Friday, August 30, 2013

I think Cooper is right and Corker is wrong.

I hate to say it, but on the issue of our involvement in Syria, I find myself in closer agreement with Rep. Jim Cooper than I do Senator Bob Corker. Corker has said that to keep Syria from falling into the hands of violent extremists we should vet and back more moderate rebel groups.

I have no objection to that in principle. I am not opposed to it as a general strategy that might work in certain situations.  During the cold war I was an enthusiastic supporter of our support for Nicaragua's freedom fighters, the Contras. We stopped the spread of Communism in central America. I thought we should have done more of that kind of think.

We funded and trained the Mujaheddin and they drove the Russians out of Afghanistan. Despite the fact that Afghanistan eventually ended up with the Taliban in charge, I still think we did the right think. The Russian defeat in Afghanistan hastened the end of the cold war and stopped the Communist advance. In Syria however, I am not so sure there is a viable, moderate element. I fear Syria will end badly regardless of what we do.

Cooper who sits on the House Armed Services Committee says it’s hard to tell exactly who in Syria is a moderate that the U.S. might think about arming. "Our human intelligence on the ground is very weak," he says.  "You can’t tell this from satellites and things like that.  So we really should be careful.  Look before you leap."

See, Cooper Skeptical After Corker’s Call To Vet And Arm Some Syrian Rebels.

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