What to do about Syria?
It's a valid question, about which there is no valid answer.
Perhaps a better question would be, is there anything we (meaning the developed or civilized world) wants to do?
Regimes like Syria are what those who planned and implemented the UN after World War II thought or hoped the world body would address and solve without necessitating the sort of international crisis of another world war.
The League of Nations (LON), forerunner to the UN, failed miserably to curb the march of Hitler towards European domination and war. It failed Ethiopia, then known as Abyssinia, by doing nothing to curtail Italy's adventuring in that sorry country.
The Spanish Civil War was beyond anything the League of Nations could cope with.
And in those bygone days, Asia and the Pacific were of little interest to Europe, and certainly outside the scope of the League of Nations.
The creation of the United Nations was going to cure all that. It didn't, of course, couldn't and can't, especially when the five founding nations each had veto power.
The UN would never have gone to war on behalf of South Korea had not the Soviet Union been in a snit and absented itself from the UN Security Council vote that declared war (okay, "police action") against North Korea. A miscue that saved the South.
"War to end wars," is a slogan that's gone out of fashion since it originated after 1918 and wasn't much use in 1939.
Even the UN is mostly a gabfest boondoggle. The only member countries willing to impose something resembling peace and security on the world, are those where English is the predominant language.
So it was with Libya, where what seemed an unexpected and spontaneous rebellion of the people, provoked Britain, France, Canada, and token Arab League members into launching an air war that was depicted as protecting innocent people from the homicidal tendencies of Muammar Gaddafi.
Rebellion in Egypt persuaded countries that had regarded dictator Hosni Mubarak's as a semi-trusted ally, to abandon him. All in the name of democracy and "Arab Spring."
What the governments that guide our foreign policy did not anticipate, was rebellion in Syria, against Bashar al-Assad, a British-trained ophthalmologist-cum-dictator who has no hesitation about shooting his own people.
The Canadian government, which praised the heroism of its pilots who shot up Libya -- which amounted to target practice -- largely ignores repression in Syria.
In fact, Assad is more oppressive and menacing than Gadhafi, but isn't as cartoonish. In his first speech in six months, a defiant Assad blamed "foreigner conspirators and terrorists" for unrest in Syria that persuaded his army to kill some 5,000 protestors.
The Syrian regime claims protestors ("Islamists") have killed 2,000 security force members. Assad promised an "Iron Hand" would crush this foreign-inspired resistance.
If only it were that easy to foment rebellion!
Assad has turned on the Arab League which he believes is in cahoots with Western conspirators. It's unrealistic to suppose there will be interference into Syrian affairs -- and perhaps this is correct. The outside world is neither policeman nor colonizer.
The rebellion in Syria is on its own, with Iran as Assad's only friend.
Syria wouldn't be the pushover Libya was, and if we became involved it could well boomerang when democracy doesn't occur, and a different tyranny ensues.
That's the way of the world these days.Suggest a correction