Syria, Jerks, Power Balance and the Mujahedeen
Vladimir Putin, writing to caution America against a military intervention in Syria, said that such an intervention would throw the world political order out of balance.
This is a wrong argument. The political order in the world gets thrown out of balance and reconstituted as something else all the time. However there is a much better argument for avoiding a military intervention in Syria, and it is as follows: Both sides in that war are terrible, and it makes no sense to support either.
On one hand we see the brutal Al-Assad regime; on the other we see groups allied with Al Qaeda. Not one, nor the other, merits an intervention by America or NATO or UN on their side. When faced with two jerks beating each other, the appropriate solution is not to intervene on the side of either jerk but to let the jerks continue beating each other and be glad that they are beating each other rather than you.
Regarding peaceful civilians in Syria, something should be done to protect them. It would make sense to deliver humanitarian assistance to people caught in the fighting and also to supply refugee camps with food. But it makes no sense to support the rebels, as some want to do, because the rebels in that conflict are just as bad as the government if not worse than the government, and if they were to have their way Syria would become a major supporter of terrorism directed against America and its allies.
Has the government not learned its lesson from Afghanistan? They armed the mujaheddin, and what did mujaheddin become? Hate the Soviets as much as you want to, but Taliban was worse than the Soviets. These rebels in Syria are aggressively anti-American already, and they can only be expected to become more so, American aid or no American aid.
The modus operandi to be advocated is therefore to protect the peaceful residents while letting the jerks continue to pummel each other. The more jerks kill each other, the fewer jerks. And then the balance could actually tip in a positive direction - toward there being more good people in the world than jerks. And that is a change in global balance worth striving for.