Politico.com, August 26: “Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday called Syria’s use of chemical weapons “undeniable” and said President Barack Obama will “be making an informed decision about how to respond to this indiscriminate use of chemical weapons.”
Politico went on to report: “Setting the stage for eventual military intervention, Kerry said in a statement from the State Department that what is happening on the ground in Syria “is real and it is compelling” and requires a response from the international community. Attacks on civilians by Bashar al-Assad’s regime are, he said, “a moral obscenity” that “should shock the conscience of the world.”
“Make no mistake: President Obama believes there must be accountability for those who would use the world’s most heinous weapons against the world’s most vulnerable people. Nothing today is more serious, and nothing is receiving more serious scrutiny,” Kerry said.”
I simply do not believe the White House. I regard the poison attack as a “false flag operation” designed to draw the U.S into the conflict by those who would benefit from that. Assad has no reason to use poison gas. By most reports, his forces were doing well against the rebels. However, it must also be said that usually reliable news sources confirm the Syrian use of poison gas.
Even so, I think Americans are being set up to engage in yet another fruitless Middle East conflict. Worse yet, I think the only beneficiaries of overthrowing the Assad regime will be the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda. This is one reason why Russia is supporting Assad, having had to fight its own wars against Islamic terrorists. And Russia wants to retain its Mediterranean port in Syria, a strategic military asset.
I am not saying that Assad’s Syria is a nation with whom the U.S. should align itself. Indeed, Syria is already aligned with Russia, China and Iran. Do we really want to take them on if a military intervention should escalate?
It is a no-win situation and, so far as the Middle East is concerned, the U.S. has been making some very bad decisions for a very long time. In the case of Afghanistan and Iraq, instead of having a limited objective, we ended up staying on for years.
The Saudis want Assad overthrown, but for their own reasons, and it can be argued that what the Saudis want, the U.S. often finds itself wanting as well. We still import a significant amount of the oil we consume from Saudi Arabia. The last time the Saudis imposed an embargo in the 1970s, Jimmy Carter became a one-term president.
Wars often start out small and then escalate. They are often the result of emotions rather than strategic goals. In the case of the U.S., the decisions made by the Obama administration have reduced America to a level of impotence as a former world power. We look weak because we have been weak, beginning with Obama’s Middle East apology tour.
Obama backed the Muslim Brotherhood when Hosni Mubarak, a longtime ally, was overthrown. The failure to protect our consulate in Benghazi got our Libyan ambassador and three others killed. How many bad decisions regarding the Middle East does this administration have to make before we become more skeptical of its judgment and intentions?
The mainstream media will support anything the White House says and restrict access to information that we need to make an informed decision. Most certainly, the drums of war are being beaten.
The great problem that Americans and the West in general have with the Middle East is trying to understand why it acts so inhumanly. The short answer is Islam. The longer answer is the many conflicting tribes, religions, and interests in the region. And ultimately the answer is all about OIL.
Right now, however, is a time for restraint. To engage militarily in another Middle East adventure strikes me as a very bad idea.
© Alan Caruba, 2013.