Sectarian Violence

With Syria now in the cross-hairs and the very real prospect of sectarian violence like was seen in Iraq, let me explain why I'm willing to go into Syria regardless.

For starters, I would like to be friends with every single Syrian. But I especially want to be friends with the guy who controls the military and education system - as he will be the one who determines whether I am deemed good or bad (and thus whether friendship is possible) in the eyes of the next generation.

The Syrian dictator is not a friend - he is an enemy. He is teaching children that he is good, and his rubbing shoulders with an anti-western power like Russia is good. Against the evil America and other westerners. This is not an acceptable message. Dictators are generally illegitimate already (ie unless there is a rational or humanist reason that a temporary dictatorship is required). When a dictator chooses to be an enemy, he suddenly becomes a target. Anyone who supports him is also a target.

The person I support is my ideological ally - the guy with the "HELP" sign. He's probably a Sunni. He's being oppressed by the Allawite dictatorship. Now the Allawite minority have legitimate concerns about being on the wrong end of sectarian violence, and I'm willing to negotiate. But they've had decades to negotiate and instead all they did was teach children to hate me. Unacceptable. They need to very rapidly change their tune now if they want to negotiate at this late stage, as the revolutionaries have forced the issue by putting their lives on the line, goading me to protect them.

Anyway, the general principle is that I will take arms off the Allawite dictator and give them to my Sunni ally. This does not mean democracy. It means my instinct is to set up a friendly dictator who will start teaching children my definition of good and bad (communists are not good, for example). However, although that is my instinct, we need to be realistic. Democracy is a far easier sell than a dictator. And far less trouble to install, as it is self-maintaining. We can literally provide air support only to get a democracy installed. Given that we already have an unfriendly dictator, even if we end up with an unfriendly democracy, we're still no worse off. And we're in with a chance of a friendly democracy - if not now, then it may evolve with expected freedom of speech. Probability and statistics says to go ahead with the war.

If the Allawites want to negotiate, here's what they need to do. First of all replace their definition of good and bad, and acknowledge that their dictatorship has been bad up to this point. Provide evidence that the Sunnis are religious bigots (generally true) and that they wish to temporarily protect against this until the required cultural changes are in place. In short, they need to adopt the same ideological position as the "HELP" guy, assuming the "HELP" guy is a non-bigotted Sunni. If they do that, then they will also be willing to promote the "HELP" guy to a position of power, e.g. president. This will hopefully mollify the other Sunni who are religious bigots. If it doesn't, that's fine, the Allawites can continue to hold the automatic weapons so long as their ideology has changed so that they are now my friends.

Let's put this into a general principle with a worked example.

Group A (NATO - humanists)
Group B (majority Allawites - non-humanists)
Group C (majority Sunni - non-humanists)
Group D (minority Allawites - humanists)
Group E (minority Sunni - humanists)

If a group, B, is oppressing another group, E, then group A (which is ideologically allied to group E) has a right, or possibly even an obligation, to exterminate B. Group A may choose to create a temporary alliance with some other ideology C, who are also being oppressed, in order to get the extermination done. Group A may also create a permanent alliance with a similar ideology, D, even though D is not being oppressed.

The general form should apply to wars in general, e.g. WW2:

Group A (US/UK/etc - rationalists)
Group B (Nazis)
Group C (Communists)
Group D (Swedes etc - rationalists)
Group E (Poles etc - rationalists)

Another thing to note is that a country like Saudi Arabia is only a temporary ally like the communists were in WW2. It is not a true friend, which is why its education system is turning out anti-western people. When we've gotten rid of our in-your-face enemies we should be looking to topple countries with a hostile education system.

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