- The drivellers on the tube this AM insist that Obama should have pulled the trigger on punitive air attacks against Syria over the putative use of Sarin gas. Propaganda and IO are wonderful things. Any sort of "reality" can be generated with good "theming" and enough repetition. Think back pilgrim seekers for truth. The US intelligence community refused to issue a paper affirming that the Syrian government had actually done this. Faute de mieux the politicos of the Obama Administration issued their own paper asserting that the Syrian government had done this thing. There was no real evidence, just assertions. Now this "fact" asserting Syrian government use of gas against civilians is constantly cited by people like the savage woman Nicolle Wallace as evidence of the total culpability of Syria, No! I take that back. She is more interested in scoring points against Obama than anything else.
- John Kerry appeared on Morning Joe today to make various implausible claims:
* Bashar Assad (the man, not the Syrian government) is the essential problem in Syria. According to Kerry, if Assad chose to leave Syria the war would quickly end in a cease fire. For the sake of discussion let us assume that in the absence of Bashar Assad, whatever truly non-Kurdish oppositionists there be would enter into a cease fire. Would IS enter a cease fire? Would the Nusra Front do that as well? The answer is a qualified NO! They, like the Blues Brothers, (Universal Pictures -1980) are "on a mission from God" or at least their vision of God, and their God does not entertain cease fires with those who oppose the vision of his kingdom (varied) that he has given them. Short answer - the jihadis will not enter into a cease fire unless it sets them up for a final push to the Kingdom of Heaven.
* According to Kerry, Sunni Muslims will not accept Assad as president of Syria because he represents a religious minority (Alawis) and is a cruel man. Meanwhile, next door in Iraq the US is courting Sunni Arabs and seeking to persuade them to fight their fellow Sunnis in IS under command of a government in Baghdad that we brought into being. This government is run by and for the interest of Shia Arabs and has a record under several prime ministers of unlimited exclusion of and cruelty toward Sunni Arabs as well as double dealing and treachery toward Sunni Kurds. This whole line of "thought" is nonsense. Baathi Syria always had a large number of Sunnis in its structure and business world. Mustafa Tlas, the former Defense Minister and General Hikmat Shihabi the long time commander of the military are good examples. They were both Sunni Arabs and as I wrote recently there are many, many Sunni Arabs in the Syrian Arab Army. What Kerry is really saying IMO is that the Saudis, Israelis and Erdogan want Bashar Assad gone.
* Inherent in Kerry and Obama's pronouncements is an attitude that reflects the belief that the United States is the as yet unnamed World Empire of the Good and that the R2P vision of a world ruled by benevolent believers in social evolution and revolution is emerging. For people who hold such beliefs, resistance is not only futile (history is on their side - irony alert) but such resistance to the civilizing mission of the US is also evil and prima facie evidence of disordered thought. Therefore, it is clear (more irony) that such resistance is to be overcome and not accepted lest other potential resistors should take heart. Russia's resistance to the un-divine will of the emerging world order has already encouraged the likes of David Cameron to express doubt in the imperial ukase concerning Syria.
What to do?- I was asked today to state what I think should be done:
* Accept the truth that we destroyed the Iraqi state and from that act of vandalism all present chaos in that country derives.
* Don't do it again in Syria.
* Stop saying that no "Assad cronies" can be in the government or head the government. They ARE the government. Assad himself is dispensable, but not the government of Syria.
* Act like Russia, China and Iran matter as something other than rivals and adversaries.
* Ignore Erdogan's Turkey. It is a manifestation of the jihadi enemy. They will deny us use of Incirlik and the other bases? Fine, that would clarify the situation. Move onto Syrian bases or the big, unused NATO built base north of Tripoli in Lebanon.
* Ignore Saudi Arabia's wishes with regard to Syria. They are jihadi supporters.
* Ignore Israel's wishes with regard to Syria. Natanyahu's government is pursuing a mistaken and short sighted policy of eliminating coherent government in Syria for the purpose of crippling their Lebanese Hizbullah adversaries whom they think exist because of Syrian and Iranian help. The Likud's imagined interest in Syria is not America's interest.
* Accept Russian and Iranian co-belligerence in the war against the jihadis, ALL JIHADIS.
* Fully coordinate operations, intelligence analysis sharing and logistics with the co-belligerent partners.
* FIGHT THE JIHADIS, NOT THE SYRIAN GOVERNMENT.