The US has no vital interests in Syria

The US has no vital interests in Syria, by Pat Buchanan.

Trump “will not stop here,” warned UN Ambassador Nikki Haley on Sunday. “If he needs to do more, he will.”

If Trump fails to back up Haley’s threat, the hawks now cheering him on will begin deriding him as “Donald Obama.” …

A Syrian war would consume Trump’s presidency. … How would we win such a war without raising a large army and sending it back into the Middle East?

It was anti-constitutional:

Another problem: Trump’s missile attack was unconstitutional. Assad had not attacked or threatened us, and Congress, which alone has the power to authorize war on Syria, has never done so. Indeed, Congress denied President Obama that specific authority in 2013. …

Trump’s strategic rational:

“When you kill innocent children, innocent babies—babies, little babies—with a chemical gas … that crosses many, many lines, beyond a red line. … And I will tell you, that attack on children yesterday had a big impact on me. … My attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much.”

Two days later, Trump was still emoting: “Beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack. No child of God should ever suffer such horror.” …

The possibility that it was a false flag attack is too high:

Why would Assad, who is winning the war and had been told America was no longer demanding his removal, order a nerve-gas attack on children, certain to ignite America’s rage, for no military gain?

Like the gas attack in 2013, this has the marks of a false-flag operation to stampede America into Syria’s civil war. …

All the other parties have vital interests at stake so will fight like they mean it:

We have no vital national interest in Syria’s civil war. It is those doing the fighting who have causes they deem worth dying for.

For ISIS, it is the dream of a caliphate. For al-Qaeda, it is about driving the Crusaders out of the Dar al Islam. For the Turks, it is, as always, about the Kurds.

For Assad, this war is about his survival and that of his regime. For Putin, it is about Russia remaining a great power and not losing its last naval base in the Med. For Iran, this is about preserving a land bridge to its Shiite ally Hezbollah. For Hezbollah it is about not being cut off from the Shiite world and isolated in Lebanon.

Because all have vital interests in Syria, all have invested more blood in this conflict than have we. And they are not going to give up their gains or goals in Syria and yield to the Americans without a fight.

hat-tip Stephen Neil