While Claire tells me exactly what is going on in Syria at this moment in totally understandable and frank terms, FoxNews thinks that today’s best world news is that a school principal in Trinidad puts students’ heads in toilets. Truly, nothing about Syria on Fox’s main page as I write this. CNN does have a story on their main page, but I really don’t like CNN and they fail to mention possible outcomes, they title their story including the words “bold and exhilarating” which is sort of inappropriate for the situation, and they seem to think diplomats or the UN might be of some use here.
CNN says the U.N. Security Council is drafting a resolution to “put more pressure on Syria,” while Ms. Berlinski says:
Let me put this to you simply. Assad is a monster. He is evil beyond comprehension. No one is going to stop him until he and everyone around him is dead. But you’re out of your minds if you convince yourself the FSA is comprised of potentially friendly, liberal democrats. There’s not a liberal democrat between here and the Horn of Africa, just trust me on this; they don’t even know what those words mean, they just know that you have to say them if you want to have any hope of being saved by those weird but freakishly powerful Americans for whom the words “liberal democrats” are the magic elixer. There will be no friendly, moderate, secular regime in Syria, ever, and the first thing the FSA will do if anyone helps them is slaughter Alawites and Christians.
Ms. Berlinski does honest risk assessment and thinks of a plan–slim chances of anything working but at least she’s thinking.
The risk right now to Syria’s neighbors, if it tries to help, is extreme: Assad holds the PKK card, it has huge stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons. The regime is going bankrupt, at the very least there will be floods of refuges if this continues, Turkey certainly can’t absorb them. The Russians would be perfectly happy for every man, woman and child in Syria to be tortured and killed so long as nothing gets between itand its warm water base at Tartus. The French and the British will make very stern noises, but what are they going to do. UN? Useless. Arab League? Useless. GCC? Useless.
Thanks, Claire. While I think she’s rather crazy and radical to choose of her own volition to live and write from Istanbul, isolate herself from friends and family, continually place herself in bodily danger, and insert her opinion at her peril on explosive Middle East politics, she’s pretty awesome.