In recent years the “Conservative” foreign policy establishment has become addicted to war. Syria is the latest case where many prominent people on the Right are calling for war. The conflict pits some of the most evil organizations on the planet against each other. Yet the intelligentsia on the Right keeps calling for US interventions. Andrew McCarthy warns the Right not to fall for this pro-interventionist propaganda.
Those clamoring for American intervention in Syria — I should say, even more American intervention in Syria — have a lock on two influential drivers of conservative opinion, Fox News and the Wall Street Journal’s editorial pages. They are also bedfellows on this issue with our Muslim Brotherhood–enthralled president, even if Mr. Obama’s skittishness about going all in has them a bit testy.
All of this puts the media wind at their backs. Repeated often enough and reported uncritically enough, the interventionists’ shallow story has thus become the narrative. And so we have: The Vacuum.
The Vacuum theme goes like this: The Middle East may be in flux, but our threat environment remains frozen in time — a Nineties warp in which Iran, singularly, is the root of all evil. In Syria now, we have a golden opportunity to hand the mullahs a crushing defeat. All we need to do is commit to toppling their client, Bashar al-Assad. Media spin thus suggests that Assad’s minority Alawite regime is responsible for each of the 70,000 killings and half a million displacements that Syrians have endured since the civil war began — as if the Sunni majority, led by the local Brotherhood affiliate with al-Qaeda as the point of its spear, were not carrying out reciprocal mass murders and an anti-Christian pogrom.
Syria hawks counter such scoffs by putting on their best Paul Krugman: The “freedom” stimulus was not a harebrained idea, it just wasn’t big enough. Put aside the fortune expended and the thousands of American lives sacrificed. It is not the nature of the Middle East but a void of American leadership that has the region waving al-Qaeda’s black flags. The Vacuum turns out to be the best all-purpose rationalization of failure since Barack Obama discovered George W. Bush.
The Syrian conflict is a cesspool that has drawn in the trash of humanity. We need to stay out of it and let them fight it out.
If there is any doubt that al-Qaeda is leading the revolt here is Ayman Al-Zawahiri praising the rebels and calling on them to establish a Caliphate.
Ayman al-Zawahiri, the head of al-Qaida, released an audio statement online through the organization’s media branch, as-Sahab, on Sunday calling for the establishment of an Islamic caliphate after the fall of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
He called on the Syrian rebels to work to achieve an Islamic state: “Do all that you can so that your holy war yields a jihadist Islamic state.”
Stay out of Syria.