For many months you’ve been gracious enough to
endure follow my many blog posts and tweets on anything even remotely related to my home country of Syria. Indeed, you always had kind words about my book on the subject (yes people, there are some strong analogies between Doctor Who and the Syrian conflict), and you recently shared some of your own opinions, in the form of an open letter on your blog, on why Barack Obama waging war on any party in Syria would be a very very bad idea.
You articulated your views very well. As you mentioned, the defining political moment of your life was 2003, when George Bush junior disregarded American popular opinion (and international law), and set about trying to remake Iraq. Eleven years later, and Iraq is an epic mess. You expressed deep skepticism (to put it lightly) that any similar intervention by the USA in Syria would turn out differently.
Now, contrary to what may be widely believed in the West, there are scant few Syrians of any political persuasion who want America to execute an Iraq-style invasion of Syria, to do battle with either Assad or Da’esh (ISIS). And there are almost none who want the USA to stick around post-conflict and “rebuild” Syria the way Bush Jr. tried to rebuild Iraq.
And the reason is quite simple; just like you my friend, almost no one in the Middle East believes America is up to the job. Two wars have sapped America of the means and the will to fight wars in far off regions. Eliminating Da’esh will be one long struggle, and America no longer has the stamina for these kinds of open ended commitments.
So if I seem to be in agreement with Barack Obama on this point, you may rightly ask why is it that a day doesn’t go by when I don’t heap scorn on his policies/abilities/manhood. What is it about him that vexes me more than a so-called Whovian who can’t name a single Doctor before Ecceslton.
Let me be clear about what I and I’m sure a great many Syrians want from the USA at this point; there are fires raging in our country. Those fires need to be put out. We do not want Obama to give us water to douse the flames. We do not even want him to lend us a hose to put out the fires. But we would very much appreciate it if he would be so kind as to take his fucking foot off the hose to allow us to fight the fires that have by now spread to the entire region.