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29 April 2013

Syria, 'Red-Lines,' and Obama's Feckless Foreign Policy




 http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/55138000/jpg/_55138945_012790787-1.jpg

Kafr Nabl, Syria



Yesterday, NBC's Chuck Todd said on Meet The Press:

 
'I CAN TELL YOU THERE IS REGRET ABOUT THAT RED LINE COMMENT...because if you...in the White House in this respect.  You don’t draw–I mean, they meant it. They do mean it on the chemical weapons. But saying it creates this political conversation. They didn’t want to go public last week that they had this early evidence yet. They weren’t ready. And yet they knew Congress was going to get this briefing and it was all going to get out, so they decided to go public with it last week because they felt they had no choice, that it was all going to start leaking out … BUT THEY’RE NOT READY. THERE IS NO GOOD ANSWER.'

- Chuck Todd, Meet The Press, 28 April 2013


Obama has created many problems for himself and for the country with his red line and refusal to back up his threats.

During the Bush administration, he and other Democrats screamed that the US military was ‘air-raiding villages’ killing innocent men, women and children; that Iraq was a ‘war of choice;’ that the US was ‘indifferent” to the sufferings of others,’ especially, those in the Middle East; that Iraq was a ‘war for oil;’ that the US had to ‘stop meddling in the affairs of other countries;’ etc. We all remember what was said.
One’s position, then or now, as to whether we should have gone into Iraq is irrelevant to the point. We went.

Then, Obama ran for POTUS. We were told “Once the lightbringer is elected, the world will love us.”

In 2007, Obama told us:

“I truly believe that the day I’m inaugurated, not only does the country look at itself differently, but the world looks at America differently. If I’m reaching out to the Muslim world, they understand that I’ve lived in a Muslim country, and I may be a Christian, but I also understand their point of view…My sister is half-Indonesian. I traveled there all the way through my college years. And so I’m intimately concerned with what happens in these countries, and the cultures and the perspectives that these folks have. And those are powerful tools for us to be able to reach out to the world.’

Then, along came Libya…and what did Obama do?

He may have been dragged into going into Libya by ‘The Three Witches’ (Clinton, Powers and Rice and their ‘Responsibility to Protect’ doctrine; see Macbeth) and by France and the UK, but he went. He sent military support. He claimed he did it to prevent mass slaughter and other crimes against humanity. He supplied weapons. He supplied air cover. He bombed Qaddafi targets. He stood by, as a partner with known Al-Qaeda and other Islamist fighters even as they slaughtered Libyans and black Africans, until Qaddafi fell. He talked about our ‘moral responsibility to others.’ He talked about the right of using the might of the American military to stop or prevent humanitarian disasters, potential genocide, and war crimes.


CONFRONTED BY THIS BRUTAL REPRESSION AND A LOOMING HUMANITARIAN CRISIS, I ordered warships into the Mediterranean. European allies declared their willingness to commit resources to stop the killing. The Libyan opposition, and the Arab League, appealed to the world to save lives in Libya. At my direction, America led an effort with our allies at the United Nations Security Council to pass an historic Resolution that authorized a No-Fly Zone to stop the regime’s attacks from the air, and further AUTHORIZED ALL NECESSARY MEASURES TO PROTECT THE LIBYAN PEOPLE.’

- President Barack Obama, 28 March 2011


At that time, 25,000 people were, allegedly, at risk of being massacred. Here is what he said two weeks earlier about our ‘responsibility to protect’ and the danger of being ‘feckless’…


HERE IS WHAT WE KNEW. WE KNEW THAT QADDAFI WAS MOVING ON BENGHAZI, AND THAT HIS HISTORY WAS SUCH THAT HE COULD CARRY OUT A THREAT TO KILL TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE. WE KNEW WE DIDN’T HAVE A LOT OF TIME–somewhere between two days and two weeks. We knew they were moving faster than we originally anticipated. We knew that Europe was proposing a no-fly zone...WE KNEW THAT A NO-FLY ZONE WOULD NOT SAVE THE PEOPLE OF BENGHAZI.  The no-fly zone was an expression of concern that didn’t really do anything. THE LAST THING WE KNEW IS THAT IF YOU ANNOUNCED A NO-FLY ZONE AND IF IT APPEARED FECKLESS, THERE WOULD BE ADDITIONAL PRESSURE FOR US TO GO FURTHER. As enthusiastic as France and Britain were about the no-fly zone, there was a danger that if we participated the U.S. would own the operation because we had the capacity.’
  
- President Barack Obama, 15 March 2011


One’s position, then or now, as to whether we should have gotten involved in Libya is irrelevant to the point. We went.

Then, came Syria…

Here we have a willfully blind Obama administration that bought into the 'Assad the Reformer' meme and doesn’t want the headache that Syria brings with it vis-a-vis Iran, Russia, and China. Obama probably understands that there is the potential for a regional or even world war if things go badly. He also wants to satisfy Turkey, which could drag the US into a war if Iran or its proxy, Syria, launches any serious attack merely by invoking Article V of the Nato Treaty. Erdoğan is Obama’s 'bestest' friend and adviser. Obama has also understood that his new buds in Egypt want him to support the rebels. Of course, he also probably understands that countries like Jordan are, rightfully, afraid of what will happen should the rebels prevail – not only will they have to deal with enormous refugee issues (Jordan already has more ‘Palestinian’ refugees than any one else on the planet and has had them for decades), but their governments could easily be targeted for toppling by the ‘democratic’ revolutionaries.

Basically, the 'Arab Spring' has helped spring open the old ‘Persian’ (including allies like Syria) v the ‘Arab World’ rivalry...and there are no good sides.

Hamlet has wrung his hands for more than 2 years. What to do? What to do? What to do?

Run weapons through Turkey to the Syrian rebels and with the help of the Qataris?

Look like he is not going to get militarily involved, which makes Russia and China happy?

Play the good cop-bad cop routine with the mullahs, Ahmadinejad, and the rest of the 12′th’ers in the Hojjatieh Mahdatieh Society, which was so nutty that even the Ayatollah Khomeini banned it? [Ahmadinejad and some of the mullahs, along with a growing amount of officials in the government and IR, are members.] 

Actually, act militarily, which has regional and global implications?

There aren’t any good options. This is another case where it is too bad that both sides in Syria cannot lose, but it is also about issues much, much larger than a civil war in a shithole in the Middle East.  It is also about us...BECAUSE OBAMA HAS MADE IT SO.

Meanwhile, nearly 70,000 Syrians have died and the Muslim World has taken notice that Obama has done nothing to save them…in their eyes (I’m not arguing for intervention, trust me).

So, we see that Obama is in favour of ‘air-raiding villages killing innocent men, women and children’ when it suits him; that Libya was a ‘war of choice;’ that the US under Obama has been ‘indifferent’ to the sufferings of others, especially, those in Syria; and that Obama is willing to ‘meddle in the affairs of other countries’ when he wants to do so; etc.

Many in the Muslim World understand that Obama is not on their side. He is on the side of the Muslim Brotherhood. How often has Obama spoken out about what is happening to Coptic Christians? To the young in places like Egypt that did not topple oppressive, militaristic regimes only to see them replaced with oppressive, theocratic regimes? To Muslims of different sects or from different tribes?  No, unsurprisingly, he has not. 

It is a well-known FACT in countries like Egypt that the Obama Administration has been infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood and that it believes that, by backing the MB, it has chosen a side that it can control. It would be funny, if it didn’t have such tragic ramifications for the US, the West, and the Middle East, itself.

They are also beginning to understand something else:

What is the difference between Libya and Syria?

As I pointed out repeatedly at the time, Libya supplies a great deal of oil to France, the UK, and Italy.


http://www.france24.com/en/files/element_multimedia/image/libya-oil-map.jpg



In addition to Europe's dependence on oil produced and exported BY Libya at the time, many of its oil companies held drilling rights to major oil fields and had massive investment in infrastructure in the country:




The people in areas of Libya, who were rebelling, were IN THE EAST - like Benghazi - and, just coincidentally, of course, those were the people that we claimed we had a 'responsibility to protect.'  

European dependence on Libyan oil and its companies' (many state-owned) investments in the country WERE the reasons that the European countries wanted to go in militarily. Everyone there knew it.

Syria doesn’t have very much oil. So, while American oil companies never won a single lease in the Iraqi oilfield sales, which was the alleged reason that America attacked Saddam Hussein, according to many on the Left, the fact of the matter is oil was a huge reason, if not the entire reason, for the move on Libya.



  
Obama sold himself to the Muslim World as ‘different than Bush’ and a man, who because he had lived amongst them, understood them. If anyone is looking for a reason why America’s popularity in the Muslim World is worse now than it was during even the Bush administration, that’s it. He sold himself as one thing and has proven to be another. He said that he wasn’t Bush and he cared. He has proven otherwise…repeatedly. No one is more bitter than the one that fell for the ruse in the first place.

Libya and Syria have exposed Obama to a lot of the Muslim World in even a way that his indifference to the Green Revolution did not.

Last year, even BIG PROGRESSIVES like Michael Tomasky said that Obama would go to war with Syria, was just a matter of time and we might as well prepare ourselves.


‘We’re going to war with Syria…Obviously, Obama’s not going to want to get entangled in anything this year with the election looming. But get ready for the march to Damascus, or at least bombs over Damascus, in 2013.’

- Michael Tomasky,  We're Going to War With Syria, The Daily Beast, 13 June 2012


Apart from the fact that ObamaFirsters like Tomasky are despicable hypocrites, who rightfully owe George W Bush and Dick Cheney sincere apologies according to some BIG PROGRESSIVES like Glenn Greenwald and disgust me with their cries for interventionism, I can't agree with them on Obama and Syria.  Yes, he drew a 'red line' ... but Obama draws red lines with his Bic disappearing ink ballpoint pens.  They are meaningless.  Obama will ONLY go into Syria if it is good for him politically.  Syria posed the exact same humanitarian crisis that Libya did, but the difference is that it has actually happened in the former.  Obama had as much reason to act militarily in Syria as he did in Iraq, but he drew a 'red line' that has been crossed (probably by both sides).  He hasn't acted.  My bet is that he will not act.

Meanwhile, Iran, Russia, China, and North Korea are watching...


Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell



1 comment:

Knighthawk said...

Well put.