Neocon Call for Regime Change in Syria Doesn’t Do U.S. National Security Any Favors

In the Washington Post Sunday noted neocon Eliot Abrams of Iran-Contra fame called for the United States to back regime change in Syria:

While the monarchies of the Middle East have a fighting chance to reform and survive, the region’s fake republics have been falling like dominoes — and Syria is next. . . . Since the wave of Mideast revolts has spread to Syria, Assad is responding the only way he knows: by killing. What should be our response?

Abrams provides a regimen for the United States to support Syrian protesters such as recalling the U.S. ambassador. However disingenuous this always sounds coming from a conservative, he writes, “Our principles alone should lead us to this position.” What’s the real reason, though, El-i-ot-t-t.

The demise of this murderous clan is in America’s interest. The Assad regime made Syria the pathway for jihadists from around the world to enter Iraq to fight and kill Americans. Long a haven for terrorists, Syria still allows the Hamas leadership, among other Palestinian terrorist groups, to live and work in Damascus.

It’s one thing for Syria to be a “haven” for terrorists. but what if it were its headquarters? Ata IPS News Jim Lobe writes that, in fact, regime change in Syria may run at cross purposes to U.S. national security.

. . . Paul Pillar, a retired Central Intelligence Agency analyst who served as National Intelligence Officer for the Middle East between 2000 and 2005, warned that regime change could turn out very poorly for both the US and Israel and that Abrams’ and the Journal’s confidence that any successor regime would be preferable to Assad’s was ill-founded.

“Syria under Assad is probably the most secular place in the Middle East,” he noted in his blog at the nationalinterest.org website. “The influence of Islamism, in whatever form, in Syria has nowhere to go but up if there is regime change. That would not be welcome to those in Israel and the United States who worry about any political role for Islamists.”

Neocons — forever born yesterday, they forget the past and are incapable of looking ahead long term.