Category Archives: Syria

So, What About Syria?

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have made income inequality the main issue in their contest to become the candidate for president, but one more terrorist attack and  many Americans will be more interested in physical security than financial security. Neither candidate has offered any sort of foreign policy program that deals with this key issue. There is a large segment of the American population that is scared stiff. So, what can Bernie or Hillary offer that might address this issue?

1. It is time to be realistic. It is time to call for a new anti-terror alliance that involves the US, Europe, Russia and Iran.

2. During World War II the US and England formed an alliance with the Soviet Union. Yes, the Soviet Union was led by a dictator who would make Vladimir Putin come across as a choir boy. But, VICTORY was the name of the game.

3. Iran has boots on the ground in Syria–the Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah, so let the US offer Special Operations and air might.

4. It is time to make clear to Turkey the Kurds are part of the anti-terrorist equation.

Yes, terrorism can be defeated in Syria. So, Bernie and Hillary, offer a damn plan!

Putin Scores A Goal For Russia

No, Barack Obama is not responsible for problems in the Middle East, but he IS responsible for failure to develop a coherent diplomatic strategy for the region. A few years ago I asked students in a graduate course dealing with international relations as to how would they describe America’s foreign policy in the Middle East, not a single student had any conception. On the other hand, Russian leader Vladimir Putin HAS been pursuing a foreign policy. What is it?

1. Create an  image that Russia is a powerful nation which shapes world policy.

2. Enter the Syrian mess with a short term strategy of attacking anti-Assad forces and then getting the  hell out of there. Obama has insisted that ANY policy that dealt with Syria would result in America getting bogged down in Syria. Putin has proved there were other alternatives other than -full military commitment to the region or NO involvement.

3. Putin pulled off a fast one. He is now a key figure in determining what now happens in Syria. Any American led effort must now meet the approval of Vladimir Putin.

4. In one sense, the Putin policy simply buys time for President Assad, it is specifically a short term policy that enables Russia to accomplish short term goals in Syria while still retaining the option to get the hell out of there.

The question remains– did the Obama administration have other options in  Syria other then get involved or remain out?  Reality is that President Obama never had any policy other than –have nothing to  do with the Syria calamity.

So, What About Syria?

It has become increasing clear that neither General Trump nor General Cruz have much to offer about  the situation in Syria. I know they want to carpet bomb some place but just about every place in Syria has been bombed and bombed. At this moment, believe it or not, there is a strange quiet in this forlorn area of the world. The guns are sort of silent, trucks with food are creeping into isolated cities, and just about every group has reached the point of exhaustion. Al Nusra,the al-Qaeda group is furious at ISIS which stole its prominence, and the Free Syrian Army just is tired of the year after year attempt to overthrow President Assad.

The Russians are leaving, but the Iranian Revolutionary Guards remain to support President Assad. I do realize Republicans want to shoot someone, but there is simply no group around willing or ready to shoot anyone. The reality is that President Assad will be with us for the near future. About the only effective fighters against Assad remain the P.K.K. Kurds and they are hated by the Turks.

Anyway, all is quiet on the eastern front–at least for a day.

 

All Quiet On Syrian Front?

Believe it or not but we have now witnessed two entire days without massive fighting in Syria. I realize this sudden interlude is bothering Republican military heroes such as Donald Trump or Ted Cruz who want to carpet bomb someone to prove they understand how to win wars against terrorists. However, for the most part, rebels against Assad are enjoying the first quiet time in years. OK, so the cease fire agreement is not 100% satisfactory since Russia retains the right to bomb “terrorists.”

The real question is whether this strange interlude could result in something that is long term in Syria. So, what are the options for American leaders?

1. They must accept the reality that for the immediate future, there will be a President Assad in Syria.

2. They must accept the reality there will be areas set aside for various rebel groups.

3. The US must realize that Russian is now a power in the Middle East.

Any good news in sight?

1. It is now time for the US to work with Iran in order to get the Russians out of the Middle East. Sorry, Republicans, but Iran is the only hope right now to create some sort of quiet time.

2. It is time for Israel to shut up about the “Iranian menace.”

3. The people of Syria need PEACE AND QUIET so they will cease heading for Europe.

Such is reality. A concept that is foreign to the minds of those seeking to become president of the United States.

Let’s Explain Syria!

The other day I received a phone call from Donald Trump and Marco and Ted which requested my presence because neither of these Ivy League minds can explain who  is who or where in Syria. I was requested to explain this nation.

1. The original inhabitants of Syria were called Syrians.

2. The Awaite minority  is the homeland President Assad. The main occupation of Alawites is to make certain one of them is always running Syria.

3. There are ISIS groups in Syria who want to control tourist places so they can bomb them to hell.

4.There are al-Qaeda guys in Syria fighting somebody,sorry, it changes from day to day.

5. There are the Kurds who are liked by Americans and hated by the Turkish government.

6. The nice Kurds kill terrorists.

7. The bad Kurds, according  the Turkish  government want to take over Turkey.,

8. Turkey is an ally of the US.

9, There is a Free Syrian Army which wants to end the Assad government.

10. There is the not so free Syrian Army which likes President Assad.

11. There, as always, is al-Qaeda pursuing its own aims which are centered around the idea of power–keeping it, that is.

12. The Saudi Arabia planes kill bad Syrians who like Assad.

13. Then,there are Saudis who love Assad.

14. Then, there is Assad who loves the president’s job and the loot that goes with it.

15. Oh, US, French, UK, Jordan and assorted Europeans bomb Syria and have absolutely no idea who are the bad or who are the good guys. Just bomb and bomb, by the law of averages they are bound to kill at least one bad guy each day–along with a few other folks.

16. Then there are the Russians who just enjoy a good war they can maybe win.

I trust this clears up the  Syrian war.

Who Are Bad Guys In Syria?

I realize that Republicans want to carpet bomb Syria into oblivion, but these days it is mighty hard to figure out who in the hell to bomb. For example:

1. There is the Free Syrian Army which hates President Assad and the Russians.

2. Turkey wants to bomb anti-Assad groups but also wants to bomb Kurds which are anti-Assad fighters.

3. The Russians are bombing enemies of President Assad but sort of ignoring ISIS and al Qaeda.

4. The US, England,France, Jordan and god knows who else is bombing Assad and his allies but not Russian ones.

5. The Democratic Union army is sort of anti-Assad but also anti those fighting Assad.

6. The Iranians help Assad and the Saudis help anti-Assad and also attack some  anti-Assad fighters.

We challenge anyone to come up with a score card as to who are the right guys to bomb!

Bad Times In ISIS Land

These are not the best of times in ISIS land what with Russian bombings, American bombings, Turkish bombings, and even Saudi Arabia bombings. Then again,there is always the problem that if Donald Trump is elected he will personally lead the wipe out of ISIS based on his great, great plan. ISIS us cutting salaries ending free utilities, reducing marriage bonuses, and worse of all, no more free energy drinks or Snicker bars! We  offer some advice.

1. Instead of beheading, why not switch to ransom?

2. Make a deal with Walmart to sell black tee shirts with the ISIS logo.

3. How about tours which include one beheading?

4. I have a hunch some of those brides after a few weeks in ISIS land would not mind being married off to some rich Arabs.

5. ISIS might offer to provide protection for Trump when he speaks in Texas or the southwest.

 

Who Gets Killed Today?

Each day we pick up a newspaper to discover how many  people got killed in Syria. Each day, some commentator in Syria shows pictures of dead bodies, and it is absolutely certain at least three of four will be children.  Latest figures indicate that since Russia began its bombing offense a few  months ago, at least 1,000 civilians have been killed. The Russians insist they also killed  893 Islamic militants. Most probably the dead bad guys are those who oppose President Assad.

My questions are:

How does a pilot know exactly which guy down below is a bad guy?

Who collects this data– the pilots or some people in some office, somewhere?

Is there any possibility, even a slim one, that innocent people also die during these attacks?

P.S. The other guys killed over 4,000 bad guys.

US –Get Ready To Bomb And Bomb

The ongoing mantra of Republican presidential candidates is lets have a  bombing party one day after the next.  Ted wants to carpet bomb the desert, and Donald has a Great Plan to bomb the hell out of ISIS who hide in cities. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter made clear that Drones are going to enter the campaign against ISIS so you Muslim bad people better learn to duck.  “We will begin by collapsing ISIS control over both cities(Raqqa and Mosul) and then engage in  elinimation operations.”

In other words, identify a city where ISIS is fighting, send in the planes, then send in the drones, and wipe out the bad people. Unfortunately, in the  end some boots on the ground will really have to do the work of wiping out ISIS. Now, exactly who are those boots on the ground? They certainly are not American boots!

Silence Of The Imams

The United States of America has played an important role in creating the mess which now dominates the Middle East. Syria is simply one example of misguided efforts by the Bush administration and Republicans seeking the presidency. However, the reality is that civil war rages in Syria and it is based upon conflict between Muslim groups. At points it is impossible to understand who is killing who in what constitutes the “nation” of Syria.

But, there is a strange silence about daily deaths in Syria. Finally, the Syrian government allowed trucks loaded with supplies to enter the besieged town of  Madaya. Reports indicate dozens have died of malnutrition and thousands are rapidly reaching that stage. But, the amazing aspect of this situation is the silence emanating from Muslim clerics. Where are the Martin Luther Kings marching to support Muslims dying? Where are demands from Muslim leaders for an end to murdering innocent Muslims? T

The silence falls on deaf ears!