Thoughts on the Syrian Conundrum

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Syria warIn his address to the nation on September 10th, President Obama made a strong, very believable case against the very existence of Chemical (Serin gas) weapons. Especially when these weapons are in the armory’s of terrorist nations or nations that sponsor terrorism.

He also made a convincing argument for action against Syria.

He did not, however, explain why the civilized nations of the world are not acting and why the need to act has been laid at the feet of our nation; why the United States should act unilaterally to neutralize this threat. It’s a heavy and dangerous burden to bare just so we can claim the mantle of “American Exceptionalism.” It’s obvious that our exceptionalism, our willingness to carry war to rogue states, means nothing — even to the people of our supposed allied nations — who have made themselves invisible for the occasion.

Complete inaction, as Obama explained, is the same as a sanction and would effectively erode the world-wide ban against weapons of mass destruction (chemical or nuclear) and make insane megalomaniacs around the world feel safe to use them and or to give them to terrorists who would delight in killing anyone who does not share their social or religious beliefs.

So action is needed, I can certainly go along with that; but the action that is required is not, in my opinion, one superpower possibly endangering the world by threatening a limited strike and assuming that that is all that is required to make the bullies cower; the needed action is dozens of nations with their guns and missiles pointed at Syria and Iran.

OR . . . Perhaps the answer is Russia!

One can only guess at his motivations, but President Putin brokered a deal last week with Syrian President Assad that would have Syria join the International Chemical Weapons ban and allow all his chemical weapons to be placed into the hands of an independent 3rd party and eventually destroyed.

It’s very likely that this is a sincere effort because President Putin is just as afraid of chemical weapons getting into the hands of terrorists (which could easily happen in the midst of the ongoing Syrian Civil War) as we are.

Putin assisting President Obama out of his (our) bad situation in Syria might ‘stick in the craw’ of Obama and most Americans but it looks like (assuming that this IS a sincere effort on the part of Russia) Russia has done the United States a large favor. Putin has, of course, done himself a large favor at the same time by making himself look like a hero in the eyes of the world and possibly winning a nomination for the next Nobel Peace Prize.

The only real problem is that Putin has embarrassed President Obama and the American government by effortlessly resolving what could have, if Obama had muddled into this by doing it HIS way, turned into a very large crisis.

Another problem is that America has to agree to whatever terms are hammered out for the transfer and ultimate destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons inventory. Because Putin’s actions embarrassed us in the eyes of the world and because President Obama may not be man enough to swallow his pride and go along with reasonable terms, this might have a disastrous end after all.

And then there is Secretary of State Kerry. He finally, after all these years has some apparent power and it’s obviously going to his head. Right now he’s in Geneva acting more presidential than our president ever has. He could easily “queer” the whole deal.

If America decides not to go along with a reasonable resolution to the chemical weapons conundrum and proceeds with his “targeted strike” its easy to see Iran getting involved and, from there, all Hell MIGHT break loose.

While all this is going on it’s interesting to note that the Obama Administration has just sent weapons to Al Queda and continues to insist that Assad be removed from office by his opposition. The problem with that is that history (the history of Iran) would likely repeat itself in Syria.

The Shah of Iran, like President Assad, was a brutal ruler but, also like Assad, he was not an enemy of America. President Jimmy Carter didn’t know enough to leave him alone and let his run HIS country the way he wanted, it meant nothing to Carter that the people who were known as his opposition and successors were not only more brutal than the Shah but were sworn enemies of ANY country that did not embrace Shria Law.

In Syria, if history repeats itself and Assad is replaced by an extremist Muslim government (which is almost a certainty) it will be a puppet government to Iran and Israel will have an even more dangerous ‘next door’ neighbor than it has now.

Why then is President Obama arming Assad’s opposition? For the same reason President Carter supported the Shah’s opposition; they are both shallow, narrow minded and self-righteous leaders. They both live in a Fantasy Land where every government is benign and democratic (and Christian). In fact many, if not most, of our Senators and Congressmen seem to have the same fantasy.

It’s time for America to get real and get out of Fantasy Land!