The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Monday, August 26, 2013


The United States has spent the last decade mired in the cesspool that is the Arab Middle East. Duplicitous "allies" in Iraq and Afghanistan use our military and our money as a way to defeat their tribal enemies and have exhibited no more gratitude or allegiance than a predator to his prey. Both George W. Bush and Barack Obama after him adopted the fantasy notion that "democracy" and nation-building would work in a society with vicious tribal divisions, rampant corruption, massive illiteracy, and a generally broken culture.

Barack Obama led from behind in his attack on Libya, and the result is a Islamist gang-dominated state that is no better off that it was when Mohamar Kaddafi was dictator. Obama further aligned himself with the virulently Islamist (and anti-Western) Muslim Brotherhood after he advocated the overthrow of Egypt's pro-western dictator Hosni Mubarack. The results—all bad—are playing themselves out in the streets of Cairo as I write this.

And now, the President is in a bind over Syria. A civil war rages in that country. It might have been possible to shape events in Syria if action was taken two years ago [see Update-2, following]. The President dithered. But today, we lose no matter which side in Syria prevails. Bashar Assad, a puppet of Iran and Russia, is a brutal dictator, but he is generally predictable. His opposition is Islamist and getting more radical by the month. If they prevail, a new Islamist client state of the Mullahs in Iran will emerge.

It looks like the President, who has painted himself into a corner with his earlier statements on Syria, will take limited military action because Assad has used nerve gas against his population. As horrific as this event is, it is not in the national interest of the United States to intervene in some limited (the word "proportional" is being bandied about by liberal pundits) way. A limited military attack is unlikely to have any long term affect and may have serious unintended consequences.

Although his supporters tout the President's approach as "smart diplomacy," we have had anything but over the past five years. So what would be "smart?" "Smart" would be a aggressive support for Iran's dissident faction with back channel communication indicating that as Iran ratchets up its support for Syria, we ratchet up unrest in Iran. "Smart" would be tangible economic rewards for the Russians in an effort to have them back off. "Smart" would be actions against Hezballah in Lebanon, a cats paw that will be played against Israel by Iran if action begins in Syria. "Smart" would be aggressive military action against any Iranian vessel that threatens our navy in the gulf. "Smart" would be the movement of U.S. troops in Afghanisatan toward the Iranian border.

But a half-hearted limited military adventure in Syria? The time has passed for that option. It will likely occur, and like almost everything else associated with this president's foreign policy, it will not end well.


Richard Fernandez comments further:
But the blatant stupidities are starting to worry even Colin Powell who says there’s no point to acting in Syria without knowing who you’re helping.

“I have no affection for Assad,” Powell told Bob Schieffer on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” while mentioning he knows the Syrian president and has personally dealt with him. “He’s a pathological liar.”

However, Powell said, “I am less sure of the resistance. What do they represent? Is it becoming even more radicalized with more al Qaeda coming in, and what would it look like if they prevailed and Assad went? I don’t know.”

That’s Common Sense 101, but the point is apparently one too difficult — or too simple — for the President to grasp. Obama is trapped by his own propaganda, the victim of his own myth. He came to power on the strength of his supposed genius; his messianic transcendance. He was destined to make the world America’s friend; usher in a world without nuclear weapons; and fundamentally transform the nation. He was even going to make the oceans fall. Why he was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in anticipation of achievements he had not yet even attained.

It is these expectations that weigh down on him like lead. Had Obama not made any of these vaunting boasts he might not look like the fool he is now. But as his speech on “Red Lines” exemplifies, the teleprompter can write check his autopen doesn’t even know how to sign.

Perhaps the only remaining reason for striking Syria without first deciding policy is simply to demonstrate to low information voters that he’s still President; that he can still do something, even if that something is pointless. The dangers be damned.


And this comment on recent past history from Caroline Glick:
America's powerlessness in Syria is largely Obama's fault. At the outset of the Syrian civil war two-and-a-half years ago, Obama outsourced the development of Syria's opposition forces to Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Erdogan. He had other options. A consortium of Syrian Kurds, moderate Sunnis, Christians and others came to Washington and begged for US assistance. But they were ignored.

Obama's decision to outsource the US's Syria policy owed to his twin goals of demonstrating that the US would no longer try to dictate international outcomes, and of allying the US with Islamic fundamentalists.

Both of these goals are transformative.

In the first instance, Obama believes that anti-Americanism stems from America's actions. By accepting the mantel of global leadership, Obama believes the US insulted other nations. To mitigate their anger, the US should abdicate leadership.

As for courting Islamic fundamentalists, from his earliest days in office Obama insisted that since radical Islam is the most popular movement in the Islamic world, radical Islam is good. Radical Muslims are America's friends.

Obama embraced Erdogan, an Islamic fascist who has won elections, as his closest ally and most trusted adviser in the Muslim world.

And so, with the full support of the US government, Erdogan stacked Syria's opposition forces with radical Muslims like himself. Within months the Muslim Brotherhood comprised the majority in Syria's US-sponsored opposition.