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article imageOp-Ed: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry wrong on Syrian intervention

By Michael Krebs     Mar 26, 2013 in World
US Secretary of State John Kerry attempted an intervention in Syria's civil war through the Iraqi government, continuing a disturbing trend of American militaristic imperialism.
It will likely take the detonation of a chemical weapon in the bustling heart of an American city before the United States will recognize that its persistent interventionist thinking and its imperialist applications are not welcome anywhere in the world - and are particularly unwelcome in the Middle East.
And Syria has the ingredients (as seen in the United Nations scramble to bring chemical weapons scientists in to the Syrian analysis, according to Reuters) and the instability for such a grim detonation. The Assad regime also has the determination through their good friends in Iran, and they possess a certain dangerous measure of desperation - teetering as they are in the questionable hours of their continued existence.
Syria is embroiled in a civil war. It is their sovereign civil war - and one that is being fought with brutal conviction on four sides: that of the Assad regime, struggling to exert the status quo; that of the Saudi-like Sunnis, fighting for their totalitarian place in the sun; that of the more democratic look-alike population, picking their way through the rubble for a taste of freedom; and that of the Islamists, who are strengthened by their dream of a return to the far-reaching caliphate that Osama bin Laden and others promised.
Syria's civil war is not America's business.
Yet, the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made it a point of trying to make it America's business in asking Iraq to disallow Iranian flights to Syria, as the New York Daily News reported on Sunday.
“I made it very clear that for those of us who are engaged in an effort to see (Syrian) President (Bashar) Assad step down and to see a democratic process take hold ... anything that supports President Assad is problematic,” Kerry said, according to the Daily News.
The U.S. position, as supported by the Obama administration, is that Iran is shipping arms to the Syrian government. So what? Iran and Syria have long been allies, and as allies it is expected that they would support each other. The instability in Syria could potentially threaten Iran and the broader Middle East region in general - including Israel. By supporting the status quo government, as brutal as it may be, Iran is helping to sustain stability in the region. And Iraq, not exactly an example of U.S. stability, should not endure belittling postures from an American secretary of state still wet behind the ears.
As ugly as the civil war in Syria is, it is not an American issue. If the United States seeks credibility in the Middle East, it is going to have to learn patience and silence - and it is going to have to allow for disputes to be settled on terms that pertain only to the core participants.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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