Conjuring the ghost of Richelieu

By Spengler

“We are a bit confused about Syria,” I began. “Its leader, Bashar al-Assad, is slaughtering his own people to suppress an uprising. And he is allied to Iran, which wants to acquire nuclear weapons and dominate the region. If we overthrow Assad, Sunni radicals will replace him, and take revenge on the Syrian minorities. And a radical Sunni government in Syria would ally itself with the Sunni minority next door in Iraq and make civil war more likely.”

“I don’t understand the question,” Richelieu replied.

“Everyone is killing each other in Syria and some other places in the region, and the conflict might spread. What should we do about it?”

“How much does this cost you?”

“Nothing at all,” I answered.

“Then let them kill each other as long as possible, which is to say for 30 years or so. Do you know,” the ghastly Cardinal continued, “why really interesting wars last for 30 years? That has been true from the Peloponnesian War to my own century. First you kill the fathers, then you kill their sons. There aren’t usually enough men left for a third iteration.”

Read the entire story at Asian Times online

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6 Responses to Conjuring the ghost of Richelieu

  1. R. de Haan says:

    Looks like we’re going to have that 30 year war in Syria

    Obama rules out military intervention in Syria, weighs humanitarian corridors
    DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 29, 2012, 9:51 AM (GMT+02:00) Tags: Barack Obama Bashar Assad military operation Russia Turkey

    Baba Amr, Homs, after three-week bombardment
    Despite his strong words against Bashar Assad’s horrendous treatment of the opposition to his rule, US President Barack Obama Tuesday, Feb. 28, has vetoed plans submitted to him last week for Western-Arab military intervention to stop it, DEBKAfile’s Washington sources report. He is weighing an alternative plan for setting up “humanitarian corridors” in the most embattled areas. That too would be contingent on Russian endorsement, because Obama believes Moscow holds the key to Assad’s consent – or at least abstention from sending his army to attack the aid routes.
    The Russians have not so far responded to feelers on this from Washington. Neither have they rescinded their threat to block any such plan if tabled at the Security Council.
    Ankara provided the clincher for the US president’s decision against military intervention in Syria by its evasiveness over participation in the operation. The plan has nowhere to go without Turkey’s cooperation and the use of its bases from which Western and Arab forces would mount the operation.
    DEBKAfile’s sources note that Turkish leaders are vocal about the pressing need to save the Syrian people, but when it comes to the brass tacks of operational planning, they develop cold feet.
    The eight-point military plan rejected by Obama was first revealed exclusively in DEBKA-Net-Weekly 530 of Feb. 24. We are rerunning those points here since at some point – if the “humanitarian corridors” project fails to take off- the plan may be put back on the table.
    1. A group of nations led by the United States will reserve a quarter of Syrian territory (185,180 sq. km) as a safe haven for protecting more than a quarter of the nation’s population (5.5 million people) a under a collective air shield.
    2. The operation will be exclusively airborne. No foreign boots will touch the ground in Syria. American, Turkish, French, Italian and British Air Force planes will fly out from three Middle East air bases – Incirlik and Diyarbakir in Turkey, where the US maintains substantial air force strength, and the British facility in Akrotiri, Cyprus.
    3. France has offered to make its aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle available but accepts that without US air power, spy satellites and operational and logistical resources, the operation will not be feasible.
    4. The safe haven will range from Tarkush on Syria’s northern border with Turkey and include the besieged towns of Jabal Al Zaweya, Idlib, Hama, Homs and their outlying villages.
    5. The safe haven will be placed off limits to Syrian military and security personnel and its air space declared a no fly zone. Syrian intruders will be challenged by the Western fighter-bombers shielding the protected area.
    6. The makeup of the coalition force for saving Syria is still a work in progress. Sarkozy has obtained the consent of Britain, Italy, Turkey and Qatar and is in discussion with Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Participation of the last two would make it possible to expand the safe haven to southern and eastern Syria, to include the restive towns of Daraa, Deir a-Zour and Abu Kemal.
    7. A regional Syrian administration assisted by Western liaison officers would run the safe haven’s day-to-day affairs. The coalition would take care of the population’s food, medicines and medical care needs.
    8. The Western-Arab expedition would not seek Bashar Assad’s ouster as a mission goal or engage in combat with Syrian forces outside the safe haven.

  2. Tim Murphy says:

    I read this yesterday, Ron, and I agree with Richelieu. Bingeaux! A plague on all their houses. Interesting to see that the likes of El Rushbo are ready to throw in the towel in Afghanistan. Perhaps Biden will prove to have been prescient: watch them closely from space and bomb the hell out of anything remotely suspicious. Karzai would last about five minutes.

  3. Phil in San Fran says:

    I should have guessed from the outset Spengler’s dialogue with Richelieu was a dream: only in that context would a journalist possess a magnum of Petrus.

  4. Tim Murphy says:

    Phil, Goldman was one of the biggest bond traders on Wall Street before he retired to journalism. He could buy the House of Petrus.

  5. Ligneus says:

    See Saving Muslims from Themselves by David Greenfield.

    Also David Warren.

    Both must reads.

    • R. de Haan says:

      The Taliban don’t have to fight anymore.

      Just throwing a few Koran’s in a dumpster near a US base is all it takes to set the entire county on fire.

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