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Letters: Syria as a jihadist stronghold

October 13, 2013

Re "Syria could be haven for radicals," Oct. 8

That Syria might become an Islamist stronghold, especially if President Bashar Assad falls — which our geniuses in Washington are now worried about — is no news to this layman.

We saw this in Libya, Afghanistan, Somalia and Iraq. Washington continues to back the rebels in Syria with blind affirmation of their democratic goals, which are none. Anyone with a brain can see what will happen to Syria if Assad falls.

Each and every one of these outposts of civilization need strongman leaders, ruthless as they might be, or else these countries turn into bad news for the West.

As they say, trust the enemy you know.

Mark Collins


The obvious solution to rid Syria of radical jihadist fighters is to arm the Syrian government instead of trying to destroy it. The anti-jihadist credentials of Assad, like his father Hafez before him, are impeccable.

But that would result in the Syrian government winning the civil war. Thus, we've backed the "moderates" as a counterweight force. Unfortunately, the moderates to date have been dominated by the jihadists.

This CIA strategy is doomed to produce exactly the result the CIA fears: Syria as a jihadist enclave.

This is all so much a replay of the U.S. role in Afghanistan after leftist officers staged a coup there in the 1970s. Our involvement then didn't turn out well, and this intervention in Syria will produce equally bad results if it continues.

John R. Yates

Los Angeles


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