Friday, May 17, 2013

Syria breaking up?

My mind has been elsewhere, figuring grades for students and seeing grandchildren. Now I discover that Emma Sky says Iraq is "spiraling out of control." And today the New York Times says Syria is on the verge of breaking up.

Two key quotes. From reporter Ben Hubbard:
Increasingly, it appears Syria is so badly shattered that no single authority is likely to be able to pull it back together any time soon.
Instead, three Syrias are emerging: one loyal to the government, to Iran and to Hezbollah; one dominated by Kurds with links to Kurdish separatists in Turkey and Iraq; and one with a Sunni majority that is heavily influenced by Islamists and jihadis.
And from a military analyst:
“The only real outcome I see in the next 5 to 10 years is a series of cantons that agree to tactical cease-fires because they are tired of the bloodletting,” said Mr. Holliday, the analyst with the Institute for the Study of War. “That trajectory is in place, with or without Assad.” 
No wonder the president has ruled out unilateral U.S. action.
"This is … an international problem," Obama said at a White House news conference with visiting Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. "It's not going to be something that the United States does by itself. And I don't think anybody in the region would think that U.S. unilateral actions … would bring about a better outcome."
I can't see how the supporters of U.S. intervention in this messy conflict could ever make this work in America's interests.

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