[Originally published as a Facebook Note on September 30, 2015.]
Obama, Kerry and Republican influences within the Defense Department are plain wrong when it comes to Syria! Given Iraq is a mess, given Turkey will not accept Kurdish statehood, given Yemen is in a chaotic split between Iran and the Saudis, given that Libya is in continued turmoil and given that Israel continues to repress the Palestinians and deny them statehood … given all of the above, the thing that is needed the most in the Middle East are stable states.
Bush-Cheney, et. al., that administration’s Office of Special Plans , opened a hornets nest when they put “Shock and Awe” on the Iraqi people and overthrew Saddam Hussein. The more rationale thinkers concluded the War on Iraq would create sectarian factionalism, more wars would result and that Americans would not be greeted as liberators.
So now comes the claim Syria’s leader Bashar al-Assad is a war criminal, this due to the use of chemical agents (which has not been proven!). Many credible researchers believe it was the US-spawned rebels who used those agents. Anyway, the Bush-Cheney Administration is certainly guilty of war crimes!
Interestingly, if anyone were to research and read the remarks of the Syrian ambassador to the United Nations, when debating the Bush-Blair UN WMD Resolution, you wouldn’t think of Assad’s government as a fierce aggressor and user of chemical weapons. Is he a bad dictator? For some, yes. Was Saddam Hussein a bad dictator? For some, yes. Was Muammar Gaddafi a bad dictator? For some, yes. The bottom line is they each ruled over stable secular governments where women had rights and attended university. There were no war refugees before Bush-Cheney invaded Iraq!
Regarding Afghanistan, did the Taliban need to be overthrown? Yes. But that was all that was needed. There was no need to invade Iraq! Bush, for political reasons, wanted the hashtag of being a “war president.” In times of re-election every war president in US history has been re-elected … and so Bush, and his political operatives!
The Obama Administration inherited from Bush-Cheney the suffering of masses of people in the Middle East many of whom today seek refuge in Europe. Obama was right to resist Republican calls to super arm the Syrian rebels as most were allied with ISIS. Covertly, however, there was much more going on!
For example, there is a school of thought, with US defense intelligence documentary support, believing the US wanted ISIS to exist as a buffer to isolate Syria from Iran. That Benghazi was a CIA outpost charged with funneling the Libyan military arsenal to ISIS in order to disrupt Syria. It was known by these intelligence officials that a new principality could evolve from eastern Syria and western Iraq, and this could be viewed as an asset to the US, while pursuing its policy to dismantle Assad’s Syrian government. Clearly, they weren’t counting on the Russians jumping in. Bad move not to see this!
Meanwhile, the poor Kurds are scrunched between it all — with an angry and difficult Turkey along its northern border.
Obama was wrong not to support Assad’s secular policies. Given how North African Libya was positioned at the gates of the Middle East, Obama was also wrong not to support Gaddafi’s secular regime. During this juncture, more than anything, the Middle East needed stable governments and Assad was the elected leader of Syria and best capable of stabilizing Syria. Obama was wrong to bust up Libya and help overthrow Gaddafi, as there was no plan in place for a succeeding government. Now Libya is a turmoiled mess.
What’s needed is a twofold approach: 1) Work with governments who remain stable — Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey and others — to stabilize Syria (and the Kurds!) and keep hammering away for a solution. Listen closely to the input from The Arab League rather than pretend the organization doesn’t exist. 2) Set sight ultimately, once and for all, for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian crisis as this problem spews toxins all throughout the Middle East. And find a way to get the Russians out of there!
The United States and European Union should work with Russia and China and finally achieve solutions needed so Middle Eastern nations can achieve self-determination and fate over their own economy. This should be done in the spirit that people need a safe home, a livelihood and a vision for the future.
Also, I think doing the below would help as it would represent a drastic and significant change in the region: