The Obama administration full court press effort chugs along without pause, trying to convince America and the world, that absent US intervention in the bloody Syrian civil war, the sky is falling or at least it is according to this Chicken Little president (picture here). Here’s the type of sweeping, disingenuous, flat-out ridiculous claim he makes to explain our “national interest” in the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government:
“It’s important for us to recognize that when over 1,000 people are killed, including hundreds of innocent children, through the use of a weapon that 98 or 99 percent of humanity says should not be used even in war, and there is no action, then we’re sending a signal that that international norm doesn’t mean much,” Obama said. “And that is a danger to our national security.” (CNN story here).
Our national interest is threatened enough by Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons against his own people, but our national interest isn’t threatened enough to act regarding Iran’s determined acquisition of nuclear weapons capability, which Iran clearly would use to threaten the United States and our interests in the world? President Obama never quite connects the dots of foreign policy issues in a coherent, realistic manner and he often fudges on the facts. So, here’s the kindergarten level primer on the real “big picture” view of the troublesome Muslim world situation as it pertains to US national interests.
We still need oil, let’s start with that. Okay, leftists, start wailing, “no war for oil”, but thanks to our failure to secure American domestic self-reliance regarding our energy needs (Obama nixing Keystone/banning new off-shore drilling/attacking fracking ring any bells), we still need to import a good deal of our oil. Now, many want to demonize Vladimir Putin’s bold strokes, but if you look at a map and watch his moves to secure pipelines to export their oil, he expanded their oil markets eastward to tap into Asian markets, added to their European market. We have President Obama and his cronies wasting billions on “alternative” energy pipedreams, while stymieing domestic oil, natural gas and coal production. Having enough fuel to keep our economy functioning is a vital national interest – worth defending! The Mid-East, absent vast oil supplies, would be a whole big mess we could pretty much avoid, but there you have it – we need oil.
Radical Islam, jihadi nutcases, Al Qaeda & friends, Islamists or as the Obama folks like to take the Islam out of the name, “radical extremists” – whatever you call them – they are Islamic-inspired loons intent on ridding the world of infidels, of whom they consider Americans to be the #1 Infidels in the world. That makes America and American interests their prime target. Now, in Syria, we’ve got a rather ruthless dictator, Assad, who is engaged in a civil war against an assortment of rebel forces – some of them Al Qaeda (those “radical extremists” who want to annihilate America). Now Secretary of State, John Kerry claims that 15-25% of the rebel forces are Al Qaeda in Syria (here). Syrian president, Bashar Assad, claims that 80-90% of the rebels fighting him are Al Qaeda (here). Who to believe, hummmm, well, first I would like to know from what sources John Kerry’s “facts” were attained, before accepting his lowball statistic. This Syrian resistance lobbying group, Syria Emergency Task Force, who took John McCain to Syria earlier this year to promote US intervention and whose map seems to be accepted as the “official” disposition of rebel forces in Syria seems to be the source of much of the “accepted facts” on Syria. Their mouthpiece, Elizabeth O’Bagy, keeps prancing across US news venues as a “senior analyst for the Institute for the Study of War” (which states it is a think tank dedicated to promoting US strategic interests).
President Obama wants us to strike some of Assad’s military assets to help the rebel forces, of which a percentage (some/many, do we even know or care?) are Al Qaeda fighters. Now, President Obama is very clear that this strike will be very limited, it’s not intended to topple Assad, but only intended to send Assad a message that we won’t tolerate him using chemical weapons against his own people….. Yep, Assad who is engaged in a brutal existential struggle will be so moved by the US lobbing some cruise missiles in a very limited strike that he will be awed into rethinking his actions. Okay, we won’t target Assad’s chemical weapons, because we can’t blow them up from the air, because these wily Arab tinpot dictators have the habit of placing their WMD and most vital military assets in places like hospitals, populated civilian areas and schools. Actually rounding up his WMD stockpiles would require “boots on the ground” and our Chicken Little president doesn’t have the guts to risk that.
Now, Iran, the bigger regional power broker in this Syria issue, will keep sending weapons to Assad. Russia also is propping up Assad. The Saudis are happy to export Al Qaeda and company to help the rebel forces in Syria, because that gets these dangerous radicals out of Saudi Arabia. Now, Iran probably is sending Hezbollah terrorists to aid Assad too, so we’ve got all the worst of worst “radical extremists” involved here and our President thinks a few missiles will faze them??? To understand the way the Mid-East stacks up requires a more in-depth look at the history of the region and how European, Russian and American actions in the region got us to the present day huge mess, but the short explanation is Cold War era alliances and economic concerns play a huge role. The establishment of Israel post-World War II influences just about every event in the region. Even further back, anti-colonial movements and pan-Arabism and pan-Islamism movements began to ignite leading to the present-day conflagration in the Arab/Muslim world (here’s an Al Jazeera piece to explain the history). Does President Obama understand this history? I doubt it.
Iran with nuclear weapons does pose a serious threat to us and Israel, our closest ally in the region. However, President Obama keeps wanting to “talk” to them and he refused to lift a finger to aid the resistance that tried to rise against the oppressive Iranian regime. He also pulled US troops out of Iraq, leaving the door wide open for Iran to destabilize the fledgling Iraqi government and undermine all the US effort to prop up a functioning post-Saddam government in Iraq (a vital national interest at limiting Iranian influence in the region). He insisted on aiding the “radical extremists” in Libya, which was instrumental in the ouster of Qaddafi and leaves Libya in a state of lawlessness and ruin, but who cares, as Hillary Clinton joked, “We came, we saw, he died.” (CBS report here). More recently, Obama turned on reliable ally Mubarek in Egypt, without even consulting the Israelis, whose security relied on upholding the Camp David accords, which served as a pillar in Israeli defense planning (so we stabbed two loyal allies, Mubarek and the Israelis, in the back in one fell swoop). Obama backed the Muslim Brotherhood power grab in Egypt, by telling us that they were moderate and mostly secular, which was a flat-out lie and since then the Egyptian people ousted the Muslim Brotherhood from power and the Egyptian military took charge, for the moment. (good John Bolton explanation of Camp David and our interests here). As a little map detour, in Afghanistan Obama is pulling out there after his ballyhooed surge, which he never did fully man and which he announced an end date when he announced the surge, thus telegraphing to the Taliban and the world his total cluelessness on strategy. Thousands of US soldiers have died fighting for nothing in Afghanistan under this CINC and at the end of the day, he ceded Afghanistan’s future to the Taliban (which he will try to tell us is a new, more moderate Taliban….).
So, President Obama has consistently backed the wrong horse rather than the horse which would bolster US vital national interests in the Mid-East, but he wants us to trust him now. Time to wake up America! This man doesn’t have a clue on the history of the region and all he knows is far-left American college campus radical nonsense. You can hate George W. Bush and disagree with his policies too, because I disagreed with some of his actions too (not nearly as many as I disagree with this Gumby President though). It’s way past time for Americans to pull out the history books and don’t believe me, start doing your own research and start where I started when I was a kid reading my trusty World Book Encyclopedia – ask “WHY?” Don’t keep regurgitating spin. Don’t accept the glib answers. Don’t assume one side is 100% right and the other 100% wrong – start looking at the various sides in every issue and then start looking at maps, so that you can actually see where all the players live and what the world looks like from where they stand. And when you think you have a grasp of that, then start asking yourself what things in this area of the world matter to the United States. Only then can you see the big strategic picture clearly- it isn’t really all that hard and it doesn’t require a fancy degree – all it takes is a little bit of independent study (read a variety of sources – learning about how each side sees things helps you get a wider view of the situation) and then be willing to think for yourself.