On June 13, 2013, President Obama announced authorization for the arming of the Syrian rebels last week amidst a string of growing scandals rocking the White House. President Obama’s action authorized without congressional debate or public justification the United States’ entry into another war. Not only has the US now picked a side in a bloody civil war where both sides are hostile to the US, but committed the US to a war in a country where the US has little national interest. At best, this action is constitutionally unsound and a gross abuse of the powers prescribed to the Commander-in-Chief. At worst, this is an illegal war that will ultimately result in the single greatest foreign policy disaster of Obama’s administration to date and bankrupt the US.
Contrary to the Administration’s claims, the only security threat Syria poses to the US will be the one we create by arming Al Qaeda affiliated rebel groups that openly espouse destruction to the US and Israel. The White House rationale for this undeclared and unnecessary war was that President Assad used chemical weapons. In the midst of growing public scandals, does President Obama’s hypocrisy know no end? First, it was then Senator Obama that openly attacked the Bush administration’s entry into what he deemed an illegal war in Iraq on fabricated intelligence even though the international community did believe Saddam Hussein still possessed weapons of mass destruction. Yet now, President Obama wants the US to enter another war in the Middle East again on very dubious claims of chemical weapons and when no good argument for US interests exist. Not only is Obama’s “intelligence” on chemical weapons suspect, but the investigations done by the United Nations, which are available for public scrutiny conclude that “if” chemical weapons were used, they were used by the “rebels” and NOT Assad’s forces. This glaring contradiction to the Administration’s official spin was dismissed by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. The White House departure from its long history of walking in lock step with the U.N. is certainly telling. The problem this time is even the Washington Post which, known for its overt support of liberal policy and President Obama, called the Administration’s claims into question. In the Post’s article it states; “Despite months of laboratory testing and scrutiny by top U.S. scientists, the Obama administration’s case for arming Syria’s rebels rests on unverifiable claims that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against its own people, according to diplomats and experts.” It goes on to say, “If you are the opposition and you hear” that the White House has drawn a red line on the use of nerve agents, then “you have an interest in giving the impression that some chemical weapons have been used,” said Rolf Ekeus, a Swedish scientist who headed up U.N. weapons inspections in Iraq during the 1990s.
Things are sounding an awful lot like the Bush-era false war propaganda about Iraqi chemical weapons with a touch of President Clinton’s policy of bombing “terrorist” targets at the height of the Monica Lewinsky Scandal. Hopefully, the American people have finally learned their lesson and will demand to see the actual evidence and be given a legitimate reason why war is “necessary” this time, what our strategy is, and what is the desired end state.
One need not be a fortune-teller to foresee how U.S. involvement in Syria will go down as one of America’s greatest foreign policy disasters. After being defeated in Iraq and now Afghanistan, the U.S. should have learned a few lessons about the folly of interventionist policy. In the least, it should not be committing the U.S. to another war before it has at least finished its fight in Afghanistan. In this regard, the hubris of the Obama Administration in this regard is staggering. Now, not only has the U.S. entered a war against a nation, but it has entered a sectarian war between Shia and Sunnis that has split Islam since the seventh century. This war extends far beyond Syria’s borders and is engulfing the entire Muslim world.
Currently, approximately 1,100 Marines and possibly up to a few thousand “advisors,” are in Jordan. This is in addition to a small cadre of Special Forces and CIA case officers working closely with rebel elements in and out of Syria. Further, U.S. forces are positioned to the north of Syria in Turkey and have been clandestinely supporting rebel training camps, NATO airbases, and air defense facilities. As Washington’s plan to arm the rebels fails to save their strategy to overthrow Assad, Obama will be forced to increase American intervention. This will likely involve the implementation of a “no-fly zone” and will be the next step towards a hot war with Syria and Iran.
Obama is no doubt in a dilemma. He foolishly thought the he could use proxies to topple Assad in order to destroy Iran’s fifth column in the preliminary phases of the ongoing cold war with Iran. The failure of the rebels means Washington must either face humiliation as its policy to remove Assad collapses or now openly enter into a war on the side of rebels previously known as terrorists, insurgents, and jihadists. Obama has doubled down on the rebels. Of the rebel forces, Jordanian intelligence estimates upwards of 80% of their combat power and front line fighters are jihadists that have avowed the destruction of both the US and Israel. In fact, even US allies in the Middle East have openly called into contention the notion the CIA can distribute advanced military weapons only to secular Sunni rebel forces in Syria. Supporting this skepticism is the fact the most powerful element within the Syrian rebel force is the al-Nusrah Front, which is allied to al-Qaeda. As such, the thought that the US can arm these jihadists turned rebels and not directly endanger American lives is so foolish; the mere suggestion is an absolute bald face lie. Therefore, the sudden policy shift and use of the chemical weapons rationale to arm the rebels exposes the true nature of Washington’s intent to use Syria as a stepping stone toward an ultimate showdown with Iran. As Obama’s administration is forced toward war with Iran by special interests, he will now have to demonstrate greater and greater involvement.
Moving forward, the US now owns the civil war in Syria. Obama has joined forces with known Al Qaeda terrorists to fight an equally nasty dictator. Neither of which support US interests. The newly armed and resurgent rebels will not hesitate to attack US interests at the first opportunity. American’s will die because of this policy disaster. Washington and by default, the American people, will now be blamed every time the rebels commit an atrocity. These Sunni extremists are the same brand that attacked the US on 9/11 and there is no reason to expect them to act any differently in the future. We are indeed creating our own enemies.
The violence has now fully spilled over into a regional conflict. Hezbollah in Lebanon has now committed fully to the war. Iran has committed to support Assad as well and has sent thousands of troops to support Assad’s military. Qatar and Saudi Arabia are sending billions in arms and equipment. Turkey’s streets are on fire with protests. Egypt is now warning of outright civil war. Israel is on high alert and dealing with daily cross border fire from the conflict in Syria. Iraq is now fully re-engulfed with sectarian violence as we previously warned would occur.
How President Obama believes that any good for the US can come of providing US military weapons and equipment to a motley collection of known terrorists, international jihadists, and Sunni extremists is beyond rational logic. No matter how the conflict ends in Syria, the party that takes or retains power will be openly hostile to the US. Not only are our analysts predicting greater bloodshed, but we now see all of the signs of a full-blown regional conflict that has the potential to rapidly draw the US back into a full-scale disastrous war that will likely be the final blow to America’s global economic and political dominance.
By Guiles Hendrik
June 26, 2013
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