I don’t like getting involved in intra-blog discussions like this, but I feel forced to point out to Hot Air that Governor Perry’s stated willingness to enforce a no-fly zone in Syria needs – needs – to be seen in light of the following facts:
- There is a group called the “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) which is opposed to the Assad regime. It is unclear how large the group is, but it is reportedly growing – it is certainly going after more ambitious targets – and it is currently based out of southern Turkey.
- The FSA has in fact requested that Turkey impose a no-fly zone.
- Turkey enjoys, if that’s the right word (it’s not) poor relations with Syria, to the point where its prime minister is openly calling for Assad to step down.
- It is thus reasonable to state that the FSA’s continued existence as a group is due to the Turkish government’s willingness to at least tolerate it; it is reasonable to speculate that the Turkish government may choose to openly support/use the FSA in the future. Which means that it is not outside the realm of possibility that a no-fly zone may in fact be imposed by the Turks.
- While Turkey probably has a large enough air force to do the job itself, it is still a member of NATO.
Which means that the question of a Syrian no-fly zone is not in fact coming out of left field; President Obama may need to make a decision on this in the relatively near future. For that matter, Perry’s answer is in fact a fairly straightforward response to that question. It may not be a response that everyone would like – I’m a little hesitant to endorse it myself, given that there’s more than a suggestion of an Islamist flavor to both the Syrian opposition and the current Turkish government itself these days – but in this case it’s an informed and consistent one.
Narratives are fun and useful, but sometimes they’re not all that accurate.