Judging from the statements that have been made so far by both contenders to the presidential title in the U.S., and the statements that were just made by their running mates during the vice-presidential debate, it seems clear that Syria is not a priority for any of them, a fact that is unlikely to change in the future irrespective of the elections’ outcome. Though Syrians will have to bear the brunt of it all, there will be enough fallouts to spread the pain around.
The Alawite Front
More clashes were reported in the town of Qardaha in Latakia Province today, pitting pro- and anti-Assad Alawite clans. Today’s clashes, we are told, came as a reaction to finding the bodies of 2 of the three girls from the anti-Assad Al-Khayyir clan who went missing last week. The clashes took part at the town’s periphery and in nearby villages due to the presence of loyalist troops from the 4th Armored Division in the town’s center. Inter-Alawite clashes have also taken place beyond the borders of Latakia province and in reached Alawite-majority suburbs and neighborhoods in Damascus City, especially Ish Al-Warwar which seems to have to a larger concentration of anti-Assad Alawite clans.
So far this is indeed the extant of U.S. involvement in the Syrian Crisis. As I have argued in Shredded Tapestry, the Office of Syrian Opposition Support (OSOS) represents the maximum that the Obama Administration seems willing to do at this stage. Indeed,
"we are not talking about major expenditures here," said Ammar Abdulhamid, a prominent Syrian activist and fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington, cautioning that OSOS was too new to assess its effectiveness.
Still, if OSOS is not meant as a first step in a plan that will involve military assistance soon, then it’s a meaningless and unnecessary expenditure and a waste both from an American tax-payer perspective and a Syrian activist perspective. OSOS will prove useless and ineffective if it’s not part of a larger more focused plan, and no Syrian activist will take it seriously if it does not aim at providing enough support to the rebels to determine the outcome of the transition taking place.
We do not need America’s leaders to spend any amount of funds to assuage a guilty conscience and to pretend to give a damn when they actually don’t. We will not be fooled, and the American tax-payer, though sympathetic, is already uninterested, so, it is not really necessary to try to fool him/her.
A child killed by the shelling in Aleppo City http://youtu.be/R88W7_kYWJ4