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Let’s suppose you feel Iran is the bigger of the two evils, and that Tehran, Hizballah, and Russia cannot be allowed to have a victory in the Syrian civil war. Therefore, the United States must supply weapons to the rebels despite the fact that they are America-hating Islamists.

I can understand that argument, but first let’s explore the adventure that the United States and European Union is about to embark on.

The cost: U.S. backing for the Sunni Islamist takeover of much of the Middle East. The benefit: denying Syria to Iranian influence after 30 years of it — though of course, Syria won’t come under U.S. influence. Also, many wars may flow from this policy: a Sunni Islamist regime’s war on Israel, Hizballah in Lebanon, the Syrian Kurds, and possibly Iraq (Sunni versus Shia) and Jordan (Islamist subversion to help the Muslim Brotherhood).

If the United States supplies enough weapons to just keep the rebels going, that would be one thing. But American policymakers are likely to be carried away — as often happens to Americans in this situation — and to see rebel victory as the equivalent of good, the heroic freedom fighters battling for the liberation of puritanical Sharia. It doesn’t seem to bother a lot of people to support an anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, anti-woman, anti-gay movement that has already committed atrocities, whose leading organization once collaborated with the Nazis, and about 20 percent of which consists of al-Qaeda supporters.

We have just seen the proliferation of weapons and terrorists following the U.S.-sponsored support of Islamists after the Iraq, Libya, and Afghanistan wars. Moreover, don’t count the rebels out yet, despite the hysteria claiming that Assad is winning — five weeks ago, everyone claimed the rebels were winning. Also — while I don’t want the Syrian regime to win — let’s remember that two short years ago the Obama administration was courting Syria as a potential ally, treating what was still a dreaded dictatorship as if it was one step from singing “Yankee Doodle Dandy.”

Visiting U.S. officials and members of Congress became apologists for the regime. For those remembering these events, the current scene is disgusting. Suddenly Syria became a ferocious dictatorship? It was always a ferocious dictatorship. Suddenly Syria became an ally of Tehran, a stance that the Obama administration claimed two short years ago that it was going to reverse? It has been an ally of Iran for more than 30 years.

How short our memories. Analogies to other recent events are also often ridiculous (World War Two, the Spanish Civil War), made by people who know nothing about Syria. In Iraq, for example, there were viable democratic forces and the United States had real leverage over the situation. While one might want the overthrow of the Assad regime, that just isn’t true in Syria.

In Syria, the United States has not just accepted but backed from the start an exile leadership that not only was dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood but which refuses to even allow a significant representation by liberal moderates and the Kurds. If U.S. policy, soon to be paying the bills and giving the weapons, cannot achieve that, then why give help without conditions? Again, one wants the Assad regime to fall, but cannot Washington even extract any political price for this support of the rebels? Perhaps, from Turkey to get more support for U.S. policy toward Iran from Ankara? Apparently not.

Will the murder of Christians and other rebel atrocities incur any penalties on U.S. backing, or not? Everyone should know that the United States cannot protect a single Syrian civilian from murder and persecution by the rebels.

Who is doing whom a favor?

The strategic issues have also not been fully thought out. Iran is not Nazi Germany, but it is going to get nuclear weapons no matter what happens in Syria. Its ability to project influence into the Arab world is limited to Lebanon — where the United States has always accepted it before — and to a lesser degree to Syria, even less to Iraq. One can make the case that the Sunni Islamists, without a big source of money or arms, are less threatening than Iran. Yet that depends, too, on how Sunni Islamist policy, which largely means the Muslim Brotherhood, develops.

What is needed here are cool-headed evaluations; what we see is bordering on hysteria.

There’s something in the U.S. military culture called “mission creep,” wherein the task given the U.S. forces is extended far beyond the original intention. Also, in military affairs nothing turns out to be as easy as you expect. If, for example, the rebels can’t win otherwise, will there need to be a no-fly zone? Or more intervention? All to produce a likely result of an anti-American terrorist-sponsoring dictatorship? Or perhaps it can be bought off for a while by sending billions of dollars of aid to subsidize a Muslim Brotherhood dictatorship. Already we see the war hysteria building.

So let’s say that Obama sets a policy of sending only limited numbers of light weapons to moderate forces. Naturally, though, the U.S. trainers will not be able to vet every trainee. We know that’s true, and there will no doubt be terrorist-minded and extremist soldiers whose skills will increase thanks to Uncle Sam. Many of them are young; perhaps some of them won ‘t retire after the Syrian civil war ends.

But what’s really worrisome is the next step. Suppose the rebels still aren’t winning — the aides and experts and advisers then explain to the White House that unless more and better weapons are sent, then “our” side will lose. That can’t happen, right? It will be an even more humiliating loss to the Russians, Iranians, Hizballah, and the Syrian regime that not so long ago — just over two years ago — was Obama’s good buddy.

At that point, there comes escalation: more weapons, more American involvement, better arms. That is going to be a big temptation. Who is going to stand up and say “no”?

Now think of the opposite outcome: the rebels quickly reverse the tide of battle, and they are winning. In that case, the officials say, “Just a little more aid, and we can have a big victory.” Once again, mission creep.

And what would the U.S. government do if and when the rebels start murdering civilians? There are people who don’t support Israel and want the United States to reduce help because it is “immorally” doing certain things — are these criticizers of Israel going to accept rebels cutting off heads, wiping out dozens of civilians, shooting prisoners, and even eating a few body parts?

All of these things have already happened and will happen more frequently, and the United States will have no leverage to affect this behavior. The leaders are not in control; the rebels don’t want to do America’s bidding. Will the aid be cut off at that point? No. Too many reputations will be on the line; too much political capital will have been extended.

Meanwhile the Sunni Muslim side — particularly the Sunni Islamist side — will urge the United States on, promising it anything if it puts their friends in power. Obama will believe that the Arabs love America and will support U.S. interests. Until, of course, the day after they take over — or, say, several months afterward — when the Muslim Brotherhood turns on America and the Salafists attack Israel.

There is, however, one possible way out: if the United States can say Iran made us do it by escalating its own involvement in the war.

There is something peculiar happening after the Iranian presidential election. On one hand, the media throughout the West is proclaiming that Iran is now moderate, forgetting that the same thing happened 16 years ago (the election of a relatively moderate president) without changing anything. On the other hand, Iran seems to have become more aggressive and threatening after the election. The Iranian supreme leader directly insulted Obama, saying he was a puppet of Zionist interests and was only elected in a phony process, unlike the freedom enjoyed in Iran.

The point is that Iran may have overplayed its hand, throwing away a wonderful opportunity to fool the West and to get sanctions reduced while still building nuclear weapons. At any rate, this is a big mess and it will not turn out well.

Speaking of big messes, to consolidate the Obama Doctrine — allying or engaging with Sunni Islamist extremists — the United States is now entering public negotiations with the Taliban. The Afghan Taliban, you might remember, was a partner in the September 11, 2001, attacks and has been unrepentant. The supposed price will be that the Taliban, which is killing Americans on a daily basis in Afghanistan, may merely renounce al-Qaeda. But since al-Qaeda doesn’t exist any more in Afghanistan, this is  hardly significant.

Mere words from the no-doubt trustworthy Taliban — will even an apology be required? — will make up for the murder of around 3000 Americans. According to U.S. policy, there is a radical and moderate wing of the Syrian rebels, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood regime, the Turkish stealth Islamist regime, probably now the Iranian regime, and several others as well, no doubt. The Taliban has been calling the Afghan government an American puppet, and the Afghan government reacted to news of the talks angrily, with a feeling of betrayal, and broke off its own talks with the United States.

Sound like a pattern? The U.S. government siding with enemies and subverting historical allies?

Oh: four American soldiers were killed by a Taliban attack the same day these diplomatic developments occurred.

Finally, the new Iranian president has been declared a moderate by much of the Western establishment. First, it is only assumed he is a moderate — true, he was the person out of desperation who was supported by the opposition, but he has a long record as a key national security official who does not differ from the main political line. Second, he is powerless, because the supreme guide is in charge.

Imagine a Cold War in which the United States took the Communist side, and you get a picture of current U.S. policy.

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All Comments   (18)
All Comments   (18)
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Igude wrote:

You should realize I am not simply attacking the Tom Friedman who writes for the NY Times. I rather like him, but over the years I noticed that he unerringly writes things that I WANT TO BELIEVE. On any subject at all from Wal-Mart to Wahhabism.

Great insight! Worth bumping.

Journalists like Friedman keep a captive audience by affirmin their fantasy bubble and maintaining the denial for as long as humanly possible. Individuals are leaving one by one when the cognitive dissonance becomes too great a burden. Every individual has a different breaking point. Some apparently will, for instance, keep on toning "Islam is a religion of peace, Islam is a religion of peace" for as long as their vocal chords hold under the knive of the jihadi sawing their heads off.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Obama is coming out of the closet, showing his true pro-islamic self. Or is it showing More of that self. It really goes back to his 2009 speech in Egypt, he is just more willing to display his sympathy with the greatest long term murderous movement known to Man. He must be getting all giggly.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The seeds of WW III The Obama sowed are starting to sprout. WW III WILL have it's birth in the middle east and The Obama will be the father of it all...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
II’s hopeless. Almost all the West is unteachable

In the House of Commons, on May 2, 1935, Winston Churchill said:

“When the situation was manageable it was neglected, and now that it is thoroughly out of hand, we apply the remedies which then might have effected a cure. There is nothing new in the story. It is as old as the Sibylline books. It falls into that long dismal catalogue of the fruitlessness of experience and the confirmed unteachability of mankind. Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong – these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history.

Peres, Clinton and Blair - The Unteachable Trio

With Nothing to Lose: The Limits of a Rational Iran
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Well, USA is out of the closet, I guess. For decades it has fronted for Saudi-Sunni interests, when those interests were diametrically opposed to American values. Now under Obama it has emerged as an arm of a creeping Sunni caliphate. And all the justified perturbation at the Iranian gov't seems just to mask this sad fact.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
ObamaRx managed to sell himself as a moderate. I guess he thinks he can do the same for Islamic terrorists.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
My head many times does it have to be repeated: without Obama Inc's push towards toppling Egypt, and his thrust - albeit "leading from behind" in Libya - into Libya, the ever fiery Mid East would not be primed for a mega explosion.
And it is not as if this was done without an end goal in mind. Not at all. So once one understands who the beneficiaries are, then the rest is easy peasy -

Hint: the Muslim Brotherhood Mafia and a resurrection of the Ottoman Empire.

Adina Kutnicki, Israel
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
There's no hint needed. Ergogan isn't shy about it - he's resurrecting the Ottoman Caliphate. That's why he was in Morocco, talking to the heir apparent to the last Caliph.

Unfortunately this is new incarnation a NARCO CALIPHATE. I'm not kidding and I wish someone would speak up a bit. It's all spelled out here, sourced and ready to be researched further.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Not US policy, US government policy.

This US government policy is a CFR/NATO agenda to place the Muslim Brotherhood is controlling power across region 4 of the WTO. In return, I suspect the CFR/NATO will get a Central Bank, and control the money supply.

I bet a pay check this civil war in Syria gets out of control, turns regional, then goes global.

What does the American people get? For the last three years America has gotten hammered by fierce storms spawning untold number of tornadoes. Never before seen droughts, 500 year floods, earthquakes in no where Oklahoma. Some call it a curse. The New Age calls it climate change.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Do not send our armed forces to protect the terrorists who attacked us...evacuate the Christians who wish safe passage to America and let the mooslims slaughter each other en masse. This president has supported the sunni mooslims at every turn and left four Americans to die at their hands in Libya. Enough is enough...all they do is lie, lie, lie and then when they get caught lying, they lie some more; this group has out-Clintoned the Clintons, which makes them the biggest liars EVAAAH.

Remember BENGHAZI!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Sadly, for the sake of our way of life, American patriots must stand together and raise our voices loudly until we are silenced...our government has been corrupted and subverted from within. Sparky's words below are spot-on and should be read to everyone we can make them available to. Republicans (sans a very few) are just as culpable as the democrats for this travesty: remember Huma the Mooslim Bruthahood Princess and "senior aid" to Her Thighness the SecState? When her undue and unprecedented influence was questioned by Michelle Bachmann and others, they were roundly and viciously attacked by no other than John McCain and allies.

There are still prominent patriots in the public eye, most notably LTC. Allen West and Senator Ted Cruz, and we should all strive to support them in every possible way. We can still halt the slide into danger and darkness which this administration is hell bent on continuing, but we must act quickly and decisively. The days of simply blogging and venting are over. We must all seek out what we can do individually and then band together to take proactive steps towards stopping the suicidal direction the government is taking us.

The progressives among us are domestic enemies of the state whether wittingly or not - THEY MUST BE STOPPED. The time is now to DEMAND accountability for this administrations crimes and violations of our Constitution. Get involved - go to protests and meetings -call/e-mail your elected representatives DAILY - REFUSE to be shut up or shouted down.

I am physically unable to march due to my injuries, but I will shuffle along or ride beside each and every one of you. Our senators and congressmen/ladies keep track of how many people contact them and for what reason. The immigration bill is going down fast because the politicians see the outrage of the people and are starting to turn away from the unpopular legislation. Post-obamacare being shoved down our throats many of them lost their jobs...let's DO IT AGAIN LIKE 2010!

Remember BENGHAZI!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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