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Belmont Club

The Final Victim of Bengazi

May 11th, 2013 - 12:08 am

The penultimate casualty of Benghazi may be the effort to unseat Assad from Damascus. The BBC ran a story that could have come from the pages of the Belmont Club. “Could Syria conflict become regional war” involving Israel via Lebanon? Ya think?

Not far behind in belated realizations was the Guardian which described the “ugly choice” in Syria. It approvingly says “it is right for Barack Obama to resist pressure from Britain and France to arm the rebels”. Dollars to donuts the idea occurred to Obama independently. The message was spelled “Benghazi”.

Speaking of which, David Cameron is now warming to Putin’s position on Syria. Another Guardian piece says their talks are proving “purposeful”. That means somebody threw in the towel.

The prime minister emphasised the common goals of each side: “Stop Syria from fragmenting, let the Syrian people choose who governs them, and prevent the growth of violent extremism.”

Translation: Britain is now more than a little afraid that the witches’ brew in Syria will prove unmanageable and they want to work with Assad’s principal patron, Putin, to get the horses back into the corral. You could say Cameron came to Jesus, if he still believes in Jesus.

Good luck to him on that. Maybe its not coincidental that the last US ambassador to the court of Assad — back in the day when Hillary regarded him as a reformer and Vogue thought Mrs. Assad was cool — crossed the border from Turkey to deliver a message to the rebels. The message, though still secret, was likely more than a little influenced by what Ambassador Ford heard from Kerry in Moscow.

Ford arrived in Turkey on Wednesday after having been in Moscow with Secretary of State John Kerry for meetings with Russian officials to get their support for a renewed effort towards a political solution for ending the civil war in Syria. Russia supports diplomatic initiatives for a transition but continues to provide support to the Assad regime.

And what instructions did he get from hapless man? Here’s a guess. He told the Syrian rebels they would have settle for less than a country. That they would have to be content with the title of “minister” in a post-Assad government not President for Life or Supreme Commander of the Faith. ABC News almost gratuitously adds: “the Obama administration is currently rethinking whether the U.S. should provide lethal assistance to Syrian rebels.”

Maybe the rebels were expecting to get something they may not get any more. The Russian outlet RT spells out what changed. What changed is Assad and Russia are turning the tide because Obama is frozen in his tracks.

Writer John Wight, who’s been extensively covering the situation in Syria, told RT that the West’s efforts to step up the peace process in the country are explained by the recent military success of the Assad’s army.

“It’s going to be a major problem [bringing the government and rebels behind the negotiations table] given that the opposition is now made of an Al Qaeda affiliate, Jabhat Al-Nusra, almost exclusively,” he said. “This gang of cutthroats has waged savage war on the country against the largely civilian population. It’ll be hard to consider that the Syrian people would be happy with their government talking to these people. Many of them are foreign fighters. They’ve come across the border from Jordan, Turkey and Iraq. It’ll be very difficult to see how that would fit with the Syrian people, given the nature of the struggle on the ground. We’ve now seen the Syrian national army enjoying some significant success in the last few weeks in taking back rebel-held areas of the country. I think this has produced panic, actually, in Washington, London and Paris, which is why David Cameron has been so keen to fly to Russia to meet with Vladimir Putin.”

What gave Obama cold feet in Syria was almost certainly Benghazi. You know, the scandal that didn’t happen. The disaster that was caused by video produced in LA which Susan Rice explained to everybody. That attack on the consulate completely and fully revealed the lunacy of “leading from behind”. It showed the administration, in terms even it could feel, what it was like to be shot with the gun you gave away.

The Russians remembered what Obama never learned. Always control the man to whom you give the gun. Whatever Assad’s moral defects may be he knows where his orders come from.

The problem for the administration is what now? First of all it is by no means certain that the President can throw the Titanic into reverse. Syria, like Humpty Dumpty, is never going to be put together like it was again. It lies shattered into pieces. Although Cameron and Obama will likely seek promises from Putin that Hezbollah will be kept in check, any post-Assad settlement that doesn’t destroy the Hezbollah will drag Israel into a war.

Nor will the Syrian rebels give up. ABC News says al-Qaeda and Hezbollah are now squaring off for the control of the Syrian carcass. Maybe they didn’t care for Kerry’s message.

While that is a spectacle that would be worth watching the fact remains that whoever wins will be only marginally less hostile to the West and Israel. Israel is in the position of viewing a fight between Freddy and Jason struggling for the disposition of its  eternal soul. Whoever wins doesn’t change the fact that it’s a horror movie either way.

Such are the choices facing Barack Obama. How did it come to this? In part because the administration was too clever by half. They thought that spinning the talking points was equivalent to controlling reality. In Washington maybe, but not in the real world. And it blew up in their face.

So while the penultimate victim of Benghazi was the crusade against the monstrous Assad regime the final victims of the tragedy might be the administration itself. Though perhaps that is wrong;  in the end the last accounting always comes the common taxpayer and man. The bill for the farce always come to them. The statesmen — get book contracts and the talk show invitations.  But as Putin may have told Kerry, who said life was fair?


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All Comments   (34)
All Comments   (34)
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This week Obama did stake the ground with a claim, hinting future action. Specifically with regard to the "Red Line", he claimed that just because he hasn't seemingly acted yet does not mean that he won't act, or in fact that he hasn't acted. In other words he cast the gaze to the buds, promising the coming of fruit.

Okay, I'm fine with giving him more rope. Problem is the leftists are fine with giving him the kitchen sink. I'd be amazed if the entirety of our Obama/Hillary/Help!Kerry foreign policy doesn't come crashing down around our ears. Think about it, we're still paying for Jimmy Carter's errors today. These clowns have a knack for giving the gifts that keeps on giving. So, I stand aside with baited breath, waiting for Obama to wow me with whatever promised strategery he's got up his sleeve.

I might be lucky to get out alive, the way I figure.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You would be fine with giving him more rope? I think that Obama and his crew are at best like the boggies Moxie and Pepsi Dingleberry in "Bored of the Rings."

"...two tail-wagging idiots that no one in the town could trust with a burnt-out match. "
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Okay World, do you miss the world's only superpower yet?

We've got just the song for you on our Song of the Day!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LQV_toOQOM
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Blast

Plan D-

1) Undermine tyrants wherever they may be found.
2) Undermine Obama by encouraging the House hearings on Benghazi.
3) Undermine Putin's regime by boosting US oil production with fracking.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/05/russia_approaching_the_breaking_point.html

4) Encourage the various armed Syrian factions to fight each other back to The Stone Age while they alienate the civilian population, the way al Qaeda in Iraq alienated Iraqis.
5) Undermine the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt the way we are undermining Obama, by forcing the "community organizers" to hold the bag for failing to meet the expectations of the citizenry, when they are clearly incompetent to rule. The people are hungry? It's the MB's fault!
6) Encourage democracy in Pakistan.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324244304578476131875925010.html?KEYWORDS=pakistan

7) Keep managing up!!! Nature abhors a vacuum and there is a major vacuum of realistic government leadership globally. The politicians of all stripes, everywhere, have failed, so the torch and pitchfork crowds are available to anyone who will show the courage to lead them.

8) Determined crowds armed with torches and pitchforks can create revolutions!

9) CITIZENS OF THE WORLD, FIGHT FOR YOUR FREEDOM FROM *SSHOLE POLITICIANS!!! THROW THE BUMS OUT!!!!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Machias - I think this is a shortcut to your basic concept.

Let it all burn. Burn it all.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
very minor quibble. #'s 2 & 3, especially 2, are a subset of #1 and redundant. And I would not limit it to House hearings that can be deliberately subverted by Boehner.

One thing to watch is Missouri, which just last night passed by a veto proof majority a bill nullifying all Federal firearms laws, past and present. Nullification has been a prelude to another event in our country's history.

Subotai Bahadur
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Syrian rebels agree to compromise political solutions: rebels die horribly, families are massacred. Assad remains in power, Asma gets NYT best seller.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
While "the final victims of this tragedy" might well indeed be the members of the administration itself, I will shed no tears, and only pray that it might be true. And if they are 'victims' they are victims of their own making. The ones to feel badly about are all the innocent ones they will leave in their wake.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The evidence is building how Assad is"winning " by using chemical weapons.
Yikes!
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22484115

I suspect Putin may be moving away from Assad
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The red line in the sand. Or is that blood?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It was pink lipstick -- and it's on the run.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It is the trail of the red herring before the dog's nose.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Problem is that Syria is not the only problem -- for the rest of us, as well as for Soetero & his coven of harpies. Poor North Korea has been forgotten about, but it is still there with its nuclear missiles. Cyprus still festers, as does Greece. The European economy slides, and youth unemployment rises. Central banks print money. And on & on, around the globe ....

Reading the news these days is like reading a medical report on a dying patient, as vital system after vital system becomes overwhelmed with multiple failures.

I used to think that the only solution was a genuine "Reset", with the current Political Class dangling from lamp-posts and order slowly re-emerging from chaos. But the no-longer politically correct "Arab Spring" is evidence there is no guarantee that order will arise from chaos on a schedule we can live with.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Anyone else notice that the North Korean 'crisis' has just evaporated? I am expecting some very late, very vacuous stories about billions in aid sent to North Korea for 'humanitarian' purposes. Billions of dollars printed out of thin air of course.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I used to think that the only solution was a genuine "Reset", with the current Political Class dangling from lamp-posts and order slowly re-emerging from chaos. But the no-longer politically correct "Arab Spring" is evidence there is no guarantee that order will arise from chaos on a schedule we can live with.

The solution still probably is correct. It is just a matter of realization that there never was any guarantee of a good or a timely result. It is a measure of the desperation of the times we are in.

Subotai Bahadur
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The lesson of history, and common sense, is that generally Chaos only begets more Chaos. It's really quite foolish to think that Chaos could beget any level of order - well, unless there is some Intelligent Designer behind the scenes, pushing events towards a desired conclusion. In the case of our country, that would be the people we call the Founders. (Ah, but who was guiding them?)

I've found myself beginning to appreciate the idea that Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin did have a measure of dark skill at what they did. Russia should have collapsed completely when they take over; the fact they kept it going at all is remarkable, under the circumstances. Compare to Morsi in Egypt - I have no doubt that he is a wanna-be Stalin, but so far all he's been able to do is to get into arguments with TV Comedians and lose. He's a buffoon, a bad joke, and the Islamists are going to be buried by their own vapidity and sheer incompetence.

And such has always been the fate of the Arabs - recall the ending of the film Lawrence of Arabia, where Damascus is handed over to the British because none of the Arab groups can handle the day to day tasks of actually administering a city. Same thing is happening in Cairo today.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It is interesting to contemplate how things would have shaped up if we had negotiated an acceptable Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq and set up a FOB or two in the Anbar Province. Syria had a huge debt to be repaid in very harsh coin and Iran would be tiptoeing around the missile defense systems now gone while trying to arm Hezbollah. Anyway, the lesson of Anbar might be clear and hold on a tactical level and now the lesson is to clear and hold on a strategic level as well. Ground paid in blood should not be so easily given up. Oh well, woulda coulda shoulda. What difference at this point does it make anyhow?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Remember all those critics who said George Bush's intervention was only opening a path for Iran into Iraq? It's almost as though they were psychic. Or knew Barak was coming along.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
wretchard, you write as if there's a rainbow paradise clearly in sight but just out of reach. need I point out that in this world, that tends not to be the case?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'm with Stardog and WWS: support Israel as strongly as necessary for their defense and let the Muslims in Syria kill each other. It's the Iran-Iraq war all over again. Cut a deal with the Russians: they supply weapons to Assad, we supply the other guys (oh, that's right, the Saudis are already doing that).
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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