Michael Farrell: If you've been down this road before and it leads to an abyss,
figure second time's a charm? The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan largely because they were totally frustrated with their client state's inability to do just about anything that they expected them to do. The people of the former Soviet Union are still suffering the impact of that decision. Russia is still engaged in the continuing kerfluffle in the Caucasus, but that at least seems consistent. Chechnya is a small scale version of Afghanistan, but Russia has all the cards. We're not arming the Chechens, and the various Islamic cash cows have avoided providing a lot of support beyond prayer and some limited humanitarian. Part of that has to do with the global war on terror's chilling effect on dissident elements in various Islamic nations, part of it has to do with the fact that the Chechens have proven themselves to be basically threats to anybody they don't like very much. One would have thought that after the almost 12 years of war in Afghanistan with the ongoing unmentioned conflicts in Somalia and Yemen, and watching the emerging religious cleansing in Iraq, that we'd have learned to not get involved in another Islamic intramural cluster in Western Asia. The old saw about not getting involved in a land war in Asia really is about the continent of Asia, not just the parts we've already had our asses kicked in. Like it or not, global power projectors, none of our land wars in Asia have turned out well. At best, we've had a draw in Korea, lasting almost as long as I've been alive, I guess the Boxer Rebellion turned out ok, and of course, there was Vietnam. But now the US has decided that the Syrian government has crossed a red line and used chemical agents. This horrible crime against humanity that supposedly killed about 200 people in multiple attacks will not stand. Give Gordon, me and couple of other guys some .50 cal sniper rifles, Mk 19 Automatic grenade launchers, some mortars, some M2 machine guns, a lot of bullets and maybe some close air support, all of which the Syrians have or at least have the equivalents, and we'll deliver a helluva lot more than 200 casualties if you give us a village or six to take out, if we were the types of guys who slaughter civilians. The Syrian Army doesn't have that squeamish ethical reserve that we have. McCain and Co. are all in doing more in Syria and have been for a long time. In fact, the White House let him know that they had decided to start arming the rebels and he went on the Senate floor before either the President or the White House could make the announcement to complain that the offer of aid was obviously insufficient and we need a now fly zone and a CAP.