Syria: You Break It, You Own It

If you want to visualize how dysfunctional, our political system is then let me guide you on a grand lesson of insanity of Syria’s civil war. Four sides are beginning with the Syrian government, Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah. Next, there is the Syrian Opposition and Turkey. Then ISIL or ISIS (but I will refer to them as ISIL). Lastly, there is Iraqi Kurdistan, the United States, and other militant groups. As for the numbers, rough estimates put the Syrian military at 180,000 and approximately 100,000 have been killed. ISIL has about 100,000+ soldiers, and less than 10% have been destroyed. The Syrian Opposition troop strength numbers are unfounded, but it’s safe to say over 125,000 have been killed. Finally, the Iraqi Kurds have 60,000 soldiers and over 3,000 killed.

Syria is a country with approximately 17 million people ruled by the Ba’ath Party. That name should sound familiar because in 2003 the U.S. Coalition Provisional Authority banned the Ba’ath Party entirely from Iraq. What happened next is that Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Tunisia, Yemen and Syria Ba’ath Party memberships were dramatically increased. Each of those listed nations experienced increased violence and tensions based on perhaps U.S. ill-advised diplomacy. Today Syria barely has a government. Instead, homegrown political systems such as ISIL and other militants are governing Syrian territories. Survival is not based on the rule of national law but the rule of occupation. This is why millions are exiting Syria.

The United States Congress will not authorize war legislation to stop ISIL but continually blames President Obama for doing nothing about Syria. On one hand, we had a Congress that said, “the president doesn’t think ISIL is a threat to the United States” but only to say later “the United States does not need to be involved in another war.” There is no mitigation plan to deal with the millions of refugees exiting Syria and perhaps other nations affected by ISIL or other occupational forces. What makes the problem far worse is that some of our allies have now become somewhat the opposition because of diplomatic issues. Former secretary of state Colin Powell said it best “You break it, you own it.” It was the United States that invaded a nation without a plan and then created an exit strategy by the same Republican president without a long term plan. Basically, we own it because not only did we break it but we tried to sweep the fragments under the rug.

Today’s political rhetoric is all about doing or saying something about Syria but having no plan of execution. Our diplomacy is more about yelling and blaming sides rather than helping innocent women and children caught in the crossfire. What do you think will happen in 10 years when these kids become teenagers? It is only natural that they will seek revenge towards a nation that perhaps began this whole debacle in the first place? This is what happened in Iraq during our second invasion.

It is time for politicians to stop Tweeting and begin using pen and paper to draft legislative plans to save and contain Syria. If we don’t protect or provide Syria, then it will, and already has, spill over into other nations where we still have diplomatic relations. Mostly those countries risk being diplomatically severed if we idly stand by. We can no longer watch Syria’s history become swept under the rug because ISIL has already demolished most of its history and continues to execute anyone that does not believe in its ideology. Have we become the next generation of a Holocaust by allowing genocides in Syria to continue? I think we have.

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