David Goodman writes about Syria:
If we had a Syrian elite dedicated to modernization, free markets, and opportunity, we could have an economic recovery in Syria. But the country is locked into suppurating backwardness precisely because the dominant culture holds back individual initiative and enterprise. The longstanding hatreds among Sunnis and Shi’ites, and Kurds and Druze and Arabs, turn into a fight to the death as the ground shrinks beneath them. The pre-modern culture demands proofs of group loyalty in the form of atrocities which bind the combatants to an all-or-nothing outcome. The Sunni rebels appear quite as enthusiastic in their perpetration of atrocities as does the disgusting Assad government.david goodman
Which, I suspect, gets Syria about right.
Patrick Buchanan wrote up a bit of history in discussing Sykes-Picot which was the WWI treaty which carved up Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and such like.
I’ve just finished reading Philip Mansel’s brilliant history of the region, Levant, which gets the sweep of the history of the area very right indeed. The critical thing in Mansal’s book is the “black tide” of Islam sweeping up from the Gulf and destroying the cosmopolitan accommodation of Levantine culture. In Smyrna, Alexandria and Beruit the imposition of Islam has destroyed the mercantile, liberal cultures of the Mediterranean. It is a book of massacres, ethnic cleansing and a description of the corrosive effects of Islam.
There is a very good argument that we are looking at the first phase of a Thirty Year war in Islam. And those wars have never been anything but pure atrocity in the name of God.
For the West the best policy is, I think, to stay the Hell out and make sure that any of our “citizens” who participate are denied reentry to the West.
We might also, usefully, ensure that other than the Christians who are displaced, we prohibit immigration from any of the nations involved. Frankly, we have not the slightest idea which of them have blood on their hands. And, as we don’t, there is no reason at all to let mass murderers or their enablers into Canada.