likely

#32 Comment By VikingLS On September 9, 2013 @ 11:31 am

@Church Lady

“The majority of the Sunnis in Syria are not Islamist or Jihadist or Al-Qaeda sympathizers.”

In the late 1960s the idea of an Islamist government in Hippie trail Afganistan was unthinkable. The idea of Islamic state in Decadent Persia was unimaginable. Aggressively secular Kemalist Turkey couldn’t possible elect an Islamist party.

After years of being second class citizens under the Ba’ath party I’m completely unconvinced that the utopian vision of the Islamists isn’t going to grasp the imagination of the triumphant rebels and the Sunni majority.

The Al Nusa brigade is not going to win the war for the moderates and just ride off into the sunset. They at the very least are going to want to hang onto their haven in Eastern Syria. They’ll eventually fight the FSA too if they try and cheat them.

You haven’t actually made a convincing argument that the FSA is going to be inclined to protect religious minorities even if we did help them. Do you think they’re going to fire on their fellow Sunnis if they decide to settle some old scores and raid the Allawite, Christian and
Druze villages?

If we couldn’t, (or wouldn’t) protect minorities in Iraq where we had put the moderates in and actually had our own troops on the ground, I don’t see how we’re supposed to do that in Syria with no influence on the ground other than the goodwill of our allies.

The reason you’re not winning more people over to your argument is because its actually not a very good one.

#33 Comment By Richard Johnson On September 9, 2013 @ 11:51 am

“I’m really not getting why such people think the US staying out, and letting jihadist rebels dominate the opposition, is going to help them.”

The problem is, as Rod and others have mentioned, making sure that weapons and supplies get through to the FSA rebels without reaching the more radical elements in the rebellion. I’m not certain anyone has a good handle on how to make that happen.

And then we have [5] Are these videos accurate? While I do not trust WND any further than I can throw the Empire State Building, have these vids been checked out?

#34 Comment By Church Lady On September 9, 2013 @ 1:55 pm

RJ and VikingLS,

Of course you can’t have some perfect result out of aiding the FSA. You can’t perfectly control where the arms end up. But that’s true of the Saudi money going to the Islamists – some of those arms end up in moderate hands. We are talking about trying to achieve some kind of balance here, in which the FSA becomes a stronger player, not the only one.

As for revenge strikes against Christians, that’s probably unavoidable in any case, but the stronger the FSA is, the less we can expect to see that. War is war, and some of that is inevitable, sadly enough. I’m talking about the general policies of the government that succeeds Assad, and at least some moderation in its policies. The more moderates are involved in that, the more moderate that government will be. It’s not as if the Islamists will be cut out, but they wouldn’t be able to just take over either. All sides will need to compromise, and put aside blood rivalries for the sake of peace. Some of the more extreme Islamists might not want to do that, and a war will continue between them and the rest of the rebels. All the more reason to arm the FSA and other moderate groups to prepare them to prevail in that fight.

#35 Comment By VikingLS On September 9, 2013 @ 4:33 pm

Church Lady what makes you presume the Islamists or even the FSA have the slightest desire to put aside blood rvialries in the name of peace? What makes you think that the moderates are more than a miniscule and shrinking minority?

There are too man unkowns in your argument. Poor arms and money into the fight and hope the people we like weren’t lying to us about their intentions is NOT a good plan.

And what are we supposed to do if they hold elections and the Islamist party wins? Are we supposed to support another coup because we didn’t get the outcome we like?

Iraq say almost a thousand people killed last month. Why is Syria supposed to turn out better?

Your plan doesn’t improve through repetition.

#36 Comment By Wes On September 9, 2013 @ 8:05 pm

“Look, you can’t hurl a brace of Tomahawks at Damascus and fail to assist the radical Islamists. There’s no such thing as saying, “We’re going to strike the regime, but only insofar as it helps the Free Syrian Army.”

By fighting in World War II on the side of the Soviet Union, the U.S. and Britain were helping the Soviet Union. Now the U.S. and Britain helped their own security by fighting Nazi Germany, but they couldn’t fail to assist the Soviet Union in its own expansionism and militarism. We will always find ourselves allied either directly or indirectly with unsavory countries or non-state actors. That’s the textbook definition of foreign policy realism. Even going back to the War of 1812 against Britain, the U.S. was indirectly allied with Napoleon, who was far worse than Britain at the time. And while we were directly allied with the Soviet Union during WWII, we are at best indirectly allied with the Syrian Islamists. We are even more directly opposed to the Syrian Islamists and are helping and will help the moderate Syrian rebels to fight off the Syrian Islamists.

#37 Comment By Church Lady On September 10, 2013 @ 1:30 am

VikingLS,

I don’t expect Syria to turn out very well, or much better than Iraq, given the massive brutal autocracy the Baathists in both countries created, and all the sectarian divides they exploited. The Christians in Syria played their political hand as well, supporting the Baathist regime, and thus have much blood on their hands. Innocent Christians will pay for that, just as innocent Iraqis paid for the sins of their fathers.

The difference in Syria is that we didn’t start the Syrian civil war, which is taking down the Baathists. We did invade Iraq, however, and so we bear a much more serious responsibility for what went down there. The Syrian civil war is already a very bloody one, and the longer it lasts, the more animosity it will bring with it. Assad really can’t hold out forever, unless I suppose he uses poison gas to just kill everyone. Are you willing to support Assad doing that to protect Syrian Christians? Are they? If not, then figure out the best way to reduce the chances of a bloodbath following Assad’s fall. If you aren’t going to bother doing that, it’s clear you don’t really care, but are just hoping you can blame Obama for it somehow.

Some people seem more interested in using Syria’s Christians as a dead horse to flog their cultural foes with, than preventing them from actually dying. They want to do precisely nothing to help them, other than to stop the US from aiding in the demise of Assad’s regime. But Assad’s regime won’t survive, and even the Russians know that, which is why they are looking for ways to get this over with, and put pressure on Assad to just get out sooner rather than later.

The whole situation is a mess, and the danger to many innocents, Christian and Muslim, is very real. Best for wars like this to end as soon as possible. It won’t be pretty either way, but it’s still worth trying to make the outcome better than worse. And yes, giving aid and weapons to the more moderate of the rebel forces is a good step in that direction. Best of all would be a peace settlement that allowed Assad and his people to go into exile, and hand over power to some sort of interim government. But I’m not going to dream that far ahead just yet.

What I continue to be flabbergasted by is the lack of any actual plan by those who seem most concerned with protecting Syria’s Christians. How exactly do they plan to do that? Do they really think that if the US does nothing, the war will suddenly go Assad’s way? The US has been doing nothing, and it’s not going his way. It’s just getting worse for him, which is why he’s so desperately resorting to chemical weapons. Do you people not see that?

[NFR: What part of “we have no business involving ourselves militarily in Syria’s civil war” don’t you understand? I’ve been banging on for a week about how we shouldn’t take sides, not even to protect the Christians. You keep wanting to argue with a position that I, and many of us, are not taking. I would like for the US to be part of a diplomatic solution — it seems to me that the partition of Syria is the only feasible way to settle this thing — and I think we should help the refugees, as a humanitarian matter. But we should stay out of this with our military. — RD]

#38 Comment By Church Lady On September 10, 2013 @ 2:42 pm

NFR: What part of “we have no business involving ourselves militarily in Syria’s civil war” don’t you understand? I’ve been banging on for a week about how we shouldn’t take sides, not even to protect the Christians.

That’s precisely the view that I’m criticizing, Rod. On the one hand, you are obsessed with the fate of Syria’s Christians (which is maybe a bit parochial, but quite justified regardless), and yet, you are not in favor of doing anything about it other than talk. As civil wars between sides like these just stop on their own, with talk alone, rather than at the very least the threat of force.

I get that you have committed yourself to this ideologically “pure” stance of the US staying out of the war at all costs – apparently even at the cost of the Syrian Christians’ lives, in the likely event of Assad’s downfall even without US intervention. I’m just saying that doesn’t make any real sense, politically or morally.

If anything is going to lead to a diplomatic solution here, it’s the US’ threat of force, or the actual use of force. Assad is not going to step down just because it’s the right thing to do. He’s a moral monster in a small pond. I don’t see how Syrian Christians fare better in a long, drawn out and bloodier conflict. You don’t make a single argument that rationally supports your position as being actually helpful to their fate. It’s ideologically driven, not pragmatically driven. I get that you’re a new convert to the non-interventionist stance, but that’s still just saying you’re still being blinded by ideology, not facing reality once again, the same in its own way as when you supported the Iraq invasion with ideological blinders.

I’m suggesting you take off the blinders of ideology, and deal with the realities here. Or just forget all this posturing about giving a rat’s ass about the Syrian Christians. It’s getting more obvious that what you really care about is your new church of ideological non-interventionism.