War Clouds over Damascus

This morning’s news is ominous. The Israeli air strike against key Syrian military installations around Damascus introduces a new element into the region’s already complex convulsions, and greatly increases the possibility of a larger war. Where that larger war might end up is hard to say.

I continue to believe, as I suggested in my earlier post (“Syria”), that our objective should not be the deposition of Assad and the military defeat of his army as such, but rather a negotiated settlement involving the establishment of a transitional regime under UN Security Council supervision. It is high time we started pushing the UN as the world’s policemen, since we have failed so abjectly in our efforts to fill the role ourselves.

The Israelis should be careful what they wish for. A Sunni victory with Turkish and Saudi backing could end up putting two of the most modern air forces in the world a couple of minutes flying time away from Tel Aviv. For now, the natives are friendly, but times change, and in that region they can change pretty fast.

Fasten your seat belts, it is going to be a very bumpy ride. This could be the spark that sets off the biggest war since World War II.

Carl Coon 5/6/13

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