The Syrian civil war continues to rage on and Senator McCain over the Congressional break takes a trip to see firsthand the devastation which is a result of the ongoing conflict. Senator McCain’s purpose for his expedition into this war zone is to meet with the rebels who are battling to overthrow the Bashar al-Assad regime. This trip highlights his position which he has maintained over the past year that the United States and other western nations should intervene in the Syrian civil war by creating a no fly zone and supplying the rebels with weapons.
Although the death toll in this war has reached into the tens of thousands and uncollaborated reports indicate the government forces have started using chemical weapons against rebel controlled territories, almost nothing will justify the United States aiding either side in this war. Even with Russia and China who have economic ties with President Assad steadfastly blocking all UN attempts at sanctioning the Syrian government, and President Assad recently admitting to receiving his first order of new Russian surface to air missile batteries, the United States cannot be directly dragged into this conflict. America must depend on the Israelis who are not ruling out an attack into Syria in order to destroy the missile batteries.
Senator McCain is quickly forgetting what is at the true core of this war. Simply, this conflict is a sectarian clash similar to the one America started after they invade Iraq. This Syrian civil war is the next battle in the ongoing struggle between the Sunnis and the Shiites which dates back thousands of years. The government forces which are Shiites are fighting the rebels who are Sunnis. Consequently, the opposition forces are being supplied already by other Middle East countries with large Sunni populations, such as Saudi Arabia. As in Iraq, American intervention would only confuse a situation which is already way too murky. This latest chapter is a culmination of the “Arab Spring”, making the entire Middle East just a powder keg waiting for something to act as the detonator. This fighting between the rebel forces and the government troops could continue for years.
Additionally, as in Iraq Al Qaeda forces have joined with the rebels to fight the Assad government. Needless to say the United States supplying the rebels would mean that it is indirectly supplying Al Qaeda with weapons, which definitely is not in US interest. Moreover, our history with supplying rebel groups with weapons has been awful at best, for instance the Taliban and the Saddam Hussein government. The United States ends up battling later the same weapons which were supplied. In any of these conflicts in the Middle East, it is extremely difficult to back anyone, so the Obama administration policy of staying out of the war is the appropriate action.
Senator McCain is correct this war will be bloody, cost thousands of innocent lives and could last a long time; however, this battle in the ongoing war is no different than the many conflicts which have occurred between the factions over the last 6000 years. Senator McCain should focus his efforts on helping UN officials try to get the two sides to sit down in Geneva, Switzerland for a summit, instead of undermining the Obama administration policy.