Clinton and Obama have been warning Assad that if he uses chemical weapons against the Sunni Islamist rebels, most of whom are either aligned with Al Qaeda or the Muslim Brotherhood, it will mean “crossing a red line.” While C&O have refused to specify what this means, the implication is that the air force that they are cutting to the bone and whose chapels they are desecrating with transgender marriage ceremonies will be ordered to go bomb Syria.
Ordinarily this should worry Assad. Syria, unlike Libya, isn’t a pushover, but its degraded air power is no match for NATO, especially with Turkey as an eager and willing partner, who has been trying to drag NATO into their Islamist Sunni vs Shiite Holy War from the start with incident after incident.
But unlike Saddam, Assad has held off using chemical weapons when he could have. If he does use them, it will be because Damascus is in danger of falling and at that point Assad will no longer care what happens. Being bombed to death by NATO is a lighter fate than being sodomized to death by some Salafi holy warriors.
Assad isn’t just in this alone. A Sunni victory will mean the ethnic cleansing of Christians and Alawites at the hands of groups like the Al Nusra Brigade, who have already gotten started on the task.
Syria isn’t Libya, it’s Rwanda, and the Alawite minority cannot afford to let the Salafis take Syria. Using chemical weapons would not be pretty, but it will be no worse than the fate that Obama’s “Brave Syrian People”, who were armed with his approval by the Islamists in Qatar and Turkey, have in store for millions of non-Sunni Syrians.
And even the Sunnis won’t get off light. The Free Syrian Army is a skeleton force, no more able to keep order in Syria after the fall of Assad, then the Libyan government was able to keep order after the fall of Gaddafi. That means the Islamist militias will have a free hand in enforcing Islamic law, Mali style. And the situation appears to be even worse in Syria than in Libya.
Assad and the Alawites don’t have a whole lot to lose. Even if Obama, Cameron and Hollande guarantee some sort of exit for the Assad family, they can’t take hundreds of thousands of people with them. Nor can NATO enforce an end to the violence that will come after Assad falls because the entire doctrine of Obama Inc. is to let the rebels win and then hold elections. That led to ethnic cleansing of Africans in Libya. It led to a Muslim Brotherhood coup in Egypt. It will lead to far worse in Syria.
The only choice Obama can offer Assad is genocide or NATO bombings. That’s not much of a choice. And considering Hama, it is not at all improbable that Assad will pull the trigger if the fighting moves close enough to Damascus.