, 16 tweets, 3 min read
Now the press is whining about how the Syria cease-fire will end just in time for the REAL regional power broker, Vladimir Putin, to take the stage.

If you don't like Putin holding the cards in Syria, you should direct your complaints to one Barack Hussein Obama.
Obama and that buffoon John Kerry handed Syria off to Putin. They patted themselves on the back for being geniuses for doing it, even though part of the process involved the Russians making Kerry look like an utter fool by pouncing on a slip of his tongue.
But let's be realistic: Obama clearly didn't want to fight savagely for a power position in Syria, and neither did the Republicans or the American people. No one should forget the response when Obama floated a trial balloon about bombing Damascus to punish Assad.
Those who were reluctant to send American troops into the bloody quagmire of Syria were not wrong. In the worst case, such an intervention could have triggered war with Russia or a wider regional conflict, with little chance of a jackpot payoff (peaceful democratic pro-US Syria.)
The American public - under Obama or Trump - would not have the stomach for the casualties and expense of an intervention in Syria. Perhaps more importantly, we would not approve of the kind of brutal campaign Russia and Iran were ready to wage for Assad.
Assad and his patrons are gleefully slaughtering and starving civilians to this very day, and they could not care less about what the vaunted "international community" thinks of it. The U.S. would be savaged and ripped apart by internal political turmoil for fighting that way.
Our goal of assisting an extremely fractious, disorganized, and shadowy Syrian rebellion to overthrow Assad would have been vastly more difficult than Russia and Iran's task in supporting him. Even if we won, the aftermath would be an utter political nightmare for the West.
As we're learning very painfully right now, after years of lazy reporting and deliberate Obama obfuscation, almost all of the groups we would be supporting against Assad have some ugly connections and dubious agendas. Each one we helped would earn us bitter regional enemies.
Intervening in Syria the way Russia and Iran did would have instantly made the U.S. "responsible" for every humanitarian horror. Try imagining the headlines about civilian casualties from the big push to conquer Damascus. We care about that sort of thing. Russia does not.
Grumble about Putin all you want, but the cards in Syria were dealt during the Obama administration. Trump has to play them, and it's a painfully weak hand. Lunging deeper into the Syrian quagmire would be even more foolish today than under Obama, with less chance of success.
Here's a little unpleasant truth about that hand: the only face card America is holding is Turkey. It's a nation-state we have treaties with. We rely heavily on its territory and support for regional operations. We don't have the forces in place to win a war against it.
Turkey has an ugly history and its current government is extremely unpleasant. Its president is not to be trusted. (Very few foreign governments can be trusted implicitly, and none of them are in the Middle East.) But at least it's a real nation with defined interests.
Turkey has been loudly stating its very serious intentions for the Syria border region for a long time. Those intentions are a mixture of security concerns whose legitimacy no one seems inclined to challenge and sinister long-term plans at the expense of civilian populations.
If we - America, Europe, the U.N., the Western world - wanted to thwart the sinister agenda, we should have aggressively handled the legitimate concerns long ago, while also being realistic about the conditions in Syria established by Russia during the Obama administration.
The history of getting involved in murky insurrections in small patches of vicious foreign countries is not a happy one. Neither is the history of long and bloody Third World proxy conflicts between great powers. Idealism must be matched by a careful inventory of real options.
Every critic of current Syria policy needs to accept that Barack Obama is the one who handed all the cards to Russia after shooting his mouth off about a "red line" and getting tired of the subsequent humiliation. It would have been hard to hold those cards if he wanted to. /end
Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh.

Enjoying this thread?

Keep Current with John Hayward

Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!