What the . . . No, that is not why the West is reluctant to intervene in Syria. :rolleyes:
The reason the West is reluctant to intervene in Syria is because we have the example, right next door in Iraq, of what might happen when you do that. And no Arab, however oppressed by his present government, wants anything like that to happen ever again anywhere else in the Arab world. One division of U.S. Marines could have ended the Libyan Civil War at any time. But the Libyan rebels were utterly terrified of inviting in NATO ground troops, and were expressly concerned to avoid a “Baghdad Scenario” for the fall of Tripoli and aftermath, that has become a regional byword for “worst-case scenario” in this context.
N.B.: The only non-Arab state decisionmakers in all this who are actually afraid of terrorism are the Israelis. Nobody in the West really cares or fears what Assad might do in retaliation, if the West intervened. The PTB do fear what Iran might do in sympathy – but they’re not concerned even there with terrorism, but with the prospects of the whole thing spinning out of control into a regional war.
That, and the fact that any attack on Syria will have to involve Israel - if only because the Syrian government will make sure to involve Israel. The last thing anyone wants is a full-scale regional war.
A lot more than that. Syria is much more complicated because it has a larger populace, many more diverse ethnic/religious groups, a powerful sponsor that is, officially, aligned against the US, and is right next door to Iraq.
OTOH, Assad is now finding himself in the unpleasant situation of having no friends but Iran and maybe Russia. Everybody else wants him gone – not just Israel and the U.S. and NATO, but all his neighbors, all of the Arab-League states regardless of the nature of their own regimes, and the Turks too.
The reason NATO was able to get involved in Libya is because Gaddafi had pissed off his neighbors by being a pain in the butt so he had no regional supporters. Also NATO did not get involved until Gaddafi had lost control of large portions of the country and there was open civil war.
Syria is different. It does have reasonable relations with most of its neighbors. The support may be waning some with Assad’s crackdown but the proposed Arab league sanctions have fallen apart. The opposition does not have control of territory so intervention like that seen in Libya is not an option currently.