Posted two more comments at National Review – WOW is all I can say, Charles Krauthammer’s lost on Syria – he’s still stuck on Assad must go and can’t see the forest for the trees. He claims Russia is helping ISIS regain lost territory in Syria. My comments are regurgitated from previous LB posts, so nothing new, but I am posting them here to keep a sort of log of my “commentary” and also a time stamp too. I identified REGIONAL STABILITY as our strategic goal, loud and clear, since October 5, 2015. Maybe, I should be Secretary of State, rofl…. Here are my two comments:
susanholly Friday, October 16, 2015 11:28 PM
The first Russian airstrikes, which the US media, WH and neocons wailed about hit targets north of Hama in a “rebel controlled area”. The Institute for the Study of War seems to be the only map source, since the State Dept., CNN and FOX all use their maps. I have screenshots of 3 ISW maps on my blog http://libertybellediaries.com… and http://libertybellediaries.com…. The one from CNN, one from the Kelly File and one from Chris Wallace on Oct 4th with GEN Keane describing the strikes -all 3 maps show a different story on that rebel area – especially the area with the most Russian strikes north of Hama – on one map it’s an ISIS controlled area, on another it’s a al Nusrah (Al Qaeda) area and on the Kelly file map it’s all yellow colored denoting “rebel forces” – which fit this narrative of “Syrian moderates”. The Long War Journal blog (http://www.longwarjournal.org/… keeps track of the Islamist goings on in the region and you can read through their archives on who is who in Syria and the advances of the Al Qaeda/ISIS groups, but also the ongoing collusion between so-called Free Syrian Army (Islamists) and the hardcore Islamists like ISIS – the line is very blurred and Mr. Krauthammer would likely not want to invite any of these so-called “Syrian moderates” to Sunday dinner… That rebel leader, who cut the heart out of a fallen foe and ate it, a couple years ago was from a “Syrian moderate” rebel group…
The best outcome would be for the US to plan to work with Sunni/Kurds in Iraq to attack ISIS from the east and encourage the “Syrian moderates” to agree to a ceasefire quickly and then focus on defeating ISIS and establishing safe zones in Syria. The goal should be to help restore order as quickly as possible. International pressure could then be brought to bear to deal with Assad. Assad is not the #1 concern – it’s the spread of ISIS, which will be assured if Assad falls first. The US has NO PLAN to deal with what happens if Assad falls.
To quote John McCreary, a foremost strategic analyst who worked for decades in the DIA and now publishes Nightwatch (https://www.kforcegov.com/solu… October 14, 2015:
“The Russian strategy is built on supporting the governments in power in order to stabilize the existing order. Russia lacks the resources of the US, but President Putin has used his limited resources prudently and maneuvered deftly to advance Russian military presence and influence. Putin’s timing has been almost superb”.
“For old hands, the Russians and Americans appear to have reversed
their traditional roles and swapped strategies and roles. Twenty-five years ago, the Soviets were destabilizing regions by supporting opposition elements in states friendly to the US. Now they are on the side of regional stability.“
Anyways, Henry Kissinger penned an excellent plan out of this mess: http://www.wsj.com/articles/a-… and it doesn’t involve arming “Syrian moderates”, thank God! It’s a plan to promote REGIONAL STABILITY…. Finally, a voice of reason in the strategic wilderness!!!
susanholly • 17 minutes ago
If Dr. Krauthammer wants to get on a soap box, how about urging the President to set up a hotline with the Russians in Syria immediately to avoid air accidents or escalation over Syria. Our pilots’ lives matter more than playing some male, ego-driven game of “chicken” in the skies over Syria, to no strategic purpose!!! The Israelis were smart enough to do that and here again, l’m quoting Nightwatch (https://www.kforcegov.com/solu… from October 15, 2015:
“Russia-Israel: On 15 October Russia’s defense ministry announced that its forces in Syria had set up a “hotline” with Israeli forces to avoid air accidents over Syria.
An “information-sharing” mechanism “has been established through a hotline between the Russian aviation command center at the Humaymim air base in Syria and a command post of the Israeli air force,” the ministry said in a statement. The statement also said that the two sides were undergoing training on how to cooperate.
Comment: The Israelis and Russians wasted little time in establishing a hot line. This is a prudent and practical measure that does not imply recognition or acceptance of the other sides’ political views. It recognizes the new conditions in which combat aircraft are operating.
Israel’s decision to establish a communications link to the Russians near Latakia highlights Israel’s resolve to retaliate against Syria for every spillover effect from the Syrian civil war that lands in Israeli territory.”
Update: I posted a response to another comment:
susanholly Saturday, October 17, 2015 1:02AM
There’s a neocon cabal that includes the likes of the Kagan/Kristol clans and they strategize together. Kimberly Kagan runs the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), which pours out bad maps on the disposition of Syrian forces- that everyone, to include the US State Dept, John McCain (who hired the former ISW liar, O’Bagy and she serves as a foreign policy legislative aide to McCain now) and FOX and CNN use. GEN Keane gives the ISW gravitas and I am not sure if he is aware of the bad maps…. Unfortunately for America, the ISW seems to be the only map-maker…. I still would like to know the full background of Elizabeth O’Bagy and how this young woman who lied about her credentials became the source the media and our government officials began using, without any fact-checking in 2013??? Kerry and McCain quoted her by name in 2013 and her op-ed in the Wall Street Journal almost got us more heavily involved in the Syrian civil war. That the ISW maps are still accepted as a reliable source is just incredible!
For an even more disturbing memory jog – O’Bagy was serving as the political director for the Syrian Emergency Task Force in 2013 and that lobbying group took McCain to Syria in early 2013 on a “fact-finding” trip, where he was posed with some “rebels”, who are alleged to be Islamist radicals. His staff brushed that off, but then in the Fall of 2013 when the ISW fired O’Bagy – McCain hired her. Bryan Preston at PJmedia (http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2013… wrote a lot of stuff about O’Bagy’s background. I wonder if she underwent a complete background check when she went to work of McCain or if it was waived. O’Bagy also showed up as signing a sworn affidavit for an alleged American jihadist, Eric Harroun, in Arizona, who was facing a possible life sentence for joining Al Qaeda, but O’Bagy vouched that he was a “Syrian moderate” fighting for the Free Syrian Army (http://www.debbieschlussel.com…. Harroun got a $100 fine and probation. I’ve been following and writing about this on my blog (http://libertybellediaries.com… since 2013.
Harroun’s story – http://www.newyorker.com/magaz…
He got involved with the Islamic Center of Tucson (http://www.clarionproject.org/…, described as:
“At least a dozen terror-linked individuals have been tied to the Islamic
Center of Tucson (ICT). The mosque and the state of Arizona are
mentioned 59 times in the 9/11 Commission Report. The mosque is considered to be “basically the first cell of al Qaeda in the United States.””