Guys! We have nothing to worry about with this whole “next Middle Eastern limited military engagement” thing. Some people have made the silly comparison between Iraq and Syria, and frankly we think that’s a bunch of hooey! Why, we’ve come up with three ways in which Syria and Iraq are nothing alike, and this was just totally off the top of our heads!
#3. We’ll Be Greeted as Liberators…This Time…We Think!
Sure, in Iraq you had a country of sectarian conflicts over control of the territory. And sure, the U.S. wading into the region just mucked things up even more, making enemies out of insurgents that saw us as the interlopers. But things will be way different in Syria because we’ll be choosing sides in a sectarian civil war. Oh wait. That’s um…Well, it’s still way different because we’re sure that the side that stays loyal to the current regime will in no way be offended when we start bombing their facilities and killing their friends, and in no way will then half the country look at us as the bad guy, and most definitely no one will radicalize against us later.
#2. We Have Solid Exit Strategy in Syria — A Power Vacuum
One of the problems we had in Iraq is that we toppled their dictator, Saddam Hussein, and then struggled to set up a government that could placate the demands and needs of the various sects within Iraq. But it’ll be so much different in Syria because we have no intention at this moment in time of staying in the country after we help the Syrian rebels and al Qaeda (for reals) remove Assad from power by way of cruise missiles and maybe drone strikes, we’re just going to let the Syrian rebels and al Qaeda figure out how to run the country. That will surely not blow up in anyone’s faces.
And besides, if we get down to it, find Assad out on his ass and things aren’t going too hotly, we can always just stick around a little while longer, right? Help them settle in, yeah? Establish that puppet, er, duly elected democratic administration and then leave the country. You know, like Iraq.
#1. We Can Totally Discern Who Our Enemy Is
Nothing says a “well-defined enemy” like a bloody sectarian civil war that’s already cost 100,000 lives on both sides right? Now, you might be worried that just like in Iraq once we oust the current leader any loyalists would suddenly look like the very people we’re trying to protect and just fought alongside of. And you’d probably further think that means we should be nervous about the exact same kind of insurgency, where IEDs are de rigueur, but we have a plan for that. As you are rounding up and capturing them, just spray paint their clothes bright orange. That we can easily spot them, and there you go, no more worries about guerrilla warfare with insurgents.