I have to admit that Syria is too big of a mess to unravel. You have the potential for all sorts of chaos to result and you can not tell all of the players without a scorecard. The Baathists enjoy a tacit support from many groups which are justly terrified of what happened across the border in Iraq. Of course much of what happened there was supported by the now deceased brother-in-law of Bashar Assad. He personally helped Al Qaeda in Iraq by allowing the transit of the vast majority of the Jihadists who perpetuated the bloodletting there. You can find a highly prophetic quote from General Petraeus predicting that the Baathists would get blowback from this activity. Personally I believe the bombing which killed him and the other high ranking Baathists was unrelated to Al Qaeda and the Jihadis, but it would certainly be ironic if they had killed him.

The Kurds are going to play their own game, just like they did in Iraq. After all there are over 20 million Kurds in Syria, Iraq, Iran and Turkey. They certainly never had a voice in drawing the boundaries of those nations and would rather determine their own affairs. The Turks are terrified of this and threatening to attack the PKK in Syria just as they have done in Northern Iraq. It is being reported that they are hosting a secret command center for the rebels near (or perhaps in) Incirlik Air Base. Obviously the Qataris and the Saudis are making little effort to hide their help for the rebels. This is all a part of their power struggle with the Iranians.

No one in the West has any intention of sticking their finger in this pie. It is hard to blame them even though the tragedy just keeps going. We already have our own ceaseless war and we are going to spend generations paying for the Iraqi misadventure. There just isn’t an appetite for a war you can not see an end game for. Really this is prosaic and inscrutable. It is going to be a mess, but what sort of mess?

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