President Assad of Syria has announced his country is at war with it’s insurgency, saying “When one is in a state of war, all our policies and capabilities must be used to secure victory.”
You mean like the US is with the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Bashar? That means the U.S. won’t have any cause to complain when the Syrian regime: carries out airstrikes on suspected insurgents and counts all males of military age nearby as militants too; launches artillery shells at suspected militants who turn out to be wedding parties; has Tuesday meetings to decide who’s on the kill list; launches airstrikes into neighbouring countries saying it’s in “hot pursuit” of insurgents; hires local militias to do it’s fighting for it; arrests people without charge and ships them off to Iran for indefinite detention and torture or lets those who carry out atrocities while fighting under it’s banner off with a slap on the wrist. All these things, and more, are there to be had now that war is formally declared, thanks to the American Precedent.
This is what losing your moral authority is all about, United States. “Do as I say, not as I do”, upon deeper reflection, just makes you look like a petulant asshole. And others can justify their abuses of power and the inevitable atrocities resulting from excessive military force with the same propaganda that you deploy, using the weapons and tactics you’ve developed for “National Security”. Just imagine how Washington would use Assad’s statement to their advantage if he was an ally, or if Syria was Israel. His acts would be justified out of existence.
America is, after all, the shining light on the hill, the exceptionally exceptional example for the rest of the world to follow. Give Assad the COIN handbook, Petraeus. He’s already tried “shock and awe”. Maybe he can “win some hearts and minds” and achieve a vaguely defined “victory” over his own insurgency.