Tuesday, September 04, 2012

What Are We Doing In Syria, Anyway?

With growing alarm, our government's meddling in the affairs of other sovereign nations, including arming and abetting war on these governments in complete violation of the U.S. Constitution, is escalating with virtually no scrutiny by the Congress or the American news media. The so-called loyal opposition who challenged our military involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq throughout the George W. Bush presidency has seemingly been silenced since the election of Barack Obama, who was one of the leading voices in Congress opposed to those wars. Since Obama's election, we have withdrawn most of our troops from Iraq, but the number of soldiers dying in the war in Afghanistan has gotten much worse than it was under Bush. With Obama's blessing, our government provided aid and comfort to the Muslim Brotherhood in their successful effort to overthrow a friendly government in Egypt. Our government, through NATO, provided air power and armed assistance to the rebels who overthrew the government of Libya. And now the CIA and NATO are actively involved in an effort to overthrow the government in Syria.

Reports of our own government and news media have been less than truthful in explaining to the American people what is taking place in Syria. Objective observers seem to agree that the Assad government has the backing of the vast majority of the Syrian people, even if it is not a friendly ally of the U.S. U.S. government and American news reports have falsely portrayed the Syrian government of waging war on its own people. The reality is that the armed conflict is being waged largely by mercenaries armed and backed by the U.S. government, who have flooded into the country in an effort to destabilize the government. What is particularly alarming is the fact that the very same al Qaeda terrorists on which our country blamed the 9/11 terrorist attacks on our country are flooding into the country in order to train and command the U.S.-backed rebels. Their goal is to establish an Islamic state, not a democratic-elected government. Ironically, the U.S. invasion of Iraq drove many to join al Qaeda. Recent media reports blamed a massacre that left hundreds of innocent civilians dead on the government. Accounts of the victims' families, however, contradict those accounts. They hold the rebels responsible for the massacre. President Obama claims our government is only providing non-lethal aid to the rebels. The New York Times contradicted that claim, reporting that the CIA had helped funnel arms to rebel groups" before later revising its story to claim the CIA was only identifying groups within Syria that were receiving arms. Other news reports confirm the CIA has smuggled Stinger missiles into Syria to help the rebels take out the Syrian government's warplanes just like it did with the Afghan rebels fighting the Russians during its occupation of Afghanistan during the 1980s.

Does anyone see a pattern here? We fund the Afghan rebels in the war against the Russians, a military movement that gave birth to al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. A hostile government led by the Taliban emerges to run Afghanistan after the Russians leave, which provides a base of operation for al Qaeda to carry out terrorist activities against the West, including the U.S. We go to war in Afghanistan to destroy al Qaeda and to kill bin Laden. We go to war in Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein, a man our own government helped put in power back in the 1960s by backing coups that brought Hussein's Baath Party to power, because he supposedly has weapons of mass destruction and is aiding al Qaeda. Conditions in both countries are as bad and anti-American as ever, if not worse. We're now arming rebels in Syria who are being commanded and trained by al Qaeda. Meanwhile, U.S. troops are dying by the thousands and are suffering permanent physical and psychological injuries from pointless wars that make the world a less safe place to live and one in which hostilities against are own country are being elevated. How much longer will the American people allow us to be played by our government for fools?


varangianguard said...

And then, would Romney be "better"? If yes, how so exactly?

Jeff Cox said...

Wow. Just wow. Gary, I love your blog and you do a great job covering local issues, but on foreign policy the despicable Ron Paul has rotted your normally good sense. This post os so bad I'm not even sure where to start, but I'll start with this statement:

"Objective observers seem to agree that the Assad government has the backing of the vast majority of the Syrian people, even if it is not a friendly ally of the U.S."

And just who are those "objective" observers? Ronulans? The Syrian state media. The Iranian News Agency? Hezboallah?

The truth is this: the Assad regime has been hated by the Syrian people for decades. Bashar Assad, like his just-as-hated father and his entire inner circle, are all Alawites from a small town. The Alawites are, arguably, a sect of Shia Islam. But the Shiites don't consider the Alawites real Shiites, so they hate him. The Sunnis, who make up the vast majority of the Syrian population, hate him because they do consider him to be a Shiite. And everyone hates him because the only people he allows in lucrative government positions of power are friends from that small town. And that's not even getting into the murderous history of the Assad regime. Hint: Google "Hama." And did you forget that he was responsible for the murder of the elected president of Lebanon, Rafik Hariri? Because he, like his father, want Lebanon, as well as Israel, Jordan and the southern Turkish province of Hatay, to be part of "Greater Syria."

The Assad regime is indeed not an ally of the US. The are a declared enemy. They have ben a tool for the Iranian mullahs, another declared enemy of the US, to expand their power and influence into the Mediterranean, meaning they bomb Israel and try to start trouble everywhere they can. Their main weapon is Hezboallah, who is also a declared enemy of the US, responsible for the deaths of more than 300 US Marines in a bombing in 1983, and regularly brutalize the Lebanese people. They are bad guys. We are good guys.

And Assad was trying to develop nuclear weapons, too, witht he help of the North Koreans, until Israeli commandos took out his lab in 2007. He was never known to have a chemical weapons program, yet now we are warning him to not use what seems to be a vast stockpile of chemical weapons. If he wasn't developing or building chemical weapons, where did he get this vast stockpile? Since you probably won't admit that Saddam Hussein did, in fact, have chemical weapons and stashed them in Syria, you'll have to go with they magically appeared.

And somehow we're the bad guys?

By the way, the US is not in Syria. Not nearly as much as I would prefer, and not really at all. We support people who are, but we have no ground presence there. There is no Constitutional prohibition whatsoever with supporting them.

You and your fellow Ronulans do not understand this one simple truth: the US is not responsible for every evil in the world today. Or even a significant percentage of it. Nor do we deserve the crap we get, like 9/11, which Ron Paul flat-out said we deserved. We are the good guys. People like Assad are the bad guys.

If you wonder why we haev to spend so much effort overseas, it is because history has taught us, whether it's World War II or 9/11, that evil overseas will eventually make its way here. Unless we fight and defeat it over there first.

It is much better to fight a war overseas than to fight it on our own soil. If you have any doubts about that, check out the history of the Second Punic War.

Gary R. Welsh said...

You don't get it, Jeff. Iran will be the biggest winner from regime change in Syria, just like it was in Iraq. Our own U.S. intelligence who debriefed Hussein before he was put to death by hanging said that the only reason he gave the impression he possessed WMD was to intimidate the Iranians from moving militarily against him. The new government of Iraq is much more friendly to Iran than it is to the U.S. after the trillion dollar mistake and the untold cost to American soldiers and their famiilies. It is none of our business. We have no right to continue to meddle in these countries internal affairs. The U.S. has caused so much death and destruction in these countries already through our meddling, not to mention the cost to the American taxpayers. To borrow a phrase from George Romney, you've been brainwashed by the neocons. Our meddling only further bolsters those pushing a radical Islamic agenda within the region.

Gary R. Welsh said...

And no, I don't expect Romney's foreign policy to be any different. Obama's foreign policies have simply built on the failed policies of the Bush-Clinton-Bush years. It doesn't matter which party in in the White House. The same folks dictate our self-defeating foreign policies.

Jeff Cox said...

Huh? Iran will benefit from regime change in Syria? They could, of course, but given that they've sent members of the Revolutionary Guards -- and a lot of them -- to Syria to fight for Assad, it seems the mullahs who run Iran would disagree with you.

That is another reason why the Syrian population hates Assad: they see him as a tool (which he is) of Iran and dependent on their foreign troops. Arabs and Persians do not like each other.

Gary R. Welsh said...

It's quite hilarious, Jeff, that you would even mention Iran's support of Assad. What assistance Iran is giving the Syrian government is happening because the Iraqi government we helped bring to power is more closely allied with Iran than us and is helping shuttle resources from Iran through Iraq and across the border to Syria. The new Muslim Brotherhood president in Egypt wants Assad gone. That should tell you something. I'd take Assad over Morsi any day. Here'a taste of Morsi's leadership:

"Opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood and President Morsi’s Islamist agenda is being brutally suppressed. Several Arabic web sites reported earlier this month that opponents had been crucified naked on trees by Brotherhood supporters, leading to two deaths and dozens of injuries," stated a Barnabas Fund alert.

Some Egyptian news outlets and personnel that are critical of the Brotherhood and the Morsi government have been attacked, censored and closed down. For example, a large group of Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters beat the editor-in-chief of the independent and secular Youm 7 newspaper and damaged its facilities. Meanwhile, jihadists prevented a TV broadcaster from entering the station’s building under threat of death.

Television channels Okasha and Al Fareen were taken off air, despite Morsi’s promise that “no station or media will be shut down in my era." And a Christian-owned private newspaper had its latest editions confiscated by secret police after an Egyptian court -- exercising Sharia law -- ruled that reporters had insulted Morsi and stirred up sectarian discord.

The Muslim Brotherhood announced it has appointed dozens of new editors for major state-owned newspapers."


Jeff Cox said...


Coming as it does from a "Blame America First" ideology, your grasp of the facts, the history and the cause-effect relationship in the Middle East is sorely lacking.

Iran has given support to Syria for years, much of which Syria in turn, gives to Hezboallah in Lebanon. Iran does not need to go through Iraq because they have long-established, less politically sensitive sea routes through the Syrian port of Latakia and Hezboallah controlled ports in Lebanon.

Second, Iraq is indeed cozying up to Iran. And you know why? Because, under pressure from people like you, Barack Obama is pulling US troops out of Iraq. With us gone they will have little to defend themselves against the Iranian mullahs. That one's on you, champ.

If you want to complain about the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, I'm with you. That is on Barack Obama to an extent, inasmuch as he helped get rid of US ally Mubarak. But part of it is on the Egyptian people, who were stupid enough to elect the Muslim Brotherhood into power. We are no obligation to respect democracy in a country wehre the people are so stupid as to elect the Muslim Brotherhood.

In any event, you complain that US meddling removed Mubarak and put the Musim Brotherhood in power. That is correct. But, if memory serves, you had also complained that US meddling kept Mubarak in power in the first place.

You can't have it both ways.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Under what legal authority, Jeff, do we have to occupy and dictate who runs these sovereign nations? It's that approach to foreign policy that has turned so much of the world against us. All of the good deeds of our people are wiped out because of the incessant meddling in the internal affairs of these countries that leads to so much death and destruction within them. Our founding fathers didn't fight the American Revolution against the British so we could gain our independence and then turn around and do the very same things to other nations we faulted the British for doing to us.

Jeff Cox said...


Put the Ron Paul glasses down. The world does not hate us because we "meddle" in their affairs (if anything, we don't meddle in their affairs enough). They hate us because we are rich and powerful. And because we don't follow a barbaric interpretation of a religion not accepted by the vast majorioty of our population.