It is despicable to research something, analyze, think carefully about it, consider all the facts, and then come to a conclusion, and then change your conclusion because it is unpopular.
That is what happened when the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. decided to look at the Syrian situation: was there something the U.S. could have been done to prevent the deaths of 100’s of thousands of innocent civilians?
Something that we didn’t already know?
What we already knew was that many of the anti-Assad forces on the ground were not “freedom fighters”: they were thinly disguised ISIS and Al Qaeda forces who understood that getting support from gullible U.S. politicians– like John McCain– depended on some of them sounding democratic and liberal and friendly to American interests. The radicals quickly turned on the democratic groups and eventually annihilated them. The extremists couldn’t even wait for victory against the common foe.
This was not a carefully kept secret. The more astute analysts knew this very early on, even before Assad used chemical weapons. A PBS Frontline documentary on Syria caught the moment when the democratic forces were compelled to turn away from Assad’s army to defend themselves against ISIS.
The only trustworthy forces in war on Assad were the Kurds. What is going to happen to them is an object lesson in how Americans– sometimes with good intentions, and sometimes not– often screw things up when they engage in foreign adventures.
The Kurds are about to get royally screwed by the Turks, Iraq, Iran, and America. So long, and thanks for the fish. The Turks will not tolerate any kind of regional Kurdish authority or state in Syria or Iraq; neither will Iran or Iraq, both of whom have regions that include Kurdish populations, all of whom would like an independent state. The Americans will roll over very quickly on this. Thank you, to the only reasonably respectable ally we have in the region, for your blood and your determination and your success. So long and thanks for the fish. This is America: we are more loyal to despotic regimes like Egypt and Saudi Arabia than we are to the most loyal and efficient friends in the region, and the only ones who actually respect women. Yes, the Kurdish women fight alongside the men.
We know that the U.S. has been unable to finish their wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and that their intervention in Libya was a disaster for everyone, and that they now sponsor another corrupt dictator in Egypt. Why would we not believe we could bring democracy to Syria with a few bombing runs and missiles?
The researchers at the Holocaust Museum understood that. Until they were told to understand otherwise. When they published their conclusions, that there was little America could have done that would have been effective or useful, or would have reduced the carnage, there was outrage among those who really want to see Obama’s reputation sullied for not having invaded– or least, bombed extensively– Syria.
The despicable part is that those researchers retracted their conclusions to make those people happy.
And now their reputation is deservedly sullied.