Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Economist Believes In Magic

As I’ve said before, The Economist is a wonderful magazine if you want to see the insanity of liberalism presented in pure form. This time, they go all out to demonstrate how insanely stupid liberal foreign policy is in an article ludicrously titled “How To Set Syria Free.” Watch as they demand that we enter an unjustified war, and then they come up with a plan of action which relies on magic.

The Economist starts by trying to overwhelm your logic with emotion by talking about victims, butchery, dead being buried under cover of darkness, mourners, makeshift clinics, and floors slick with blood. They are trying to paint a picture so emotionally horrible that you put aside your reasoning and just accept that something must be done. Then they say the Syrian people have the “fire of conviction” that they will win, but “the outside world, to its shame, has shown no such resolve.” In other words, victory is inevitable and you are shameful to oppose intervention. These are peer pressure arguments.

Having set you up emotionally, they now give the “logical” case for intervening:
Argument No. 1: Almost 7,000 people have died and “the people of Syria deserve better. . . the world has a responsibility to act.” Uh. For starters, the number is actually half that. And if world-intervention is justified just because people are being killed, then why not invade Brazil? Don’t the 55,000 people killed there each year “deserve better” too? Why isn’t The Economist demanding the world invade Mexico where 30,000 people have been killed in the past few years in a drug war?

Argument No. 2: “[The world] also has an interest. Syria occupies a vital position in the Middle East, jammed between Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, Israel and Lebanon.” Holy cow! That’s the argument? The mere fact that Syria has neighbors is now considered an interest which justifies an attack? What country doesn’t have neighbors? Using this logic, there is literally nowhere on Earth that doesn’t have some vital world interest. And yet these people said we had no interest in Iraq and have no interest in Iran?
That’s it for the justification, by the way. Clearly, the case for intervention is unassailable, so let’s talk about what the world should do.

Right out of the gates, The Economist shows that it has no stomach to do anything real: “shifting Mr. Assad from power as fast as possible is essential.” Talk about a mealy euphemism. We’ve gone from defeating and killing to eliminating to regime change to shifting from power. That sounds like retirement. And it’s ominously passive, like they want Assad to agree to quit. In fact, they do. Observe.

First, they claim that it’s too late for Assad to “negotiate an accommodation” to oversee “an increase in democracy.” In other words, they’re sick of talking and he needs to be taken out -- notice how this flies in the face of their positions on Iraq and Iran where they demand never-ending talk. And why must he go? Because he’s lost the will of the people and if he gave them democracy, they would only use it against him violently. Translation: we can’t not-kill him because if we don’t kill him, the people would kill him, and we can’t have them killing him, so we are forced to kill him. Try figuring that one out.

But don’t worry about an actual attempt to kill or dethrone him, because The Economist doesn’t have the cojones for that. Indeed, watch them crumble.

See, Assad’s military is loyal and is willing to kill civilians. That’s a big advantage which we must overcome. So how do we stop them? “The most direct answer is. . . bombing Mr. Assad’s troops.” This would satisfy “outsiders’ urge to do something to show their outrage.” BUT, The Economist notes, Russia and China will stop the UN from doing that. Also, Syria’s terrain isn’t like Libya and there are no front lines, so The Economist says bombing won’t work. Ergo, take bombing off the list.

What about arming the rebels? That might work, EXCEPT the rebels are disorganized and lack unity and “such a policy would not suddenly turn the opposition into a fighting force.” Also, The Economist warns us that “a country awash with weapons would be plagued by the very violence the world was seeking to avoid.” It then argues that giving the rebels guns would create another situation like Afghanistan, where the flood of guns “helped create the chaos that spawned the Taliban.” This is, of course, ludicrous. First, it was a civil war which spawned the Taliban, not the presence of guns. Secondly, the Syrian regime has more than enough guns to cause this to happen if they fall.

So what do we do? Well, The Economist has the answer. It would be “far better to attack Mr. Assad’s regime where it is vulnerable – by peeling away his support.” Specifically, we need to SOMEHOW convince Russia to stop defending Assad in the UN because that would let us do a bombing campaign (which The Economist already said won’t work). We also need to convince all of the minorities in Syria to rise up as one. Yep. There it is: the Kumbaya Plan.

How stupid can you get?! When faced with a dictator killing his own people, the liberal response is to wish that people would stand up to them. Doesn’t The Economist realize that’s what’s happening in Syria right now and it’s not working? And how in the world can they think this will work when they just said the following a couple paragraphs before about Assad’s advantages:
“One is his willingness to do whatever it takes to put down the rebellion. . . Syrian soldiers are steeped in blood [and] Assad commands crack units and a relatively loyal officer corps.”
In other words, Assad doesn’t care how many people stand up to him, he’ll kill them all. Yet, The Economist’s plan is to hope enough people stand up that Assad gives up? Insane.

And The Economist isn’t done yet. See, to make this happen, “Syria’s fractious opposition must unite. . . with a single voice and credible leader.” In other words, they need a Magic Syrian they can all trust. Then this leader can talk to “the Kurds and Christians who back Mr. Assad.” Oh oh. Wait. The Kumbaya Plan relies on everyone rising up and “isolating” Assad, but now we’re hearing that chunks of the population support Assad? Doesn’t that doom the Kumbaya Plan? Oh, that’s right, the Magic Syrian can heal the sick and bring everyone together.

Then The Economist goes into all-out fantasy mode. Once this Magic Syrian appears, “the Russians would also begin to shift ground.” Why? Because Russia would then know that defeat for Assad would be inevitable, and unless Russia wants to lose a naval base it has in Syria and its arms export business to the country, then it would clearly shift sides. As this happened, naturally, the Syrian military will change sides too because the Magic Syrian is just unstoppable. . . somehow.

So let’s put this together. We need to enter a civil war without provocation because people are dying. And to defeat a military that is willing to kill as many of its own people as needed, we need only hope that a Magic Syrian arises who can unite all the people, including those who have a vested economic and social interest in backing Assad, and can convince the Syrian military and Russians to abandon Assad. And like that, the world will have solved the Syria problem.

Nice work Economist, you’ve solved everything.

Finally, for good measure, while we wait for the Magic Syrian, The Economist suggests that we kind of, sort of ask someone to create a safe haven somewhere near Turkey where Syrians can flee. Why? Because “a free patch of Syria would be powerful evidence that Mr. Assad’s brutal days are numbered.” Yes, refuge camps always defeat dictators.


1 comment:

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

The sheer stupidity of that Economist article is downright mind boggling.
Superb fisking, Andrew!

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