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Belmont Club

The Light of Day

September 6th, 2013 - 8:07 am

The drawdown of U.S. diplomats from Lebanon and Turkey is a reminder that the Syrian crisis is in the end not about Syria, but Iran. Obama’s threat to “punish” Syria is stirring up waves in Tehran, because the loss of Syria would isolate Hezbollah and leave it vulnerable to destruction by Sunni forces.

Syria was, in strategic terms, Obama’s answer to Iraq. At the outset of Operation Iraqi Freedom, I wrote that Bush went into Iraq seeking to “kill the chicken to scare the Sunni monkey” — warn off al-Qaeda’s terror sponsors — but also in search of the key to Iran. Obama, by contrast, has another formulation. He is seeking to use the Sunnis in order to turn the key to Iran. In this way he hopes to solve the nuclear problem, and perhaps to neuter Hezbollah as well.

As always, the enemy gets to apply his counter-strategy. In the case of Iraq, both Sunni and Shi’a militants were sent by the thousands into Iraq in order to drive America out. It didn’t work, but the political consequences may have convinced Obama never to try “boots on the ground.” He rose to power on the politics of pledging not to do it. Once in the White House, he chose to employ only proxy Sunni forces in the campaign against Iran.

But again the enemy is countering, this time not by sending its militias to drive out American troops that aren’t in deployment but by widening the war. The Bush approach made Iraq the designated battleground. That was bad news for Iraq, but good news for everyone else. The Obama approach seemed fine at first, but it inevitably meant the problem would spread to Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, and Turkey.

Two million Syrians are now refugees in bordering countries. They are the most visible proof of the adage that nothing comes for free. If the Obama approach leveraged the sectarian and ethnic schisms to raise proxy levies, the hidden price was to raise the probability of civil wars. The unacknowledged cost of “leading from behind” was losing control and widening the war. A battle of the proxies would become exactly that: a battle of the proxies.

One concrete indication of this strikeback reported in the Wall Street Journal was messages from Tehran ordering an attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Iraq in the event of a punitive bombing of Syria:

The U.S. has intercepted an order from Iran to militants in Iraq to attack the U.S. Embassy and other American interests in Baghdad in the event of a strike on Syria, officials said, amid an expanding array of reprisal threats across the region.

Military officials have been trying to predict the range of possible responses from Syria, Iran, and their allies. U.S. officials said they are on alert for Iran’s fleet of small, fast boats in the Persian Gulf, where American warships are positioned. U.S. officials also fear Hezbollah could attack the U.S. Embassy in Beirut.

Unfortunately, the biggest enemy of the apparent Obama strategy — if it can be so termed — was Obama himself.

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Top Rated Comments   
Something to ponder.

Buraq Hussein is going to give a speech to justify his desire to go to "strikes of limited duration with no boots on the ground [for now]" on Tuesday night.

On a good day, with a downhill run, and a blazing tailwind; Buraq Hussein Obama is a lying sack of excrement, and that is insulting excrement. He knows that even with the support of the Institutional Republican "leadership" he will likely lose a vote in the House if you exclude the effects of blackmail based on 5+years of NSA spying on Congress-critters and families.

So, what odds do you give that on Tuesday night, before Congress votes, Obama announces that pursuant to the power he has already consistently claimed he has, the attacks are starting as he speaks?

And I note that the phrase "strikes of limited duration with no boots on the ground" could be used to describe what happened at Pearl Harbor. Iran, Russia, Syria, et.al. may just be unsophisticated enough to react the way we did in 1941.

Subotai Bahadur

45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
“The president is not asking you to go to war, he’s not asking you to declare war, he’s not asking you to send one American troop to war.”

And one of the worst aspects of these wars that are not wars is that our people are hung out to dry when something happens that might show the war is a war.

Fly your F-105 too close to the Chinese border or fire back at a Soviet ship shooting at you in Haiphong harbor and your career is terminated. Shoot a gun next to a terrorist’s head to rattle him and your career is terminated. Shoot up an Afghan wedding party that is blazing away at you and you are in trouble. Come under attack at you secret TACAN site and there is no close air support to save you because you are not supposed to be there anyway. Get shot by a guy yelling Allah Akabar and it’s work-related violence. If your embassy was attacked it’s because of a video in Los Angeles, not a war. And so on and so on. We have no boots on the ground, and we can prove it because we also have no survivors.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
W: "Obama by contrast, has another formulation. He is seeking to use the Sunnis in order to turn the key to Iran. In this way he hopes to solve the nuclear problem and perhaps neuter Hezbollah as well."

Interesting thought, Wretchard. Another hypothesis is that Soetero had no strategy, no plan -- beyond screwing one half of the American people and keeping the other half in permanent plantation poverty. There is a lot of data which would support that alternative hypothesis.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (80)
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Well, You guys know what Jack Burton says at a time like this...Oh what the hell.
It will come down to Israel receiving a WMD strike using chemicals fired from anyone, government sanctioned or one of those pipe rockets with 50 liters of Sarin fired from some lunatic in his backyard.
The chances of hitting a hospital or school are slim but that's what will happen all by chance and someone somewhere will go all mad minute full auto and the world will be at war.
The Democrats base may defect when it's American cities and ports getting conventional payloads and gassed or nuked, the liberal left will go down with the ship of state shouting in a high falsetto, "It's Bush's fault!"
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
A speech on Tuesday?! The 10th? I have sports to watch that night. Let me know the Commandante Zero spews anything other than lies and his actions have any consequences other than damaging America, otherwise same-old, some-old.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
"the fact that the Obama Administration won’t acknowledge the truth is telling”

No, it isn’t. When has the LIghtworker acknowledged the truth about Fast & Furious? Obamacare? Do I really need to list—and point out the deception about, well, every single policy by the Democrat/Fascist/Communist party now in power in the USA? Truth is unknown to them, their toadies, and their supporters.

If they were true they wouldn’t be doing what they’re doing.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
My comment 7-8 hours ago got swallowed.

"The Light of Day"
There are Dim Bulbs.

Before Wee Jimmy failed to respond effectively to the Iranian invasion of our embassy in Tehran the consequences of such an attack were known and therefore did not have to be invoked. That failure, more than even his betrayal of the Shah, was the source of many of our present troubles. We are living in the second Carter administration more than the third Clinton.

How should we respond to Iran's threats and intercepted plots? We went into WW-I for less over the Zimmerman Dispatch.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Is there any sort of unifying thought or intellectual foundation at all underlying this so-called Smart Diplomacy? Was it hatched in one of our elite universities? It seems to me to be arrogance breaking against reality, and that's it.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Internal view dictated by Ideology blinds them to reality as it actually exists.
Layman's talk for "heads up their self righteous a$$es and blinded by shi t."
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Are we Seriously Still Stumping to Bomb Assad Even With Apparent Evidentiary Contradiction? [http://letthemfight.blogspot.com/2013/09/are-we-seriously-still-stumping-to-bomb.html]

"The AP report includes conversations with Rebels and family members both accepting blame for the release while castigating Saudi Intel agents they claim gave them the weapons without actually telling them what they were or how to employ them. In fact, the Rebels told the AP reporter that the release was accidental.

In the Russian report, Scientists gutted the Administration's claims by providing information about the nature of the delivery system as well as the explosive - neither of which, they said, were elements commonly found in the kinds of chemical weapons found in the Syrian arsenal. They followed up by stating that those elements were typical in the kinds of weapons used by the Rebels.

If you will recall, the UN Inspectors had originally entered Syria to follow up on allegations that the Rebels had in fact fired chemical weapons in the first place. And we should keep in mind that they dismissed the allegations having only been on the ground for many hours and then cast their own allegations against the Assad Regime - without ever having reached the site of the attack to collect samples.
We should also keep in mind that the Rebel forces in Syria are largely infiltrated by and in some cases led by, Al Qaida operatives as the Rebel forces in Libya were during their civil war.

You know; Al Qaida. The same Al Qaida we have been fighting for the past 14 years and who everyone in DC blamed for the attacks on the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon."
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
How is it that such news is both revolutionary in import, and completely ho-hum? I guess because it was already a foregone conclusion. No UN supervisory without a certification from the Mars/Jupiter Solar System Truth Panel can have much cred in these latter day, post Baredi, post Hans Blix, times. Heinlein quote, the best way to lie is to tell the truth in such a way that nobody believes you. Wanna get robbed? Hire a security guard --at least you'll know who did it.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
PS, the actual truth is, the Obama way (ie, witness tampering) has reached a point of diminishing returns. They got too good at it --always having a council ready to hand for any con, long or short. Now that everyone is savvy to it, it don't work no more. Once you get to that point, you can't even tell the truth when you WANT to (if you ever do want to) --folks will assume it's a ruse, and either ignore you, or proceed in the opposite. Case in point, the MENA seared syrian sandwich, two toasted Benghazi videocassetes, or CDs for you weight watchers, with a slab of Johnny Kerry Hampton Red ham in the middle, dressed with a nice oily sez me seed and vain i regret sauce, and cheese sprinkles everywhere you look - Assault and pepper to taste, and serve on a bed of wilted Let Us.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
LMAO!
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
"It’s a “come to Allah” moment, since in Obama’s case, Come to Jesus hardly seems appropriate."

I think this is goes to the very core of the problem. Obama identifies with Islam. Western values are anathema to him. At the very root of this "Middle East Problem" is Islam but very few are willing to say it. The elephant in the room, no, stampeding through the house, is Islam and Islam is who the rest of the world is fighting or ultimately will fight.

Everything Obama has done has strengthened the hand of Militant Islam. I didn't say Radical Islam because Islam is by definition radical but there are some elements which are more militant than others and these are the ones Obama seems to prefer.

We would do well to remember Trotsky's famous line: “You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.”

The real enemy is Islam and regardless of our opinion of it, Islam is interested in us.

Any Middle East planning should take that into consideration.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
I wonder whether there is any significance in Obama's big talk being held on the eve of 9/11.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yup, there is: to get the lapdog MSM talk and write about his brilliant speech, his glorious eloquence etc - and nary a word about Benghazi 9/11/12 ...
That's all there is to it: using war mongering to keep Benghazi off the table.
Despicable.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
There's precedent: lobbing cruise missiles to keep Monica being under the table off the table.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Richard, as Kinuachdrach suggests, and Jacksonian Libertarian states, you're giving Obama way too much credit.

Occam's Razor applies. Either Obama is a foreign policy genius and we're all too stupid to follow his nuanced, rational strategy, or he's a demagogue with zero foreign policy experience scrambling to cover his own rear end after shooting off his mouth.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Democrats: Victims of Their Own Success

http://tinyurl.com/kc6ves9
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
More like victims of their own excess.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
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