Assad Stops Massacre in Syria (Or Does He?); Ron Paul Gains Ground.

4/13/12 update   The extremely courageous Syrian people are out in the streets, demonstrating peacefully in full daylight against the bloody tyrant who has killed 9,000 of their friends and relatives. The pseudo-sophistication of American and other Western non-interventionist is revolting.

Kofe Anan, the unforgettable former General Secretary of the United Nations painstakingly organized a cease-fire in Syria. I mean that he obtained Syrian dictator Assad’s the promise to stop killing Syrians. It was supposed to be in place yesterday, Tuesday. It’s Wednesday night in Syria. There is no sign of any cessation of the massacre. In a gesture of good will, Assad did move some tanks around so that his troops are now killing Syrian civilians in a  different part of Syria from what he was doing two days ago.

Is anyone surprised? Assad is not really asking for much, seems to be the thinking of the “international community;” he is only asking for a few more days to murder a few hundred more Syrians. We should be reasonable.

The Arab countries should be ashamed of themselves. Their leadership does not even take the trouble to shout as loudly as they do when Israelis killed much fewer Arabs. Over the years, we seem to have accepted that it’s OK when Arabs massacre Arabs. It reminds me of the old American attitude toward domestic violence, “He is strangling his wife; of, well, it’s a family squabble; no one’s business.”

I wish any Arabs and beyond this, any Muslims, especially Turks, next-door neighbors to the tragedy would comment on my accusation. Their silence is deafening. Their claim to any honor is nullified by that silence.

The new America, under Pres.Obama, speaks loudly on the issue but because of its past passivity and because of its reluctant participation into the salvation of Libya, no one believes it will do anything for Syrians. It seems to have forgotten that the Assad dynasty has much American blood on its hands, much more than the mad Ghadafi ever did. The Obama administration ‘s contribution to the creation of a better world is to confirm the widespread impression that if you kill Americans, not too much is likely to happen to you as a result.

Libertarian in the US are silent as usual. They are paralyzed, caught in the same trap of their own making. The trap is this: Although their doctrine despises the nation-state, although starving their prison-like “own” nation-state is the core of their doctrine, they have infinite respect for the nation-states that imprison others, Syrians for example.

Besides, as one of my habitual mainstream libertarian interlocutors once argued on this blog,  we never know who started it. (!) We can’t shoot off the sky Syrian helicopters that are rocketing apartment houses occupied by Sunni Muslims. That’s because, somewhere, sometimes in the 19th century,a Sunni ancestor of the current victims may have knocked the fez of  an Alawite ancestor of today’s “President” Assad. Pathetic!

Followers of truth-confused candidate Ron Paul has a lot to celebrate today: Their candidate is now in second position in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Congratulations!

About jacquesdelacroix

I am a sociologist, a short-story writer, and a blogger (Facts Matter and Notes On Liberty) in Santa Cruz, California.
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15 Responses to Assad Stops Massacre in Syria (Or Does He?); Ron Paul Gains Ground.

  1. Thomas H says:

    (Please pardon typos.)

    Sir,

    The Syrian situation as it is provokes remembrance of “like father, like son,” though son has distinguished himself as a fratricide instead of a genocide. The overall very capable Mr. Annan and his people have technically and even perhaps practically stopped the madness in Syria for the time being, going significantly beyond the conscience of silent world opinion here in establishing peace in view of the protest and resulting violence of the Syrian host authorities. Your portrayal of the vindictiveness, anger and hate toward the free – thinking people in this “Arab Spring” is observable to your readers here locally, and a thing for which you should be commended.

    Hafez al Assad himself might not have taken such measures in this case as his son has, and would have otherwise most certainly called upon mercenaries in the continued fight here, now in a gap between war and peace. “Hillel said, … .”

  2. Libertarians aren’t silent on the matter. There has been a loud and vociferous opposition to a bombing campaign in Syria since the beginning of the violence there. I don’t know where you get your information sometimes, Dr. J!

    PS: for any of Dr. J’s readers, just imagine what the situation would be like today if we had bombed the Assad regime over the past few months. I imagine it would have been about as successful as the Libyan bombing campaign (only Mali has succumbed to the shockwaves so far, with Chad and Niger not far behind). Iran and its proxies would have come out even stronger than they did in Iraq!

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      Brandon: I stand corrected. Libertarians have not been silent. They have come out squarely on the side the butcher Assad.

      The Tuareg rebellion in Mali has been going on, on and off, for thirty years. Its recent success may have been facilitated by the influx of weapons from the fall of Gadhafi. Ot maybe not. Whether this is correct or not, it’s no big deal. The rest of the destabilization of Mali, the failed coup in the south of the country is unrelated and it’s also no big deal. And if there is more instability in Chad, I will also say, “No big deal, been going on since the French left.”

      It seems to me that you are saying that the bloody forty-year tyranny of Gadhafi was well worth it because if kept order in some contiguous African countries. Even if it were true, it would be disgusting.

      Mussolini did fight the Sicilian Mafia effectively, and Hitler kept the Communists in check, not only in Germany but even in the Netherlands, in Belgium, in France etc.

      Again, disgusting!

    • I have to complement you on your great ability to build men out of straw Dr. J! I don’t know of anybody on the Right who does this as well as you:

      Libertarians have not been silent. They have come out squarely on the side the butcher Assad […] It seems to me that you are saying that the bloody forty-year tyranny of Gadhafi was well worth it because if kept order in some contiguous African countries. Even if it were true, it would be disgusting.

      Mussolini did fight the Sicilian Mafia effectively, and Hitler kept the Communists in check, not only in Germany but even in the Netherlands, in Belgium, in France etc.

      Well, of course libertarians want Assad to stay in power! Of course we liked Ghaddafi! Of course we love Hitler and Mussolini, too! Stop exposing our secret desires Dr. J, you’re making us look bad.

      Has anybody heard any recent news on the arrest warrants issued by the Prime Minister of Iraq? Last i checked, he was trying to arrest some his Sunni cabinet members for treason or spying or something like that…

      • jacquesdelacroix says:

        What you wish in the secrecy of your little heart often does not matter much. The results of your actions or inactions matters. Libertarian isolationism results in the comfort of butchers like Assad and Gadhafi. Yes, it’s that simple!

        Pseudo-sophistication leads to shame eventually, if you have an ounce of decency.

        PS Don’t flatter yourself. There is not much chance you can complement me. Feel free to compliment me though.

  3. Results are important, I have to agree with your magnanimous statement. Here are two results that I think are pertinent to your insistence that we start shooting helicopters out of the Syrian sky:

    1) The US invasion of Iraq handed it to Iran.
    2) The US bombing of the Ghaddafi regime handed it to former members of al-Qaeda and a US bombing of the Assad regime would hand Syria to Iran.

    You once claimed that supporting Saddam Hussein against the Islamist Iranian regime was the best policy option to take because Hussein was the lesser of two evils (a secular socialist regime vs. an Islamist one). Do you still believe this?

    The reason I ask is because your foreign policy prescriptions suggest that you actually favor Islamist states and despise the secular socialist ones. Don’t get angry, I am just trying to clarify your awfully murky proposals for foreign policy. Do you think that an Iran with control over both Syria and Iraq will be better for world peace than an Iran grappling with two independent-minded neighbors?

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      Brandon: I hope someone else is reading this because I have spent inordinate amounts of time in your moral and logical education:

      Right now, I know for a fact that the Syrian army has been killing civilians, lots of them until yesterday. The numbers are equivalent to tens of thousands in this country. I am not guessing, I am not peering into the future. Stopping the massacre is necessary because I have the absolute certitude that the small children of those murdered by Assad will grow up orphans and that the young men massacred will never have children. No guessing here at all.

      Now, it’s true that a successful intervention, one that would save Syrian civilians’lives might also bring to power a government inimical to us (more inimical than the Assad regime with much American blood on its hands. It could happen, it might happen but this is guessing. It might not happen at all and if we did not intervene the orphans would pile up, etc, see above.

      The collective record of specialists in predicting regime succession is not good, in fact, it’s frankly bad. You may be aware of the fact that in 1987, the western world was supporting thousands (1,000s) of Kremlinologists. Those were academics and journalists who specialized, not in the Soviet Union bu, narrowly, in power struggles in the Soviet hierarchy. Six years later, there was no Soviet Union at all. None of them not one of the Kremlinologists, saw it coming. (I think none of them ever apologized either.)

      It’s beyond me why you would think that your smart undergraduate predictions would know a better fate, would be superior to the collective wisdom of thousands of specialists back then. It’s beyond me why your leader – whom you excuse for not knowing what a blockade is – would have a good prediction about the after-Assad Syria. (By the way, I would agree with you that there are many fools in academia; the collective wisdom of a field is a different story though.)

      You show in your comment how you handle the unpleasant results of your predictions: No, I don’t think Iraq belongs to Iran. That’s a decision you made in order to avoid examining your past predictions. It’s largely in the hands of the group that should have been in power thirty years ago, in that unfortunately sectarian land. (Not our fault, not my fault.) I mean Shiite parties. The next government could be a different alliance bringing in some Sunnis Arabs or some Kurds or both. I don’t know. What I know for a fact is that government massacres of citizens that were a common governance practice for fifteen-plus years of Saddam Hussein are a thing of the past. I am glad we had hi killed; I sorry it took us so long.

      You seem to assert that our intervention in Libya brought Islamists to power. Do you mean “among others” or exclusively. It it’s the former, I don’t see why not. What do you expect in a country that’s 99.9% Muslim after twenty-five years of despotism, the centrist branch of the Republican Party? If you mean “exclusively,” please divulge your source and make sure it’s not the same old guy…

      Do you happen to know the names of the parties that stood as a bulwark against Communism in the forties an fifties, in Germany, in Italy, in the Netherlands, in Austria?

      In any case, I have no patience left for the argument that we must passively support mass murderers because of the bugaboo of undefined “Islamism.” Last time I looked one kind of Islamists in Egypt and another kind were fixing to go at each other. That’s pretty much what we should have expected: Competition is fiercest among like if they are not able to form an alliance.

      Now, here is a present for you, a present that will keep giving: If I had to make an ethical choice between Nazism and full-fledged Islamic government with Sharia, I would choose the later. I think we never have to chose except between certain atrocities now and the possibility of a government not to our liking tomorrow. When you are strong, that’s an easy choice. When you are weak, you are in danger of losing all at once your compassion, your dignity, and much of what freedom you have at the moment. This happens simply because you decline to do the obviously right thing.

      To answer the questions you pose in your questions: The US was right to support the secular fascist Saddam Hussein against Islamo-fascist Iran. After Hussein invaded Koweit and failed to respect the peace-fire he had begged for. Pres. Clinton was right to make regime change in Iraq the goal of US policy.

      Pres. Bush was right to implement the policy when it was convenient. I wish it had been done better. I blame the Bush administration in general and the political general who was its secretary of defense when the invasion of Iraq was launched.

      Why in the world would your refer to “socialist” countries in the region. There have never been any. They had, they all have simply fascist regimes.

      Your prediction that Iran will somehow take over Syria if its henchman Assad meets a lamp-post high on is fun. It’s colorful, imaginative. You will certainly have earned a drink from me if it happens.

      There is apart of me that thinks this development is not worth my effort or my time. I am hoping we have readers on this because this could easily have been an essay on my blog, rather than a response to a “Comment.” Maybe we do.

      In case anyone is interested, here is where I get my info on the wider Middle-East: Wall Street Journal (six days a week) with special attention to the occasional contribution of Fouad Ajami, an American scholar born and reared in Lebanon, French-language news and commentary on TV5, the French centrist daily Le Figaro, occasionally, excerpts of Moroccan newspapers appearing on-line, and Al Jazeera English edition. I do not read or understand Arabic or Farsi. I am much influenced by Ajami.

      • I must have struck a nerve again! You keep bringing up morality as if we somehow differ. This is dishonest. I, like you and every other human being not in power on the planet, have the same desires for equality under the law. This line of attack reminds me, frankly, of Leftist and Christian retorts to my arguments for more marketplace competition as a way to bring about global peace and prosperity.

        Also reminding me of Leftist retorts is the utterance that I and other libertarians somehow “passively support” dictatorship. This is nonsense. Of course we don’t like dictatorships, but neither do we like it when there are calls from people to just start shooting helicopters out of the sky. This is because of the unintended consequences and knowledge problem associated with central planning, and because of the deep skepticism that libertarians and conservatives harbor towards government.

        I don’t think there are many fools in academia. I think, rather, that the intellectuals are very, very bright people, and that their brightness is all the more reason to harbor skepticism about their ideas when it comes to policymaking decisions. I think their intelligence can be harnessed for good things, but also for very bad things as well. In fact, intelligence in academia makes a great case for democracy, when you think about it!

        As far as al-Qaeda in Libya goes, just Google the name “Abdel Karim Hasadi” and tell me what you come up with. And Iran’s position in Syria would be very much strengthened were Assad to fall to Western bombs rather than his own people, just as Iran has strengthened in Iraq after we removed one of its most hated enemies. Hamas, a proxy network of Iran, is squarely on the side of the rebels now, and even Hezbollah is divided on whether or not to support the Assad regime. Were the regime to fall to Western bombs, it would be these two organizations – both connected to Tehran – that would be there to pick up the pieces. They are the only two organizations, aside from some of the non-Muslim minorities in Syria, that have the organizational capacity to govern at all.

        Fouad Ajami is one of those fools that you spoke of in regards to academia. This is a man, after all, who wildly predicted that Iraqis would be celebrating the presence of American troops. He is discredited.

        And I read the WSJ, the New York Times, Hurriyet Daily (the English edition of Turkey’s leading newspaper), Spiegel Online (the English edition of one of Germany’s leading papers), and various blogs from around the Anglosphere (including India).

      • jacquesdelacroix says:

        Brandon: I don’t know about you but I have written about this nearly enough.

        I don’t think I ever make a dishonest argument. And it does not matter what my arguments remind you of. It’s irrelevant. Perhaps everyone is against you because your stance is glaringly immoral so that one would have to be blind not to see it irrespective of one’s ideological preference.
        .
        Myself, I call them as I see them. Here is a summary of what constitutes moral action: If you see someone strangling a child across the street, you always intervene; you always cross the street, without worrying about the consequences.

        Ron Paul’s stance, your repeated arguments on this blog and elsewhere, unavoidably lead to standing by in the face o most massive atrocities. Not an intended consequence, I am sure, a consequence nevertheless.

        Not much else matters, I think.

        Your challenges about Googling this one or that one are frivolous. You are not thinking things through.

      • Let’s not stop now, things are just starting to get interesting!

        I never thought I’d be interested in a sermon from church, but, here we are and I am on the edge of my seat in anticipation (despite, or perhaps because of, the various men of straw you are so incredibly good at building).

        I think, though, that we can glean a lot more from your substantive claims to moral superiority than we can from the men of straw you build. Is it true that you would compare the Syrian people to a child being strangled?

        The heart of the matter, when we finally brush all of the name-calling, the labels, and the straw men aside, is that military interventionists seem to view people in societies outside of the West as childlike, and therefore in need of guidance. Would you agree with this, Dr. J?

        PS everyone is not “against me”. The failures of our government in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the broader Middle East have turned the tide of opinion staunchly against further military engagements in the region. The Cold War is over Dr. J. Nobody of worth has the desire or capacity to destroy the US or capitalism, and the traditional conception of military strength cannot cope with threats that do exist. Shooting helicopters out of the sky is a good example of what not to do these days. Adapt or become irrelevant.

      • jacquesdelacroix says:

        Speaking of strawmen, no, I don’t agree with the “childlike” proposition. It’s hard to fight tanks with rocks and even with rifles. Europeans wouldn’t be any better at it. Has nothing to do with being a moral or mental child.

        Yes, I compare the Syrian people today to a child being strangled.

        A sermon? If your position is immoral, I pretty much have to say it. If it’s sermonizing, so be it.

        I am tired of this topic for the time being. Those of our readers who have ears have already heard. The others? I am not responsible for averyone. I don’t need to “win” an argument.

  4. Opsrsrchr says:

    In the context of this discussion, traditional nation-state legitamacy is being challenged by groups that may or may not exist within the existing political framework. As with Syria, it is an armed and organized sectarian uprising. Is it the U.S. role to get involved? No. What would the U.S. do in the event of an armed and organized sectarian uprising (Civil War)? Do inoccent civilians get caught in the crossfire? Yes. U.S. policy against Syria is becuase of their affiliation with Russia, North Korea, and Iran… Our enemies. An overthrow of the Assad regime would leave Syria in the hands of terrorists. Study the history of Syria.

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      Familiar position. I have nothing to say because I replied to it time after time, after time. right on this blog.

      • Johnny Kasunich says:

        Dr. J

        Many people follow your essays and blogs, Including my family. Morality is becoming of lesser importance to the ethos of each succeeding (and well intentioned) generation.

        And thank you

      • jacquesdelacroix says:

        Hi, Johnny. You made my day. We don’t hear much about your kind of people these days. Good to know you still exist. Of course, there will hose of my critics who will say that you are really my mother under an assumed name!

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