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It’s Not About Syria, Stupid (Think Iran and Russia, and…)

May 6th, 2013 - 12:39 am

These discussions were undoubtedly about the “big picture” as well as the specific question of chemical weapons. I cannot imagine the Israelis not sharing their view of Iran’s regional strategy, which they believe includes a contingency plan (named after Quds Force commander Qasem Suleimani) for the occupation of Syria if Assad were to lose control.

…Syria’s centrality in Iranian strategy was voiced by Mehdi Taaib, who heads Khamenei’s think tank. He recently stated that “Syria is the 35th district of Iran and it has greater strategic importance for Iran than Khuzestan [an Arab-populated district inside Iran].”

Iran’s strategy includes domination of Iraq, which they could use as an operational base if Syria falls.

SIDEBAR: You may have noticed that casualties in Iraq are now running at roughly half those in Syria, as the Iranians apply the same methods they used unsuccessfully against us: foment civil war by the use of terror and religiously inspired mass movements.

BACK TO MAIN SERMON: The Israeli actions, assuming they took place more or less as described, were limited to a single battlefield of the big war, and were driven by the knowledge that Iran and its two foreign legions (Quds and Hezbollah) are preparing the destruction of the Jewish state, nukes or no nukes. Weapons move towards Israel from many directions in the region, including Sudan, and are sometimes permitted passage by the likes of Egypt and Turkey. Until and unless we show signs of recognizing the real dimensions of the menace, the weapons will continue to flow.

Just ask the king of Jordan. He knows that many of those “Syrian refugees” on his border are working with the jihadis, whether Sunni or Shi’ite. Our dribble of assistance to the Syrian opposition comes via Jordan (and it was no accident that the early meetings described above were held in Amman). Watch Jordan very carefully — along with Iraq it’s our enemies’ main strategic target.

Alas, there is no reason to believe, even now, that our deep thinkers grasp the nature of the real war. The failing New York Times spent a considerable amount of space on Sunday trying to convince its gullible readers that Obama’s celebrated “red line” proclamation regarding the potential consequences of Assad’s use of chemical weapons wasn’t serious. Why? Because “it wasn’t scripted,” he just said it.

Imagine that! An American president who makes up his own mind and announces his conclusions to the world. And now, his loyal followers are trying to walk it back, because everyone is asking Obama to make good on his ultimatum.

If his advisors were worth their keep, they’d be telling him to focus on the real issues. But no. One of them moaned, “If Assad drops sarin on his own people, what’s that got to do with us?” So much for the Valkyrie doctrine–we will move forcefully to save people from their murderous regimes–that justified our Libyan intervention. No wonder Samantha Power scampered out of her National Security Council suite.

As the piteous fall of George H.W. Bush–from 90% approval to electoral defeat–should warn our leaders, failed visions and empty heads have consequences. People die. And not just Syrians and Iranians, who are being tortured and slaughtered by their own regimes. Americans die too. The beds at Walter Reed are filling up again, as the Taliban celebrate our retreat by blowing us up.

There is no escape from the big war. We can win it or lose it, but we can’t opt out of it.

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Top Rated Comments   
Help me understand, Michael.

We HAD to act in Libya...but, our "leading from behind" does not extend equally to Syria???

Why?

Is our "flexibility" toward Putin involve the bending over backwards to please him?

What do our small c communists need and want from their large c brethren in Beijing and Moscow?

Our radical leftists have seized power like a dog chasing a city bus. Now that they caught up with it...they can only lift their legs on the tires.

John Kerry, Brennan, Hagel, Napolitano. Holder, Obama, Biden, Hillary...are we in the very best of hands, or what? How can we not be just swelled with confidence looking at that lineup and knowing that our collective fates and the fates of the civilized world are in their grip?

And, the NYTimes...that paragon of American loyalty, fealty and patriotism represents a media apparatus that inspires trust through a rich history of acts of national pride.

The axis of evil has changed its fulcrum, Michael. And stupid is as stupid does.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (46)
All Comments   (46)
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When you also have Bibi visiting Beijing, I honestly don't see that as "Nixon to China" redux.

For, wasn't that a Kissingerian tactic to obliquely take on the Kremlin?

50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
"it's one battle in a world war"

Michael, I wish one day you would pen a topic article on here defining the world war you speak of and its origin, post WWII. What were the general geopolitical strategies adopted, for what reasons and by whom. Any chance?
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
"...and the vaunted Russian antiaircraft system provided to both Syria and Iran was unable to do anything to prevent them. Both have been humiliated."

I doubt the full extent of their anit aircraft defense systems were deployed as there has been no precise foreign military aricraft threats involved and not anticipated. Thats probably why the Israeli raids were successful and now won't be so for anybody from now on.

My question! How far does anybody really want to militarily, push Russia-Syria-Iran at this time? If engaged, what would the long term strategic gain be if declared an outright victory by the U.S. and its allies? Would such a claimed victory be sustainable without of military occupation?
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ledeen is giving an insiders look at regional politics and action. Israel's air strikes after reading this makes a lot more sense. Off the top it would seem ludicrous to add fuel to the raging fire. It becomes clearer that Israel acted with Obama's blessing as well as other regional blessings. Iran is the main danger in the region. Anyone not understanding this is probably an apparatchik. By the looks of some of the posts there are several such people.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Be under no illusion: Bibi did NOT clear IDF actions through the Pink House.

Buraq wouldn't want the 'guilt' of foreknowledge anyway.

Buraq is the main danger to the region -- in the same manner as would letting an eight-year old land a jumbo jet.

His co-pilot is Valerie girl. Fluency in Farsi does not confer deep savvy.

As it stands, his input buffer is overflowing; consequently he flees to the links.









50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Mike, it is really funny (in a sense) for those of us who pay attention. Try to remember "America" does not care about Syria - and neither do you.
It is barbarians killing savages and no one cares!
I mean that Mike. Regardless of Obama's nonsensical strategy - we don't CARE!!
The GOP needs to drop this like a hot potato - it doesn't matter - even though it does show ineptitude - no one cares!
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Unfortunately, I live next door.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Michael Ledeen wrote, “Imagine that! An American president who makes up his own mind and announces his conclusions to the world. And now, his loyal followers are trying to walk it back, because everyone is asking Obama to make good on his ultimatum”.

Impossible!!! Next you’ll try to tell us that an American carrier battle group failed to sail to an important station at an important time because an American President wouldn’t find the funding (of course we can’t cancel the “Obama phone” program, that’s important).
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
This opinion by neo-con mr. Ledeen to have the US enter the civil war in Syria contrasts that of Daniel Pipes and everyone in Europe and the US.
Zbigniew Brzezinski family, members of the nobility territory today belongs to Ukraine. Sibel Edmonds claims that a left over of stay behind front Gladio plan B in Turkey was one of the major CIA's efforts to create a training or breeding camp for jihadi's within the Chechen war after the Soviet Union was disolved.
Other sources claim:
The Chechen Rebels were funded via the CIA's front corporation NED (National Endowment for Democracy) and the American Committee for Peace in Chechnya.
The prominent Chechen extremist websites, Kavkaz Centre, is funded directly by the US State Department. One of the charges laid against Boris Berezovsky by Moscow was the funding of Chechen rebels.
This support for the Chechen terrorists inevitably led to the Beslan and Moscow theatre massacres.
Former Chechen Foreign Minister Ilyas Akhmadov after gaining asylum in the United States – wrote the book "The Chechen Struggle" the forward of which is written by notorious Russia-hater Zbigniew Brzezinski.

In January 2012, Tamerlan Tsarnaev attended a workshop at the NGO “Fund of Caucasus” which is sponsored by the CIA-linked Jamestown Foundation, an NGO based at Freedom House.

Jamestown’s board of directors includes Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Advisor to Jimmy Carter and is directly funded by the National Endowment for Democracy, the Soros Foundations, the CIA’s Ford Foundation, and the U.S. Agency for International Development
http://www.jamestown.org/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpmRWYLeOTc&feature=share
------------
It was in 1979 that Z. Brzezinski and later neo conservatives saw the initiation of what was further developed into their method to diminish the Soviet ? Russian sphere of influence by not liberating but betraying western oriented secular free people into the murderous hands of the Islamic fundamentalists of Khomeini without gaining control of the Iranian oil and minerals. At that time in 1979 the CIA - being the sole operator in the geopolitical war of the spheres of influence of the US and Russia as well as China (China invested in Africa since the 70ties in minerals and political but not for military influence) - itself was fully indoctrinated by their own psy opsed pornographic and narcotic based methods of mind control, human manipulation, blackmail as well as the entire US population through subliminal, statistical polling, commercial, entertaining and other cultural techniques through the medium televison etc most of which due to the 500 dr. Mengele nazi’s in the CIA since 1950 in project MKULTRA http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_MKUltra and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2117093/Secret-files-reveal-9-000-Nazi-war-criminals-fled-South-America-WWII.html
MKULTRA remained operational beyond 1974 in most of the foreign nation cells like Belgium Brussels NATO headquarters ... after the MKULTRA US homeland operations where ended by the Frank Church Committee http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_Committee
MKULTRA techniques remained operational within Operation Gladio http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Gladio
Gladio remained operational after it was ended in the 90ties after the fall of the Soviet Union inside the Turkish branch of Gladio called Gladio plan B
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpmRWYLeOTc&feature=share
and was instrumental in the CIA lead Chechen (Chechnya) instigated terrorist war and main breeding place of jihad al Qaeda terrorists.
The method of enlarging the US Sphere of Influence by betraying western oriented secular people - with or without taking control over natural resources - to the murderous Islam was proceeded under Reagan by Richard Perle, by George Herbert Walker Bush as former director of the CIA under George Herbert Walker Bush he he by Madeleine Albright under Bill Clinton and by Paul Wolfowitz and Dick Cheney under George W. Bush and now by John Brennan under B. Hussein Obama
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have no idea what you re trying to say. Google translate only goes so far.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
it's not a "civil war" (it's one battle in a world war), and i certainly don't want us to "enter it." marine parents don't like military options...as for the various nutty theories, save them for Ron Paul, ok?
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Theo, without references this is just so much Anti-American Agi-prop creating background noise. Proof brother, proof.

(Offered to improve your ability to make your points: Organize your thoughts. Then try writing in Word first, run the grammar check to fix your English usage, then copy and paste in comment section.)

ta
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
okay pont taken
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
"If his advisors were worth their keep, they’d be telling him to focus on the real issues."
Obama's closest advisers include members of the Muslim Brotherhood; why would they want to be "telling him to focus on the real issues"? This is the reality of the situation; yet we continue to ignore it!!!!! Obama has MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD advisers!!!!! Hello!!!!! What could POSSIBLY go wrong?????? MB involvement with the WH explains just about everything Obama does with Islam from the "Cairo speech to sending Morsi billions of taxpayers dollars to the reluctance to do anything about Iran to the arming of "rebels" (Al Qaeda/Muslim Brotherhood). Tiresome and deadly.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's being reported today that the insurgents may have been the ones who used the poison gas. I don't know if that's true or not, but it's obviously possible since the rebels include defecting Syrian troops and often capture weapons from government bases. I appreciate that Ledeen evaluates each and every foreign policy issue in terms of whether or not it benefits Israel, but even if you share his perspective you need to keep in mind this crucially important principle: the enemy of my enemy is also a dick. Which is why I'm glad it's the sober Obama rather than a right-wing hot head who's making decisions about getting more involved in this mess.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
i don't like my bandwith to be consumed with slime mail, mr. harrison. there are other sites that welcome this sort of bilious nonsense.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Jim is a perpetual troll -- with National Solipsism his frame of reference.

It's how he rolls.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Mr. Ladeen, I've always respected your principled defense of an "improved" fascism. I'm a little disappointed that you're backing away from your own ideas here.

That aside, are you really denying that you weren't an enthusiastic supporter of the Iraq war?
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
But, I agree. I don't think the U.S. should get involved, not even with providing weapons and aid to the rebels.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
"...I'm glad it's the sober Obama rather than a right-wing hot head who's making decisions about getting more involved in this mess."

Obama threatened Assad by drawing a "red line" in the sand.....then backed down. How sober is that for the President of the U.S.? Who will ever take him seriously after this?
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
General and verifiable use of poison gas by the Assad regime is one thing. Ambiguous reports of isolated incidents are quite another. I expect that Assad is perfectly aware of the difference. Unless he has forgotten what happened to Bin Laden and continues to happen to various terrorists in Pakistan and Yemen, he's unlikely to assume that Obama is kidding about the red line.

Forget about your politics for a second. and think about the long run of diplomatic history. What you find, it seems to me, is that states get into trouble either because they intervene in domestic crises too impulsively or they refuse to intervene when there really isn't a good alternative to intervention. There's no helping it: you have to exercise judgement in these cases and that means timing errors and mid-course corrections are inevitable.

Ledeen seems to think that a general rule suffices to govern policy: if it moves, bomb it. Don't forget that he was a major cheerleader for the Iraq war even though a little reflection should have warned him that a Shi'ite Iraq would inevitably improve the strategic position of Iran as indeed it has. The Israelis have every reason to want to prevent Syria from continuing to provide a land link between Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon, but Syria couldn't provide such a link without Iraq. It's just geography.

I expect we'll eventually do what we have to do to oust Assad because his regime really is an abomination. How we accomplish this end, however, matters; and it matters, too, that the world doesn't perceive us as too eager to get involved.

You folks like simple answers, but if Obama's moves over the next year or so are straightforward, he will have been doing it wrong.


50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Either side means us harm, and both sides will be used by our larger enemies. We leave the situation alone, and it will be bad for us no matter the outcome. So, we let it be and wait for us to bite us in the butt? I'm sure letting chemical weapons just walk across our borders isn't any big thing. Obama certainly thinks so as he's on record as saying that our country can easily absorb an attack, even of the largest kind. I guess you'll just have to hope you don't live in that urban area that gets attacked.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Either side means us harm, and both sides will be used by our larger enemies. We leave the situation alone, and it will be bad for us no matter the outcome. So, we let it be and wait for us to bite us in the butt?"

For that we can certainly agree. We have been decades making some pretty serious long term strategic errors for which nearly have us in the corner of that preverbial catch-22 now. Not pretty!
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
It should be pointed out that Jordan would almost certainly be a major victim of any chemical, nuclear or biological attack on Israel. They have good reason to supply intelligence on these types of matters. These weapons must have persistence to be effective and are designed to be exactly that.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
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