There have been votes over whether or not an intervention to end the slaughter of innocents in Syria should be carried out by the United Nations. Thus far they have been blocked by the vetoes of permanent members Russia and China. There were rumors about six weeks ago that France and Turkey had discussed joining for an intervention to end the reign of President Bashir Assad allowing for a new government to be formed by the rebel forces. And there have been the biweekly rumors or accusations, depending on the source, that an Israeli attack is imminent to either remove Assad, secure Syrian chemical weapon stores, or simply expand their possession over the areas near the Golan Heights. Thus far none of the scenarios for a Syrian intervention has proven to be true. So, the killing of innocents and combatants continues; the shelling of urban and residential neighborhoods slowly destroys more infrastructure and lives; the casualties from the civil war and from terrorist bombings mount; and accusations of torture, mass executions, and whole families or groups disappearing amid fears of mass arrests. And now there is an additional rumor entering the equation, the fear that Bashir Assad has instructed the moving of his chemical weapons of mass destruction with a likelihood there are plans to use them in a last ditch desperation to turn back the tide and defeat the rebels with no cares about the consequences of such an eventuality.
Probably the best definition of the world’s reaction to the horrors ongoing in Syria might be that it is a situation full of sound and fury; signifying nothing. The one bright and intriguing item is that the one group of countries which have actually taken some actions, even if they have been tentative and have lacked having any real results, has been the Arab League. The Arab League, mostly Saudi Arabia, have backed the rebels with arms and technical assistance including communications equipment. Their most recent initiative, though unlikely to prove of any consequence, was to offer Assad for he and his family to be given safe conduct providing he relinquish control and end the civil war allowing for a new age to begin for Syria and her people. This offer is in stark contrast to the Russian rebuke of those claiming they had offered to give Bashir Assad asylum just a couple of weeks ago. The only path, other than military intervention, that could possibly end the violence and allow for the Syrian people to begin to repair their country and move towards some normalcy would need to provide Bashir Assad, his family and those who are part of his inner circle and their families asylum and also offer some guarantee that the forces still remaining loyal to Assad are given absolution for any of their actions during the civil war. As long as there are calls and threats to bring Assad and his remaining officers and advisors before the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges, we can look forward to continued violence and even more desperate measures taken by both sides until either Assad and his inner councils are all dead or captured or the rebel leaders and most of the Syrian people who remain within Syria are dead. Unfortunately, neither side is going to simply surrender as both suspects, with good reason, that the other side will not accept any compromise and will execute all who had any part in the support of the other side. This is like every former revolution with very few exceptions; yes, the United States revolution was an exception; where whichever side prevails, they will execute every single person of any rank or position from the other side and any semblance of a trial might prove either a formality or unnecessary.
So, what should be done if a decision is reached or the situation forces a military intervention? The first necessity is for extreme discretion and air-tight secrecy as any forewarning of a coming military intervention has a good probability of provoking Assad into making rash decisions which have a possibility of his deploying chemical weapons on a broad and inclusive front, some might even say a likelihood after Assad’s threat to use them should any foreign troops enter Syria. Any military intervention would require the use of numbers sufficient to bring the desired results in as rapidly as possible while being sufficiently small so as not to be detected and arouse any suspicion that an attack is imminent. Such an attack will require that it be done without debate in any public forum which rules out United Nations being consulted, even the Security Council as Russia, China, or any of the other nations currently serving in the Security Council would likely make public any such plans. This implies the requirement that such an intervention be the result of a single country or at most two, maybe three, working together. The United States has the capabilities but would require the cooperation from a neighboring country to Syria. This would mean making arrangements with either Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon or Iraq. We can count both Iraq and Lebanon out as Iraq has already informed the United States in no uncertain terms they would never permit an American attack on another Muslim country from their soil and Lebanon is currently ruled by a coalition headed by Hezballah who are allies of Bashir Assad. Israel would appear to be the most likely to keep such activity under wraps but launching from Israel risks triggering a larger regional war. That leaves Turkey or Jordan. Both countries would likely not allow such an action and also would be risky as far as secrecy is concerned. That would mean launching an attack from the Mediterranean Sea which would require extensive logistics which compromises any chance of secrecy. Odd as it may seem, the only country that likely could intervene to bring the slaughter in Syria to an end would be Russia, but that is a virtual impossibility as Russia has been protecting Assad thus far. I would like to say stranger things have happened, but I am at a loss to think of one such example.
Beyond The Cusp