"When President Obama sits down to write his foreign policy memoir he may be tempted to use as his book title the four words he reportedly uses privately to summarize the Obama doctrine: 'Don’t Do Stupid Stuff' (with 'stuff' sometimes defined more spicily)."
Ah yes, "don't do stupid shit," like escalating the ground war in Afghanistan. Of course, Obama apologist Friedman doesn't mention this Obama initiative, beyond noting that "we already spent $2 trillion on such projects in Iraq and Afghanistan with little to show for it."
Turning his superior intellect to the civil war in Syria, Friedman next notes:
"I never believed that with just a few more arms early on the Syrian 'democrats' would have toppled President Bashar al-Assad and all would have been fine. The Shiite/Alawites in Syria were never leaving quietly, and Iran, Russia and Hezbollah would have made sure of it."
On the other hand, if the US and its allies had imposed a no-fly zone over Syria, might Bashar al-Assad have been prevented from perpetrating genocidal attacks against Syria's civilian population? Needless to say, no reference by Friedman to civilian dead resulting from the conflict (some 54,000 including 9,000 children) or the nine million refugees.
Friedman concludes by providing his own unique solution to this quandary:
"But when I ask Kurds what to do, the answer I get is that arming decent Syrians, as Obama has vowed to do more of, might help bring Assad to the table, but 'there is no conventional military solution' — neither Shiites nor Sunnis will decisively beat the other, remarked a former deputy prime minister of Iraq, Barham Salih. 'But walking away is not possible anymore.' Syria is spinning off too much instability now.
The only solution, they say, is for the U.S. and Russia (how likely is that!) to broker a power-sharing deal in Syria between Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran and their proxies. Repeat after me: There is no military solution to Syria — and Iran and Russia have to be part of any diplomatic one. Those are the kind of unpleasant, unromantic, totally long-shot foreign policy choices the real world throws up these days. A little humility, please."
Ah yes, now that Syria is reneging on the agreement brokered by Putin for the destruction of its chemical warfare arsenal (see: http://online.wsj.com/articles/the-crumbling-deal-on-syrias-chemical-weapons-1401405251), the US should again turn to Putin - particularly after his shenanigans in the Ukraine - for a solution.
Also empower Iran's maniacal Supreme Leader Khamenei? As reported by The Daily Caller (http://dailycaller.com/2014/05/25/irans-supreme-leader-jihad-will-continue-until-america-is-no-more/), Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei declared earlier this week in response to a question by an Iranian member of parliament:
"Battle and jihad are endless because evil and its front continue to exist. … This battle will only end when the society can get rid of the oppressors’ front with America at the head of it, which has expanded its claws on human mind, body and thought. … This requires a difficult and lengthy struggle and need for great strides."
You might be interested to know that yet another Iranian dissident, Gholamreza Khosravi Savajani, is being executed this morning for the crime of "enmity against God" (see: http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/06/01/uk-iran-execution-idINKBN0EC11A20140601).
However, according to Tom, there is no choice other than to reach an understanding with these charming folk. Kind of reminds me Chamberlain, Daladier, Hitler and Mussolini signing off on the Munich Agreement in 1938.
Don't do stupid shit? Yeah, right.