The Syrian Solution: My Plan For Ending the War

SyriaObama’s initial decision is to make up his mind on whether he wants to do anything other than just give money to help the Syrian refugees. That money probably about a billion a year is helpful to alleviate some of the suffering but it does little to help those trapped in Syria who are in desperate straits. Plus it merely puts off the day when something more should be done. If he decides the United States should do more to prevent mass starvation, debilitating malnutrition and the horror imposed on children and women by the Assad regime in a crisis which has been labeled the worst in the United Nations history here is what he must do.

The first thing Obama is to change his approached to Russia. For the first time since WWII it seems an American president has given Russia the right to veto our actions. This must stop. Russia is in Syria’s corner. It has little concern about the lives of the Syrian people who are suffering. Its first interest is in protecting Bashad al Assad. It will never assist in his ouster as it has made perfectly clear.

Next, is to stop going to the United Nations looking for a solution. No real solution will come from there because Russia has a veto over any actions that will be taken. Going there is the same as dealing directly with the Russians.

Then we should inform those who are willing to stand with us that we are forming a coalition outside of the UN’s involvement whose purpose is to stop the slaughter of the Syrian people and to alleviate their suffering. Those who have a similar interest are welcome to join in.

Whether we get any help or not, we have to go forward in this endeavor.

Here’s what we face:

1. The extremely radical jihadist Sunni Muslims intent on disrupting society with no goal other than probably installing a Taliban-like government in Syria that will be a step backwards. I assume we can identify these people. They must be marginalized and eliminated or we should let Assad stay in power.

2. Other opposition forces who are less radical than the jihadists but are fighting among themselves. They must be united into a group that works together. This group, mostly Sunni Muslms, who will comprise the new leadership of Syria must agree to have a government in which the Shia and Alewites are allowed full participation.

3. The Assad government that clings to power and the people who support it who are fearful of a blood bath should they do anything other than to fight to the death to prevent the government from falling. We must assure them they will be fully protected in any future government.

Here is the plan:

1. Have the Arab states who are presently supplying arms to the opposition stop doing it. I assume our relations with the Saudis is such that we can do this.

2. Start working with the refugees to show that America cares (remember the care packages) for them and start to develop in their minds a favorable attitude toward us.

3. Deploy heavily armed  forces in Jordan. Two main heavily armored Army groups should be deployed: one north of Irbid, Jordan; the other just over the border south of the main road linking Amman with Damascus all the support power.

4. Deploy our air power including drones to Israeli bases. Use our long-term friendship and support of Israel to get its full assistance. Our close relationship with Israel is well-known so calling upon it is a natural.

5. Announce to Assad and his followers Damascus that we are slowly going to move our forces toward Damascus. Tell him this is a humanitarian invasion but any resistance to it will be met with a fearsome response. Advise him that as we advance a no fly zone will be in operation in front and over our troops.

6. Move the forces slowly expanding their areas of control. Notice all the people in front of our advance of our purpose which is to stop the slaughter of the Syrian people and to put in place an inclusive government in Syria. Ask those in front to come to us without arms and we will feed and protect them. Let them know we are not their to destroy their country or to rebuild it. That is their duty. We are just going to provide the opportunity for them to do it in a peaceful manner. 

7. Make every effort to avoid casualties of to the members of our forces. Have the NGOs move with our army to provide for the health and welfare of the people we bring within our territorial acquisitions. As we move and provide the security, the refugees who have fled to Jordan will be able to come back with us.

8. Eventually we will control greater and greater areas wherein we can keep the peace. As we move, the pressure on the Damascus government will increase as will the numbers of Syrians released from the grasp of hunger and war.

9. The secret will be the openness, the slowness, and the boldness of our approach. Our military assets will ensure our success. With a little financial help from our friends, it will not be a costly endeavor. None of the warring parties will win since the outcome must be a compromise that will secure the lives, safety and health of all Syrians. They’ll be no unconditional surrenders other than for those on the extreme. There will be a change in the present government and the standing down of the jihadists.

10. Doing what we are doing now is a recipe for failure. Time to learn from our past mistakes and take a new approach. The result should be a less hostile Middle East. If done right, we can develop a good ally to work with. If it ended in a debacle which seems highly unlikely at least we can say we tried; and here, are motives would be pure since the “oil boys” have no stake in it.

11. Finally, we will make clear our end game is for us to leave as soon as an inclusive, stable government is formed. I don’t think that will take long. Most Syrians have seen the horrors of war and must yearn for peace among themselves.

8 thoughts on “The Syrian Solution: My Plan For Ending the War

  1. Correction to the correction:

    “ash-sham” the initial letter is a “shin” (sh) not a “sin” (s). The “sh” sound in Arabic has it’s own letter (sounds like the “sh” sound in the word “show.”)
    Shin is a moon-letter, so, the grammatical quirks described in my first linguistic comment continue to apply.

  2. Correction:

    The ellipsis facilitates “a mellifluous auditory transition” between the two nouns. The effect is similar to a “liaison” in French.

    An “idafa” is a noun construction that indicates a relation of possession. The second noun possesses the first.

    balad as sham/the country of sham (There’s no preposition, as there would be in English).

  3. As-Shem, is the historical Arabic name for Syria. It’s often used in conversation, rather than, Syria.

    1. Khalid:
      How does this square with what you wrote: Shem (Asia)

      Shem (Heb. “Name”) was Noah’s oldest son and part of Noah’s family of eight who survived the great flood. Shem and his wife were childless before the flood, but after the flood Shem bore a son at 110 years of age. He was father to five sons who became the fathers of the five Semitic nations as shown below. Shem was actually the father of the nations of the ancient Near East including the Israelites and the Jewish religion, and therefore Judaism, Islam, and Christianity sprang from the line of Shem. The Semites were particularly known for their religious zeal.

      The Five Semitic Nations:

      1. Elam (The Persians) settled northeast of the Persian Gulf.

      2. Asshur (The Assyrians) the Biblical name for Assyria, settled between the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers.

      3. Arphaxad (The Babylonians) settled in Chaldea.

      4. Lud (The Lydians) settled in Asia Minor, but some of them sailed across the Mediterranean and settled in northern Africa.

      5. Aram (The Syrians) the Biblical name for Syria, located north and east of Israel.

      1. Matt:

        Al-Sham means sublime, or, victorious, in Arabic. There’s no biblical connotation. The word is vowelled with a fatha (short “a” sound). Depending on which dialect of Arabic is being used, the pronunciation of “a” sounds like a schwa “e.” In both written, and, spoken Arabic, an ellipsis can occur. When a “moon letter” of the Arabic alphabet is the initial letter of a noun, it exerts an effect over it’s preceding definite article. The article “al” changes to “as” so as not to change the place of articulation in the pronunciation of the following noun. This ellipsis facilitates a auditory transition between the two nouns (idafa).

        Example: The country of Syria is beautiful (balad al-Sham jamillat)

  4. Wa-llahi!

    You suggest invading another Muslim country? Why? The last invasion, our blitzkrieg on Iraq, didn’t settle anything, it made the situation worse.

    King Abd-allah wouldn’t go along with basing two US armored divisions on Jordanian soil. The CIA/SF base north of Irbid is enough risk for him, as it is. Half the population of Jordan is Palestinian. They would go into open revolt, if the US publically attacked Syria from Jordanian soil.
    Why should Israel get involved? They are perfectly satisfied to see the Iranian backed Assad regime, and, the Sunni mujahideen, tear each other to pieces. Every Hizballah infantry man KIA in Syria, is one more soldier that won’t be going south to attack Israel. They have no reason to interfere in Syria. The ongoing chaos in al-Shem works to their benefit.
    George Kennan, cold-war diplomat, and, Soviet expert, pointed out that the US often spouts off about humanitarian issues, and, high ideals, but, usually does nothing. Obama isn’t behaving any differently than past presidents have in similar situations (see Michael Young’s most recent opinion piece in today’s “Lebanon Daily Star” e-edition)

    1. Khalid:

      I’m not suggesting an invasion; I’m suggesting an incursion. You raise a good point about the reaction of the Jordanian King but right now his nation is taking a beating with the influx of refugees and he may look with favor upon the chance to have them move back into their own country. As for the Palestinians, I would have a hard time reading them. I don’t feel they have much power in Jordan and would not jeopardize their presence there. Aren’t they Sunni who would be in favor of assisting their Sunni brothers and sisters.

      I understand Israel is very happy to see Syria as a basket case. The Washington Post has an article saying Assad is winning. If he does, that will just continue Israel’s headache because it will ensure a bigger Russian and Iranian presence in Syria. You are absolutely correct with respect to the death of Hizballa fighters, that all serves Israel’s interest. But I suggest Israel has a greater interest. It should look to the long term and a change in government in Syria with whom it will have better relations. But I also think the Israelis would want to alleviate the suffering of those who are dying from hunger as a pure humanitarian type mission. What better way to ensure one’s safety than have a great percentage of a people grateful for your assistance.

      Everyone seems to be bringing in Kennen lately. Stephen Cohen the Russian lover uses him to say the NATO expansion to Poland and the Baltic states was a mistake but imagine if they didn’t have that protection now. I suggest what Kennan was stating was the we spouts high ideals but never follow through except when we use them to cover up our war actions like in Iraq. We never do anything it seems (except give money) when it comes to situations like Syria where we can aid millions of people without expecting anything back from it. That is a pure humanitarian act like some of the NGOs.
      I agree Obama is not operating any differently so that makes him no better or worse than the others when it comes to this issue. it is sad that we can just do nothing and watch this enormous suffering. I’m suggesting we use our army to engage in constructive ways. I have little hope that will ever be done. But perhaps if we changed our way of doing business we might be much better off.
      Thanks for the reference to Michael Young’s piece.

      1. Lebanon is where the game will be won, or, lost. Samir Geagea, a Maronite Catholic, is positioning himself for a run at his country’s presidency. We want him in our line-up. He’s staunchly opposed to Hizbollah, and, he knows how to fight. Geagea spent eleven years isolated in a tiny airless cell in the basement of Lebanon’s defense ministry building. It didn’t break him. He came out stronger. If Geagea’s faction wins the ongoing political struggle over the presidency of Lebanon, and, Samir Geagea actually become the president, the USA will have a powerful ally. Its ironic that political events in Lebanon, have the influence they do over the conflagration in Syria. Lebanon’s fate was once dictated from Damascus, now, it seems positions are reversed.

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