Wrote a lengthy comment at The American Thinker this morning – it’s a repeat, but I want to keep track of my comments and post them here. Just skip it if you read yesterday’s blog post. The article I posted on was interesting too, “What goes around, goes around” by Shoshana Bryen, who writes a lot of very good stuff on the Mid-East. Definitely go read her article! Here’s my morning ramble:
susanholly Friday, October 9, 2015 9:33 AM” 16 minutes ago
The US policy went from being one of trying to straddle the three big divides in the region: Shia, Sunni, and Israel and our goal used to be “regional stability”, which benefited our American national interests. And we tended to gauge much of that straddling by the overarching strategic moves of the Cold War. After the fall of the Soviet Union, we spent the 90s being swayed by Clintonian “humanitarian war” arguments to intervene for that “larger purpose”, even in the face of no compelling case of American national interest being defined.
Since 9/11 we’ve lost our way and wandered into some murky “war on terror” wherever we find it and the “we must prevent safe havens for terrorists”, which morphed into regime change to “promote democracy”. Now, we’re somewhere between the feel-good Arab Spring “promote democracy”, the Samantha Power genocide pixie’s “responsibility to protect” humanitarianism and fighting “terror”. Absent any clear-cut American national interest, our schizophrenic policies have fueled widespread chaos, virulent sectarian strife, more power vacuums and seismic regional instability.
Power vacuums are more dangerous and a vastly more immediate threat to our American national interests than Assad. Syria has been a Russian client state for over 40 years, so how Syria remaining a Russian client state is some cataclysmic change, I don’t know. The truth is the US left a gaping power vacuum in Iraq by walking away from a mess we created when we ousted Saddam. Odious Saddam formed a check on Iranian expansion, which we removed. So, Iran’s Shia influence has moved into Iraq and there we’re ostensibly fighting the Islamic State with the Shia-leaning Baghdad government, who now relies on Iranian-backed militias. The Sunni minority after a decade of US occupation became more radicalized, the policy of de-Ba’athification fueled more defections to the Sunni radicals too. American presence also fueled another layer of discontent and violence.
These US policy experts now find themselves wandering in circles repeating bad clichés masquerading as foreign policy. What has them so alarmed is Russia, one-by-one, has picked off American allies in the region and formed their own alliance with Iran to prop up Assad. The US doesn’t have any bold plans – just fear-mongering about Russian aggression, while still talking about arming “Syrian moderates”. Supposedly, these “moderates” were being armed to fight ISIS, but many of them are not moderates and are working with or actually ARE ISIS. Suffice it to say Sunni Islamist views prevail among the rebels fighting Assad. How the US thinks these rebels will lead to a stable government is the same sort of magical thinking that fueled the ouster of Saddam and Gadaffi and Mubarak.
We need to get back to stepping out of micro-strategic thinking to looking at macro-strategic-thinking – REGIONAL STABILITY. If Assad goes as seems to be the US policy at the moment, there is no plan in place to fill that power vacuum. The Islamic State and radicalized Sunnis will seize control. Yes, Russia stands to gain stature and a stronger foothold in the region, but so far our policymakers offered nothing that makes any sense at all.
Now we could talk to Putin like sane people and come up with a real plan to defeat ISIS as the Russians push them eastward toward Iraq. Then after some stability and order is restored in Syria and Iraq, international pressure could be brought to bear from Brussels to deal with Assad. The Russians might be inclined to give up Assad if a Russian-friendly government is in Syria, international pressure could then promote safe zones and actually make them work in Syria for a return of displaced refugees. And the US and Russia might be viewed as adults on the world stage for a change, instead of treating the rest of the world like pawns in some geopolitical chess game (which the US plays badly btw). http://libertybellediaries.com…
I then added a comment:
On second thought we should call the US foreign policy: “I was for them, before I was against them”…. And we wonder why our allies are defecting to Lavrov over listening to Kerry diplomacy, omg.