Syria : why we must do nothing.


The twin of this mosque, in Aleppo, was destroyed this week. That’s a great loss to the human patrimony, but there is no good end-game for this tragedy. The Assad government is corrupt, nepotistic, and brutal, but if and when it falls, we will see the insurgents divide into Sunni and Shia factions, called Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah – and they will battle each other. It’s a three-sided civil war. None of the possible winners will even be as open or democratic as Morsi in Egypt. King Abdullah II of Jordan heads up the most enlightened Arab government and he has his hands full.

The accounts yesterday in the New York Times of women and children in Aleppo gunned down by snipers, while crossing the street to get water, echo the slaughter that Beirut endured in the late 70s and early 80s. An estimated 60,000 people died. As in the former Yugoslavia, as in Iraq, as in Libya, once the grip of the the dictator is broken, no one can stop the carnage. Not only is there no ‘good side,’ but there is no ‘best of the worst.’

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