* Bumped up *

Op-ed today (Friday) by Max Boot illustrates why the neocons are an amazing group of dangerous buffoons. Not a one of these clowns have ever served in the military and none actually understand the process of assessing risk and military planning. Boot presents his madness in the Washington Post and makes his case of why we ought to be on the ground in Syria:

Today, in the case of Syria, any military action needs to be carefully thought through, but we should not refuse to act simply because of the worst-case scenarios being raised by the Pentagon.

Start with Syria’s supposedly formidable air defense. Given the ease with which Israel penetrated those defenses in 1982, during the Lebanon War, and in 2007, to take out the al-Kibar nuclear reactor, it is unlikely that the systems would pose that much of a challenge to the world’s most sophisticated and powerful air force.

The U.S. Air Force had no trouble taking out Saddam Hussein’s air defenses on two occasions, and those, like Syria’s, were constructed largely on the Russian model.

And what about that 330,000-man army? Most of the soldiers are poorly trained and unmotivated Sunni conscripts unwilling to do much to defend a regime dominated by Alawites, an offshoot of Shiite Islam. Bashar al-Assad’s regime can count on only about 30,000 Alawite soldiers, which is why the same units are used to attack one rebel stronghold after another.

Idiocy on this level infuriates me. Boot gets so busy pontificating about the minutiae of tactics that he utterly fails to grasp the strategy that ought to inform military action. In the case of Iraq we eliminated Saddam and allowed the ensuing vacuum to be filled by surrogates of Iran. But Boot is an ignorant ass. He bemoans the fact that Iran is busy propping up Syria and gives little attention to the fact that Iraq is fully cooperating with Iran’s efforts to resupply and bolster Syria. And who made this possible? We did, courtesy in part of neo-con cheerleading.

We’ve heard the Boot happy horseshit before–Cheney and his bozos at Defense assured America that we would be greeted as liberators in Iraq. How did that turn out?

The reality in Syria is that there is a battle underway between Sunni extremists loyal to Saudi Arabia and the Muslim Brothers in Egypt and the Alawite regime of Bashir Assad. In Boot’s idiocy he sees only Iran. He now conveniently ignores the fact that the extremists in both Saudi Arabia and Egypt were the life blood of Al Qaeda. We were not attack on 9-11 by Iran. The planes were filled predominantly with Sunni Saudis.

But who does Boot want the military to now attack? Iranian surrogates of course. The reality in Syria is that Assad and his troops are beating back a Sunni-led insurrection. The Saudis and the Egyptians backing this insurgent rebellion don’t give a goddamn about promoting democracy or human rights. They are worried that American fumbling in Iraq has empowered Iran and are desperate to try to weaken Iran.

In Boot’s fantasy world, U.S. troops would enter Syria and seize chemical weapons depots. Why? To keep chemical weapons out of the hands of Hezbollah. That’s the neocon justification. What Boot does not understand is that putting small special ops units inside Syria without the support of battalions with artillery and other crew served weapons is a recipe for disaster. Remember Grenada? US Navy SEALS sent in to rescue the Governor were ultimately pinned down by a ragtag band of Cubans and had to be rescued by Marines in tanks and armored personnel carriers.

Bashir Assad is not on tap to win a Nobel Peace Prize anytime soon, but he does understand power and self-preservation. He is not about to cede power to Sunni backed extremists and will kill them to stymie their effort to oust him.

The hypocrisy of America in condemning the Syrians for defending themselves is stunning. We leveled the city of Fallujah in Iraq ostensibly to take out Al Qaeda in Iraq. We can go to a foreign country and force thousands of civilians to flee their homes in terror and that’s okay. Syria conducts a far more limited operation of self-defense and the neocons start screaming for a new military intervention.

This is disgusting. The United States has no role and should have no role in Syria. If it comes down to backing Iranian sponsored Shias and Alawite vice Saudi and Egyptian backed Sunni extremists, I choose Iran. Ask yourself one simple question–would you rather live in Saudi Arabia or Iran? Which country allows women to drive? Which country allows women to serve in Government? Which country allows other religions to practice? The answer is quite simple–Iran.

Iran and Syria are not the Nazis of the 21st Century. Despite what Max Boot would have you believe, our military leaders, especially Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Dempsey, have it right. We should not shed one drop of American blood in Syria. Not a drop.

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Larry C. Johnson is a former analyst at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, who moved subsequently in 1989 to the U.S. Department of State, where he served four years as the deputy director for transportation security, antiterrorism assistance training, and special operations in the State Department's Office of Counterterrorism. He left government service in October 1993 and set up a consulting business. He currently is the co-owner and CEO of BERG Associates, LLC (Business Exposure Reduction Group) and is an expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security, and crisis and risk management, and money laundering investigations. Johnson is the founder and main author of No Quarter, a weblog that addresses issues of terrorism and intelligence and politics. NoQuarterUSA was nominated as Best Political Blog of 2008.