Thursday, September 5, 2013

Obama Administration's Strategy: Taking Sides With Moderate Rebels In Syria Who Only Commit Moderate War Crimes

NY Times Notices Moderate Syrian Rebels Moderately Committing Moderate War Crimes...Tweet by David Burge

  • I enjoy reading Tweets by David Burge because he puts this entire Syrian dilemma into perspective. Last week, after the photo appeared showing the Kerry's enjoying a nice evening out with Assad and his wife two years ago, Burge Tweeted: "If Kerry wanted Assad toppled, he should have killed him with the dessert fork."
  • In my previous post ("Profiles In Stupidity: There Is No "Good" or "Right" Side In Syria"), I made it a point to reinforce Burge's observations. Also, if we do take some type of military action, we will certainly be facing the devil we don't know. What we do know now about these rebels is many are bad guys. In fact, the NY Times of all publications (historically Obama suck ups) ran a piece today entitled, "Brutality Of Syrian Rebels Posing Dilemma In The West." Accompanying the article is a video of Syrian rebels executing 7 Syrian soldiers.
  • But there is also another important fact that we cannot overlook. America has been involved in countless conflicts throughout our history. We've not been an isolationist nation by any stretch of the imagination. Excluding our earlier conflicts and wars, our modern history includes using our troops in Central America, Haiti, the Balkans, Grenada, Vietnam and the Middle East. In addition, we entered those many of those conflicts for a variety of different reasons. In WWII, we were attacked by Japan, and we entered the European theatre to help our allies fight the Nazis. In Vietnam, we helped the South fight the Northern Communists (at least, that was one of the reasons).  Clinton's decision to go into the Balkans was to prevent more genocide. We went into Afghanistan to hunt down and kill those responsible for 9/11. Our intervention in Libya was to change the regime (one of the same reasons for our attacking Iraq the second time around). And, quite frankly, some of our interventions were done to protect our commercial interests.
  • Syria is different. In fact, I just heard a report that support for intervention into Syria is less than the support we had for Vietnam and Iraq. And I contend the reasons for this lack of support are two-fold: The ambiguity and ambivalence of American leadership in the White House and Congress and the ambiguity of who are the good vs. bad guys in Syria. In most of our previous conflicts, we usually knew who the bad guys were, e.g. Nazis, Communists, Jihadists, etc. In the case of Syria, it appears the bad guys are on both sides of the red line.
  • It's also undeniable this administration's foreign policy--from Libya to Egypt---has been inept. In fact, CNN's own Obama suck-up, Fareed Zakaria, had to admit Obama's foreign policy is a "case study on how not to do foreign policy."
  • So what are we left with as of today? In my opinion, we're left with a confused leadership resulting in a confused strategy. But, just as disturbing, our allies are as confused as we are. That's what happens when a country's leadership exhibits chronic inconsistency and vacillation. In turn, that type of behavior encourages tyrants to do very bad things. In the case of Syria, both sides are doing very bad things.