U.S. to meet with allies “outside the UN” for solution on Syria

posted at 10:07 pm on February 10, 2012 by Allahpundit

Supposedly they’ll only be discussing diplomatic options, but let’s not kid ourselves. A senior U.S. official told the Telegraph two days ago that military intervention “may not be avoidable.”

Jonah Goldberg fantasized a few days ago about a “permanent global clubhouse for democracies based on shared principles,” i.e. a UN for the good guys. Thanks to Russia’s and China’s veto power on the Security Council, it looks like he might get it:

The State Department said Thursday that its top Mideast envoy, Jeffrey Feltman, has been dispatched to Morocco, France and Bahrain to help put the “friends” meeting together and determine the group’s membership and mandate…

France and Turkey, both of which have historic and commercial interests in Syria, have offered to host the meeting. Morocco, which sponsored the U.N. Security Council resolution calling for Assad to step down, is also a candidate.

Nuland said the group would look at three “tracks” — economic sanctions, support for a democratic transition and “humanitarian support” for the people of Syria…

Some lawmakers have suggested the U.S. consider military aid for the rebels in Syria, though administration officials have pushed back on that approach. The Times of London quoted one source saying U.S. officials nevertheless were looking at contingency plans to give military aid to the opposition.

The State Department claimed today that some of Syria’s elites are headed for the lifeboats, but whether that’s true or just propaganda to make Assad think he should bail too before his support crumbles beneath him, who knows. On the flip side, Syrian dissidents claim that the head of Iran’s Quds Force has been to Damascus and is helping Assad to train snipers and militias. Maybe that’s propaganda too to further delegitimize Assad and entice the west into turning Syria into a proxy war with Tehran, but note that western diplomats tell the Telegraph they believe there may be as many as a few thousand Iranian troops inside the country assisting with the regime’s assault on rebels. No reason to doubt that the Quds Force has a presence there, in that case. The question is, does Iran ramping up in Syria make the case for intervention stronger or weaker? The more ruthless and well armed the rebels’ enemies are, the more urgent their need for weapons. But the more aid the west provides, the more western prestige will be at stake as Iran and Assad clamp down tighter. The rebels’ loss will be our loss too. How far are you willing to go to stave it off?

The west and Iran aren’t the only players either. Within the past hour, McClatchy dropped this bombshell on the intervention calculus:

The Iraqi branch of al Qaida, seeking to exploit the bloody turmoil in Syria to reassert its potency, carried out two recent bombings in the Syrian capital, Damascus, and likely was behind suicide bombings Friday that killed at least 28 people in the largest city, Aleppo, U.S. officials told McClatchy.

The officials cited U.S. intelligence reports on the incidents, which appear to verify Syrian President Bashar Assad’s charges of al Qaida involvement in the 11-month uprising against his rule. The Syrian opposition has claimed that Assad’s regime, which has responded with massive force against the uprising, staged the bombings to discredit the pro-democracy movement calling for his ouster.

The international terrorist network’s presence in Syria also raises the possibility that Islamic extremists will try to hijack the uprising, which would seriously complicate efforts by the United States and its European and Arab partners to force Assad’s regime from power.

Again, not only is it hard to know if this is propaganda, it’s hard to tell whether it’s propaganda for or against intervention. If Al Qaeda in Iraq is afoot in Syria, the U.S. should naturally want to establish a presence there to stamp it out before it sets up a base. But if we end up arming the opposition or otherwise weakening Assad, arguably we’re making it easier for AQI to set up shop, not harder. What’s a do-gooding humanitarian interventionist to do?

Rather than have me blather at you, take 10 minutes to read some thoughtful pieces pro and con on the threshold question of sending weapons to the rebels. In favor: Daniel Drezner and Jackson Diehl. Opposed: Marc Lynch and Red State’s Jeff Emanuel. I find Lynch’s piece the most persuasive right now, but that might change if the rebels can push Assad out of Homs or some other city and set up a base of their own, a la the Libyan rebels in Benghazi. That would be something to build on.


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Forcast: More rain from the skies in Syria?
Take cover.

Electrongod on February 10, 2012 at 10:10 PM

Jonah Goldberg fantasized a few days ago about a “permanent global clubhouse for democracies based on shared principles,” i.e. a UN for the good guys.

Presidential candidate John McCain proposed a few years ago the same thing, a League of Free Nations.

itsnotaboutme on February 10, 2012 at 10:12 PM

I know U.S. involvement in another military action will not be popular with some, but the sooner this scumbag terrorist Iranian proxy out of power, the better (however it’s done).

Philly on February 10, 2012 at 10:12 PM

I’m sick of this murderer.

Philly on February 10, 2012 at 10:13 PM

So wait, AQ might show up to the party and kill some Al Quds for us?

NorthernCross on February 10, 2012 at 10:14 PM

but the sooner this scumbag terrorist Iranian proxy out of power, the better (however it’s done).

Philly on February 10, 2012 at 10:12 PM

Luckily today, we have a president that can do it anyway he wants and the world will love him…including the bad guys.
/
or not.

Electrongod on February 10, 2012 at 10:15 PM

another muslim brotherhood promoting war….sweet

thedevilinside on February 10, 2012 at 10:17 PM

Philly,

Given that logic (not that I disagree) wouldn’t it also be beneficial (prudent isn’t quite the right word) to also just get it over with re: Iran? (However it’s done).

Hueydriver on February 10, 2012 at 10:18 PM

It’s a crime against humanity to work outside of the UN. Also, the president should be tried at the Hague. The UN rules!

Oh wait….

MTF on February 10, 2012 at 10:19 PM

So lemme see,
if Obama Hussein sends our troops to Syria,
he can get them killed by moozies/iranians/assad’s forces,
and,
at the same time,
Israel will go through hell ,
and
the whole ME will be furthur destabilized
and
the brotherhood will move in to fill the vacuum
and
muslim nations will hate USA even more
and
he can cancel the election indefinitely when iran retaliates.
Sure he’s gonna do it, no doubt now.

burrata on February 10, 2012 at 10:24 PM

We still have allies…?

/

Seven Percent Solution on February 10, 2012 at 10:29 PM

Bashar Assad is too boring. I want to see him out on the street wearing wacky hats and screaming that the rebels are rats like Gaddafi did.

Mark1971 on February 10, 2012 at 10:33 PM

We still have allies…?

/

Seven Percent Solution on February 10, 2012 at 10:29 PM

They are still watching Obama propaganda on their iPods.

Electrongod on February 10, 2012 at 10:34 PM

Ummmmmmmmmmm…

… Why not just ask Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, and Samantha Power what to do?

/

Seven Percent Solution on February 10, 2012 at 10:41 PM

The heck with all of this!
Send Nancy Pelosi!
She’ll make it..all good!

KOOLAID2 on February 10, 2012 at 10:42 PM

Philly,

Given that logic (not that I disagree) wouldn’t it also be beneficial (prudent isn’t quite the right word) to also just get it over with re: Iran? (However it’s done).

Hueydriver on February 10, 2012 at 10:18 PM

I hear ya. If we sink Iranian ships in the Strait of Hormuz, I won’t lose any sleep over it. I’m hoping the journey on on the road to Damascus doesn’t have to pass through Tehran.

I also hope Assad and his cronies fold like a cheap suit, but in case they don’t, I will say extra prayers for our brave warriors should they be needed to defend the defenseless.

Philly on February 10, 2012 at 10:42 PM

We still have allies…?

/

Seven Percent Solution on February 10, 2012 at 10:29 PM

We don’t.
He does .

burrata on February 10, 2012 at 10:43 PM

Seven Percent Solution on February 10, 2012 at 10:41 PM

The ‘girls in charge’ have assured us oblivion in diplomatic status. Nowhere to go but up.

bettycooper on February 10, 2012 at 10:46 PM

Why is this our problem?

GaltBlvnAtty on February 10, 2012 at 10:47 PM

Seems like there is no good side here. If the rebels win, the jihadists win and whatever enclaves of Christianity or other religions exist in Syria are destined to the same fate as the Copts in Egypt and the Christians in Iraq.

Let both sides fight it out with one another, just monitor the borders, let jihadists and others supporting both sides in, but don’t let anybody out. Watch from the skies and pretty much keep our hands off this mess. Unless oil supplies are threatened, then go in and seize the oil fields to keep them safe, but that’s it.

AZfederalist on February 10, 2012 at 10:49 PM

Philly on February 10, 2012 at 10:42 PM

Wonder if anyone in our government might have a “road to Damascus” moment.

I am not holding my breath.

Hueydriver on February 10, 2012 at 10:54 PM

Name one populace, I triple dare you, which is free, or freer, due to Obama.

Schadenfreude on February 10, 2012 at 10:59 PM

I would be happy to target the Kuds forces from Iran. I mean how can you argue with outside intervention against outside intervention?

KW64 on February 10, 2012 at 11:01 PM

I think it’s time to evict the UN from New York, then stop paying “dues” we have to borrow from other countries.

That corrupt P.O.S. has absolutely no value whatsoever. Er, unless you’re a rapi$t looking for a sanctioned score.

Wolfmoon on February 10, 2012 at 11:02 PM

I think it’s time to evict the UN from New York, then stop paying “dues” we have to borrow from other countries.

That corrupt P.O.S. has absolutely no value whatsoever. Er, unless you’re a rapi$t looking for a sanctioned score.

Wolfmoon on February 10, 2012 at 11:02 PM

This. Let them fund their own tyrannical circle jerk in whatever third world country will have them. Disinfect, fumigate, remodel, and rent out Turtle Bay as office space.

I do like the idea of a “League of Free Nations”.

AZfederalist on February 10, 2012 at 11:24 PM

Philly on February 10, 2012 at 10:42 PM

Wonder if anyone in our government might have a “road to Damascus” moment.

I am not holding my breath.

Hueydriver on February 10, 2012 at 10:54 PM

With Obummer in charge, I doubt it as well. No epiphanies expected.

Philly on February 10, 2012 at 11:25 PM

Send Hillary to Damascus to scare the çrap out of baby Assad: How Hillary Clinton is Styling Herself Like a Bond Villain

slickwillie2001 on February 10, 2012 at 11:31 PM

With Obummer in charge, I doubt it as well. No epiphanies expected.

Actually with obama in charge we can expect… Antiochus Epiphanes…

tominsd on February 11, 2012 at 12:00 AM

Russia and China got it right. We have a known quantity and are seemingly keen on replacing it with an unknown one.

Smart power is a synonym for idiocy.

See Kosovo for where this started.

CorporatePiggy on February 11, 2012 at 1:21 AM

Jonah Goldberg fantasized a few days ago about a “permanent global clubhouse for democracies based on shared principles,” i.e. a UN for the good guys.

I don’t share any principles with Barky, let alone the Eurotrash. They are all in support of unlimited government, which disgusts me. This idea of yet another international org is dumb, as usual, though at least it doesn’t suffer from the deadly “empowered, peerless, competitionless” problem as the UN does.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 11, 2012 at 1:21 AM

Yeah, that’s the ticket. Let’s fight the last war again in Syria — the problem is there are terrorists from Iraq there!

Hey, what we need is, like, a “surge from behind”!

The world doesn’t see this the way we do, as an ideological event occurring in a vacuum and Barack Obama the main actor who matters.

I don’t think Americans appreciate just how bad it would be to mount a military intervention in Libya with Russian military advisors all over the country. I do think the Europeans will see it at some point.

God help the Syrians. Everyone else is just jockeying for position.

J.E. Dyer on February 11, 2012 at 1:25 AM

I wonder if Obama’s coalition will be as big as Bush’s? Nah.

JohnJ on February 11, 2012 at 1:30 AM

I see. AQ is now in Syria. We can now attack Syria because we have “declared war” against them.

They have recognized that Libya was UNCONSTITUTIONAL and have drawn up a pre-emption gambit. Without that, in an election year, a second unconstitutional war would be a goner…assuming you buy into a declaration against AQ is open ended and global (I do not).

This Admin lays the framework, then spins the web. There hasn’t been much that isn’t pre-ordained. The ends justify the means. How many bad things can you think of that has been done since 20 Jan 2009?

John Kettlewell on February 11, 2012 at 2:44 AM

Will we NEVER LEARN to STOP MEDDLING?

Unless Israel becomes threatened by these actions I see no reason for why we should send our HERO’S over there to DIE, DIE DIE! Besides, we all know how 0bama likes to pull out prematurely.

Stupid!

DannoJyd on February 11, 2012 at 3:18 AM

Actually with obama in charge we can expect… Antiochus Epiphanes…
tominsd on February 11, 2012 at 12:00 AM

Priceless.

Cleombrotus on February 11, 2012 at 6:22 AM

It’s time for the UN (Useless Nutcases) to go! The idea of a Friendly Nations organization sounds pretty good to me.

Art on February 11, 2012 at 8:07 AM

If Clancy was writing a story about the takeover of America, he would call it:

“The Obama Gambit”

BobMbx on February 11, 2012 at 9:34 AM

For what purpose is the US a member of the UN?

Dasher on February 11, 2012 at 11:11 AM

And … the point is?
The American Pretender-in-Chief hasn’t the stones to walk the talk.
We know that.
PLUS …
Given Slappy’s track record of assisting in the formation of a Muslim Caliphate, what makes intervening in Syria any different?

Ø’Bambi wouldn’t know a justified fight if it broke out in front of him.
Sooooooooo … He’ll let the Israeli’s handle the problem and then cloak himself in “plausible deniability” all the while taking credit IF things go right.
The sleazy man-child in mom-jeans makes me wanna vomit.

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on February 11, 2012 at 12:24 PM

I spent seven years in Iraq and know AQI and Syria VERY WELL. AQI has ALWAYS based and used Syria as a place to refit and resupply with the help of the Syria Military Intelligence (SMI). This is no secret and for us to arm the “civilians”, which I agree there are some amongst these people, however, overall we are just making a complex situation even worse!

While I support 100% what we did in Iraq, when we assisted the mujahidin against the Soviets we left a vacuum there which gave us the Taliban and we see where that had led us today. Syria will not go down quietly and w/o help from Iran and Russia.

This is a situation that should have been stopped in the beginning of the “democratic” Arab Spring which it was NEVER what it was purported to be in the media. Anyone who served overseas at that time or currently could of have told you that and even many back home saw as well.

We need to unfortunately stay out of this fight for now and let Assad either strengthen his position or fall by the people. Mubarak should have NEVER been removed in my analysis. al Qa’ida is ONLY HOPING to cause continued instability in Syria and use it as a further base for its operations in the region.

g2825m on February 11, 2012 at 1:03 PM

While I support 100% what we did in Iraq, when we assisted the mujahidin against the Soviets we left a vacuum there which gave us the Taliban and we see where that had led us today.

Oops, meant to add in there as an example “when we assisted the mujahidin in Afghanistan…”

g2825m on February 11, 2012 at 1:05 PM