• It's not so. We didn't run away from the Russians.
  • What does Russia stand to gain? More importantly, what does the US have to gain? These are important questions each nation's diplomats must ask themselves when determining how much involvement is prudent. The civil war in Syria is not a two-sided war. Russia stands with Assad. The USA was backing "the opposition." It sounds like a mess, yet both Russia and the USA were fighting the Islamic State together to push them out of Syria. But let's zoom out and take a look at politics in the Levant, Arabia, and Persia (which I will call "the middle east"): there are really only two key players in the region: Iran and Saudi Arabia. Every conflict in the region starts and ends in relation to those two nations. Things always get murky in between the start and end, but things are always in flux everywhere. Saddam Hussein was the golden boy of the Saudi's, because he frightened Iran. But when Saddam invaded Kuwait, he angered the Saudis, so began his eventual ouster. Assad was from the same school of thought as early Saddam, and the Saudis don't like that, so they want him gone. Iran, however, likes Saudis being uncomfortable, so they like Assad. The US is in bed with Saudi Arabia, and doesn't like Iran, so, obviously, the inclination of the US is to oust Assad, in order to placate our friends and spite our enemies. Obama was president of the USA, and of course, the US got involved in helping the rebels. Assad, meanwhile, was a direct ally with Russia, so Russia wanted to help him. But, then, something weird happened, where Russia wanted Trump to become president, and Trump did become president of the USA. Since then, unsurprisingly, the USA has been less involved in helping the Syrian rebels. By pulling back, the USA is freeing up military resources for other things. Maybe the USA will reinforce Saudi Arabia against strife going on in their oil fields because of Iranian attacks. That way, the USA can give direct help to our friends, instead of the less helpful proxy war involvement, and also, this way, the USA can direct their spite toward Iran without stepping on Russia's toes. Strategically, it makes perfect sense. Personally, I don't see any benefit from any of this to the American people. The Iranian government is evil, but so is the Saudi government. They both murder their own people and neither is to be trusted in the event of international conflict. Assad is tough on terrorism, whereas the rebels are more open to it. Why would we, from a foreign relations perspective, want him removed? Because he is a "bad guy?" If that's the case, then whoever takes over Syria once he's gone has to be better, and there is virtually no hope for that. The people in the middle east are all in danger of being slaughtered by IS, by their own leaders, by a foreign military, or, if they somehow dodge all of those bullets, they could be stoned for violating some arbitrary local tribal law. It's useless trying to save a group of people when their own culture is just as likely to kill them as anything else. And for all of the USA's involvement in these foreign affair, what do we get out of it? Do you get the satisfaction of knowing that your tax dollars went to knock down a horrible dictator? Well.. how'd that work out in Albania, Iran, Guatemala, Indonesia, Congo, Angola, Nicaragua, Chad, or Iraq? Badly. The answer is "badly." It is stupid to think that the same strategy that failed before will work this time; it is insane to think that the same strategy that failed multiple times before will succeed this time; and it is stupidly insane to think that the same strategy that failed no better than catastrophically a dozen times before will work out well this time.

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