The view of republican presidential candidate Donald Trump may be the best regarding the dust-up among the UN, USA, Russia, Syria, ISIS and Iran, to wit, that the U.S. should just butt out now and leave the Russians and the Muslims to carry out the predictable carnage. At least, that's the way I read him though any politician or office-seeker is subject to an overnight change of mind.
The hawks like Senators McCain and Graham, both republicans, fear a loss of respect if that should happen, claiming that the militarily strongest nation in the world would be seen as waffling. The other candidates who share their view would do well to think twice before suggesting that the U.S. should become even more deeply involved than it is.
There are some ironies. President Obama told Syria President Assad to give up his office in 2011 and turn the country over to the “people.” He didn't identify the “people.” He told Libyan President Qaddafi to do the same, as well as Egyptian President Mubarak and Yemen President Saleh. None of them took him seriously although both Mubarak and Saleh did abdicate under the pressure of their own citizens.
Egypt immediately came under the control of the Muslim Brotherhood, featuring the barbaric Sharia Law as the governing instrument. Mubarak went to jail but has been completely exonerated, with his replacement, Mohammed Morsi (first democratically elected president) lasting only a year before he was ousted by the military and eventually sentenced to death. No Middle East nation—ruled viciously by the Islamic ayatollahs and mullahs—is capable of self-governance. This was found to be true in Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq, with actual elections held in the latter two, all completely meaningless.
Obama liquidated Qaddafi—took seven months in 2011 with civilian blood in the streets—but Assad demurred and continues to thumb his nose at the U.S., never mind that Obama set the infamous “red lines” that Assad ignored. Almost pushed completely into a corner by the hawks, Obama might have done something rash in Syria except that Russia's Putin acted as mediator, trading Assad's WMD for Obama's peace. I have a bridge for sale to anyone who believes that trade has been consummated.
Putin appreciates Syria as his outpost on the Mediterranean Sea and is now seeing to it that Assad stays in power, perhaps—or perhaps not, who knows?—under the guise of bombing ISIS into submission, thus hijacking the U.S air campaign against ISIS. Hopefully, the two air-forces will stay clear of each other but one never knows when the fatal incident will happen, like the assassination that triggered WWI in 1914.
Question: Does Putin have as much right to prop up Assad as Obama had in trying to remove him...or in the murder of Qaddafi? The stock answer is that Assad was killing his citizens by the thousands, though no one has a clue as to how many were actually wasted. The UN puts out figures but the UN has no credibility. The numbers of Syrian dead in 2011 rose so rapidly that one wonders if they were more propaganda than real though even one death is one too many. Thousands have died and thousands have fled but the Syrian “people” made the tragic mistake of uprising without either the military might or the leadership required to displace a stubborn chief-of-state, especially if he's an outnumbered member of a distinct minority and has a friend like Putin to furnish ammo and hardware.
Although he stated that he did not favor the action, Obama signed off on a $500 million plan to train 5,000 of the right Syrian “people” somewhere (Roosevelt's WWII Shangri-la?) to overthrow Assad. Fifty-four have actually been trained, with 50 of them now unaccounted for. The four “successes” sucked up $42 million worth of training, about $10 million per trainee. At that rate, 50 more “successes” can be realized with the remaining $458 million.
So...the U.S. is between a rock and a hard sand-dune. Trump may be right. Let the Muslims waste each other until there's a winner and then do business with the entity left standing. This means no more U.S. blood and treasure—especially blood—wasted in the Middle East, where all sides fight with materiel made in the good old U.S. of A. while U.S. citizens watch the scene on TV every evening.
And so it goes.