by David Galland
In recent polls, 65% of Americans said they were against the US government becoming involved in Syria. Yet, the Obama administration has made it abundantly clear that it will now actively support the rebels there.
Disturbingly, our so-called allies in this fight – the anti-Assad rebels – are the sort of people who use suicide bombers to achieve their goals. Which is not surprising given that Al-Qaeda has openly taken a leading role in the opposition the Obama administration now sees fit to support.
And so it is that the very same Al-Qaeda that the US claims is Enemy #1 will soon be receiving weapons from the US, and probably already has.
In one particularly notable display of the world view of our new friends, a prominent rebel leader named Sunni al-Hamad was videotaped snacking on the lung of a dead enemy soldier. The highly placed member of the intelligence community whom I briefly referenced in my last missive told me that the most favorable interpretation of this barbaric act the analysts could come up with was that the fellow was actually trying to eat the heart, but ate the lung instead. This was taken as “favorable” because Commander Cannibal’s lack of basic human anatomy suggested that eating internal organs was not a regular practice among our new BFF.
Now, as to the “bad guy” in this entire drama … he is the son of Hafez al-Assad, the man who in 1973 changed the constitution of Syria to drop the provision that only Muslims could be president… triggering a running battle against Muslim extremists demanding that the country be Muslim and not secular.
In 1987, Syria actually participated in the so-called willing countries in supporting the US invasion of Iraq.
In 2000 Bashar Assad, the second son of Hafez, succeeded to power after his father’s death and five months later ordered the release of hundreds of political prisoners.
Now, that’s not to say that Assad is a wonderful fellow. No one would argue the fact that he’s accustomed to using a hard hand to keep the discontented in line. And given that those discontented are dominated by the sort of folks willing to blow themselves up in pursuit of religious goals (or, at least encourage the more gullible into doing so), the actions of the Assad government have, on occasion, been uncompromising.
As an aside, you may remember that in 2006 our current allies, the radical jihadists that Assad has also been trying to keep a lid on, attacked the US embassy in Damascus… and now we’re on the same side. Funny how a little time heals all wounds, eh?
Even so, until this latest phase in the conflict blew up in 2011, the level of violence was relatively minor.
But that was then. Now, with the place in flames, the death toll has soared with the latest body count at over 100,000 and counting.
Which brings me back to the question above, what the hell is wrong with Obama? Or, more accurately, what the hell is the US government thinking to interject itself in the conflict? Why would we want to hand the largely secular country over to the jihadists? Who wins?
I thought this quote out of an article on the situation by the folks at CATO worth sharing.
Those most serious about intervention, Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, want to do everything. Their joint statement demanded: “provisions of arms to vetted Syrian opposition groups, targeted strikes against Assad’s aircraft and SCUD missile batteries on the ground, and the establishment of safe zones inside Syria.” Graham also argued that “you’ve got to get on the ground” to seize chemical weapons stockpiles.
Though I am not privy to any special information on the political calculations of Washington, it sure seems like we are following the script set down by the neocons (Kristol, Wolfowitz, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Abrams, et al.) that years ago infiltrated the US military-political complex. This is the “Might is right” crowd who believe in exercising US power proactively to knock down the dominos of all Middle Eastern countries Israel feels threatened by, with the end goal of remaking the Middle East as a region dominated by friendly democracies (or, in the case of Saudi Arabia, friendly dictatorships). Failing functioning democracies, turning the outcast countries into failed states that pose no real threat to US or Israeli interests in the area also works.
It’s never been a secret that Syria is a prominent domino: as recently as 2009, Israel bombed a site in Syria where they claim secret nuclear research was being conducted. According to the script, after Syria the US will escalate its targeting of Iran.
Given the hostile neighborhood it’s in, it’s understandable that Israel feels the need to act aggressively to dull the threat. Like individuals, nation-states possess finely honed survival instincts.
I do, however, blame President Obama and the State Department and all the many sycophants in government and parasites in businesses that profit from war for once again entangling the country in a foreign conflict. That they do so in the face of overwhelming opposition among the public reveals “government of the people, for the people” as the meaningless platitude it has become.
That our new allies are jihadists who upon taking power will oppress the country like Assad never did, then turn their weapons against the Great Satan that provided them, makes our support of them not just a bad joke but spectacularly bad karma.
Then there’s the tens of thousands of innocents who will suffer and die before this is over. But, hey, it’s the Middle East where life is priced very low, so why should anyone care? The neocons certainly don’t.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again: the constant turmoil in places like Syria, and the hardships it causes to the civilian population, is a damn shame, but it’s not our damn shame. Left to their own devices, maybe – just maybe – they’d finally get their act together.
That the Obama administration would ignore the will of the people and deliberately make the troubles in Syria our own, and freakishly do so in an alliance with jihadists, strikes me as highly suspect and even treasonous.
One can only hope that one shiny day not too far down the road, these people would be held accountable for their actions. Maybe starting by impeaching the president?
I’m not holding my breath.