Category Archives: Syria

Step Down Or Step Up?

Among the ongoing myths of the Republican party is that President Obama is not behaving in the same manner as prior presidents who stood tall for America and refused to back down in the face of tyranny. The assumption is that if a president goes to war, they are standing “tall for democracy.” Secretary of State John Kerry made clear to the Davos World Economic Forum that his role is to further the goal of democracy without employing force. He is upset at claims “that somehow America is disengaging from the world, the myth that America is pulling back or giving up or standing down.” Those assumptions are based on a theory the only was to stand up is to employ military force. Kerry noted that to many,the absence of military forces means the US is “somehow absent from the arena.”

Let’s look at the record:

1. The attack on South Korea was met with troops, not only from America, but from dozens of nations of the world. The independence of South Korea was preserved.

2. We all know how use of the military failed in Vietnam at a cost of over 50,000 American lives.

3. The Gulf War was fought, not only by American soldiers, but those from over twenty nations. It concluded successfully.

4. We all know what happened and continues to happen in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Use of military force in Syria would only lead to another civil war and emergence of more and more Muslim terrorists.

Who Is The Terrorist?

Syria and Turkey are engaged in a conflict as to which nation is really the terrorist one. Syrian Foreign Minister Muallam argues that Turkish attacks on Kurds within its boundary constitute acts of terrorism along with its support of militants who are engaged in a war to overthrow the Syrian government. Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu responded with “we all know who the terrorists in Syria are.” In reality, there are numerous nations engaged in acts of terrorism. Of course, “terrorism” comes in various degrees of death and destruction. There is no question the horror of the Syrian civil war is not yet matched by other horrible actions on the part of Turkey. The thousands who have been brutalized, murdered by the Syrian government are not matched by Turkish attacks on Kurds or the governments brutalizing of its own population, including leading the world in arresting journalists.

Perhaps, the world needs a new Reality TV program in which contestants vie to prove they represent the most terrorist nation in the world. I wonder if there might be category about how nations brutalize the poor. I assume the US might enter that category.

Invite Iran To Syria Talks

The conference which includes nations from Europe, Russia and China will shortly be meeting to discuss the possibility of a transition government in Syria that would prepare a process of ending the conflict. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon invited Iran to participate in the conference. This has aroused fury in the United States and among many in Europe, and thus the invitation was withdrawn. Let us examine the record:

1. Iran is a major supplier of President Assad and has aided his ability to survive this civil war.

2. Iran is also supplying aid to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

3. Iran is desperately seeking to end sanctions and once again become part of normal international economic activities.

4. It is in the national interests of Iran to see the end of conflict and war which drain their economic resources.

An invitation to Iran allows President Rouhani an opportunity to display that his goals entail ending conflict and restoring peace to the region. First, allow Iran an opportunity to work for peace in Syria, then, it opens possibilities for Iran to take the next step of working with Israel to resolve its differences.

As the great British leader, Winston Churchill, once said: “Jaw, jaw, not war, war!”

Assad Survives While Rebels Founder!

Once upon a time in a land that is known as “Syria” there lived a cruel dictator who made life miserable for anyone who opposed his rule. So, many good people in the land of Syria rose in rebellion. They demonstrated, but there was no change. They shouted but there was no change and the cruel dictator continued to oppress his people. Finally, many people secured guns and other weapons of war and challenged the armed forces of the dictator. Battles raged, thousands were killed and into the land of Syria came hordes of men and women who also hated the tyrant that ruled the land. Cities were bombed by airplanes so rebels began to bomb areas of Syria that were under control of the government. A year passed and thousands died. A year passed and thousands fled the land. Another year passed with death and death and destruction and millions had fled their homes.

As in all rebellions against tyrants, rebels eventually turn on one another. Now, in Syria there are groups connected with al-Qaeda, there are groups connected with Islamist fundamentalists there are groups which seek to create a secular democratic society and there are groups led by some local rebel. President Assad is a “survivor.” He now claims to seek a “ceasefire” in order to create peace. He proposed to end fighting in Aleppo and urged everyone to end fighting. Naturally, rebels are do divided they can not agree on anything other than to continue fighting and fighting.

So, in the end of this tale, the bad, bad, dictator is now urging peace and prosperity. Such is usually NOT the way a fairy tale concludes!

Assad One Talks With Assad Two

The mystery of what has been going on in Syria for the past three years has finally been clarified for this writer. It is now clear that in Syria there are two Bashar al-Assad characters and they vie with one another to be present on the stage of life. Assad I is a cruel, hateful person who is absorbed with the desire for power and will murder and kill with impunity even the people he governs in order to retain power. Assad I has only one thought in his mind and that is retention of power forever. However, there is an Assad II, who actually thinks about the meaning of his religion and seeks to govern according to the doctrine of the Koran in a desire for peace and friendship with all nations. Assad II met with Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and made clear the threat to peace in the Middle East is not the actions of Assad I but those who ruled Saudi Arabia.

He described the role of Saudi Arabia and its Wahhabi religion as the main source of violence in the region. “The Syrian people and some peoples in the region know how serious is the threat of Wahhabism.” The Saudis who fiercely spread this form of the Muslim religion have caused terrorism in Afghanistan and been the model for al-Qaeda. Terrorism has been the goal of Saudi Arabia for years and until its form of extremism is ended, there can be no peace in the Middle East.

Just think about it, Assad II is not that bad a guy!!

Syria Solution?

During the past two years the only word that describes the situation in Syria is “chaos.” The horror of President Bashar al-Assad is, all too often, matched by the horror and evil of those opposing his tyrannical rule. Various Islamist groups have emerged along with al-Qaeda, in order to vie for which can outdo the other in murdering innocent people and leaving cities devastated with the end of normal life activities. US Secretary of State John Kerry has met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in order to work out a solution, or to be more accurate, any solution to the current chaos which reigns throughout the land. Kerry said it may now “may be possible for convoys to access local cease fire areas.” In other words, this means if local opposition groups will hold off from attacking government positions then it might just be possible to get food and water and medical care to people in these areas. There is even talk of a cease fire in Aleppo.

The problem in January, 2014 is that those opposing Assad really do not care for any solution that does not entail their continued control of certain areas. The 2.5 million people who have fled or who live in areas in which daily bombing is common are no longer on the minds of opposition groups. Power is the only thing they consider and that means, continue their control of a specific area of Syria. The reason why violence initially arose is no longer the agenda. The problem is that no group any longer which opposes Assad has any other agenda but their continued existence.

Broken Iraq Still Broken

We just concluded the tenth anniversary of our invasion of Iraq by the gold dust trio of Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld who promised the American people the end of Saddam Hussein, the end of his threats to blast the American nation to pieces, and the arrival of peace, prosperity and democracy to the people of Iraq. Enough has been written concerning how the dynamic trio lied through their teeth about Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) so there is no need to repeat what others already have made clear, no such things existed except in the minds of our Republican masters in Washington. Today, Republicans in Congress argue that wars in the Middle East were caused by the black dude from Kenya, one Barack Obama. At this moment, al-Qaida, the organization initially destroyed by General Petraeus and then by President Obama are in control of the Iraq city of Fallujah. Check with veterans of the Iraq war who fought or were wounded, to capture that city from al-Qaida. Sorry, you can not check with the four thousand Americans who died fighting in Iraq.

Saddam Hussein is dead. Half of the 900,000 Christians in Iraq have fled for their lives after Christian American leaders installed a fundamentalist Muslim government in power and drove out the secular forces of Saddam Hussein. Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki refused to work with Sunni Muslims which allowed al-Qaida to return. Now Maliki asks Sunni Muslims to drive out al-Qaida. I trust Americans understand what I have just written. The leader who destroyed cooperation with Sunni Muslims is asking the people he hates to do his job of bringing stability to Iraq!!

Play Iranian Trump Card

Current negotiations with Iran over nuclear development issues can be an entry into involving Iran in a broader range of issues within the Middle East. People like Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fail to grasp that forging closer relations with Iran can lead to resolving many other issues. For example, current nations engaged in talks with Iran could suggest it use its influence with the Syrian government to halt air bombing of opposing areas within the country. If Iran could simply do this, it would provide evidence of its interest in a long term resolution of its conflict with other nations and the United Nations. Iran should be invited to serve on any negotiating committee that works with Syrians on ending the civil war. Iran has the potential to become an important player-alongside Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia–in creating a new Middle East. Remember:

1. Middle Eastern nations have large numbers of well educated people.

2. The Middle East has yet to become a factor in technology development.

3. A Middle Eastern Union-akin to the European Union, would transform this area into a new world center of innovation.

All nations benefit with the creation of a Middle Eastern Union.

After Assad Comes…???

Sergei Lavrov, Foreign Minister of Russia, shocked many observers by his recent comments concerning the question that is continually ignored, “what happens in Syria if President Bashar al-Assad is compelled to surrender power?” Which group or groups would then emerge to take over power and run the country? In other words, if Assad and his Alawites are compelled to give up power, would Islamists connected to al-Qaeda or other such extremist groups then emerge, seize power, and create a new civil war between those seeking an Islamist society and those desiring a more secular one? For those who have forgotten, the United States defeated secular ruler Saddam Hussein and brought into Iraq, the men of al-Qaeda who have transformed the country into a hell hole of violence and murder that makes difficult getting through a day without some bombing that leaves dozens killed or wounded.

So, what next for Syria? If Assad left tomorrow, there would be not one, but at least three civil wars, taking place in Syria. This is not to argue for retaining Assad, but to urge calm and thought concerning what happens if he decides to leave. Does anyone have any plans??

Syrian Fall Out

Civil war drags on and on in Syria but its impact on the entire region is spreading rather than declining. Lebanon is in turmoil and there are signs a new civil war can emerge in that nation. Hezbollah and other pro-Assad groups in Lebanon are engaging with Israel soldiers on their borders in ways that only spell disaster for their nation. An Israel soldier was killed by a sniper leading to retaliatory fire from Israel troops and in the end two Lebanese soldiers were dead. The Lebanese press claims the sniper finally reported back to base. It is also clear that at this point, no desire to escalate the situation is apparent on either side. However, danger still exists.

There are rogue elements in the Lebanese army who would love to escalate the situation in order to have a war. There are political forces within Israel who seek some excuse to escalate the situation which might result in the Israel Defense Force moving forward. Both Israel and Lebanon contain factions whose goal is war and conquest. West Bank settlers seek some excuse to drive out all Muslims from “their West Bank.” Hezbollah factions seek some excuse to rain down missiles on Israel in order to expand the Syrian civil war into a total war in the Middle East.