This letter of mine was in the Sunday Globe, June 15, 2014
To the Editor:
Syria’s recent balloting may have been a “sham,” as the Globe writes (“Assad’s new swagger requires a stepped-up response by US,” Editorial, June 8), but so was the electoral anointing of Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in Egypt. The difference is that our government has supplied and continues to send billions of dollars in US taxpayer funds to an Egyptian military that oppresses its own people, while it cynically arms anti-Assad rebels in Syria in the name of so-called democracy.
In the latter case, we do so in alliance with dictatorial clerical regimes in the Arabian Peninsula — Saudi Arabia and Qatar — that are funding Islamist militias and Al Qaeda fanatics with the goal of imposing fundamentalist religious rule on Syria’s multicultural society. Is it any wonder that millions of Syrians have voted to support the authoritarian regime of Bashar Assad when the alternative appears to be a victory for those who threaten to behead “apostates” and secularists? The “moderate” military opposition that you cite never had the possibility to overthrow Assad, and now it barely exists on the ground.
Isn’t it time to reevaluate our alliances in the Middle East rather than rush headlong into doubling down on a policy that has already led to 9/11 and might produce more unanticipated disasters?