January 27, 2013

Syria, France and the US: the More Apt Reference, Senator, Is Vietnam

Monique Chartier

Senator Whitehouse has just returned from a trip to the Middle East with a pronouncement: the United States should help Syrian rebels just as France helped the American Revolutionaries in the 1700's.

Actually, the French reference to the situation in Syria that can far more easily be envisioned is nearly two hundred years later and in another part of the world: the United States entering the war in Vietnam as the French withdrew.

The senator claims that he is not advocating for American boots on the ground in Syria. That's good. Any such calls for ratcheting up of support for the rebels in another - any country - however, should and will be met warily lest they become the prelude to such a completely unacceptable step. No one needs to be reminded that the US did not decide overnight to send American troops to Vietnam. They were preceded, over the course of years, by the dispatch of US "military aid" and then US "advisers".

Overly romantic and inaccurate historic comparisons carried back to the United States by presumably well-meaning but misguided elected officials should not be permitted to gauze over the reality that a Syrian (or other) quagmire would not go any better than the Vietnamese one did.

[Monique is Deputy Editor of the RISC-Y Business Newsletter.]

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Few people accuse Sen W. of brilliance--and the example he uses is but one reason why. Why did France help the U.S.? Multiple reasons--a few being 1) to weaken England by removing a rich colony from its orbit, 2) to gain an increasingly capable trading partner, and so forth.

So, where are the parallels? What do we gain from a country that falls, like Iran, perhaps into yet another radicalized theocracy? BTW, are the Egyptian people perhaps suffering from a bit of "buyers remorse" now that the radicals have taken charge? As our Gov't said the would not? Incredible.

Posted by: Mike at January 28, 2013 2:33 PM

France has emerged as the most prominent backer of Syria's armed opposition and is now directly funding rebel groups.
Large sums of cash have been delivered by French government proxies across the Turkish border to rebel commanders The money has been used to buy weapons inside Syria and to fund armed operations against loyalist forces.

Some of the French cash has reached Islamist groups who were desperately short of ammunition and who had increasingly turned for help towards al-Qaida aligned jihadist groups

citation: The Guadian.com

Note to Mr Whitehouse, France is funding the rebels, no need for USA intervention

Posted by: Sammy in Arizona at January 28, 2013 3:06 PM
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