Syria: I Weep for You. True, President Obama Plays as War Crimes are Committed.

() HareThe News hour’s Ju­­­dy Woodruff on Wednesday evening presented three experts on Syria who offered up their opinions. They all said things there were horrible; yet nothing would be done about it at this point. We had to wait until a new president took office. They all agreed that whatever plan Obama had for Syria that it has spectacularly failed.

0bama has apparently gone golfing for the remainder of his term. He is content to let the Syrian army along with the Russian use the most brutal tactics against civilians seen in the history of warfare. To do anything to stop them would require him to interfere with his golf game. For him Syrian lives do not matter. 

Meanwhile the slaughter continues hour by hour, day by day, with the Russian and Syrian forces gaining more and more territory while murdering more and more civilians as they try to eradicate the forces fighting against the regime. Obama is so afraid of doing anything to stand up against Assad he is damaging America’s reputation forever especially since years ago he stated it was American policy that Assad leave office.

One of the panelists said the only hope in Syria was if there was a cease fire but as long as Obama rules out any American participation in the battle against Assad then there will never be peace. It was reported that John Kerry told a group of Syrians opposed to Assad that his hands are tied by Obama. “I think you’re looking at three people, four people in the administration who have all argued for use of force, and I lost the argument.”  He so cavalierly told that to the Syrians one can only believe it is known to the Russians. Putin had to smile knowing Obama’s fear of a fight. 

Kerry went on to complain that Congress refused to allow a vote on attacking Syria. True that is Mr. Kerry but that was two or three years ago. We had not gone into Syria because we did not want to invade a sovereign nation. Since then we have been flying sorties over it every day attacking the ISIS strongholds. We have Special Forces on the ground there. None of that has been voted on by Congress.

Your hands are not tied by Congress. You are looking at a situation where many have suggested that  both Syria and Russia are committing war crimes. You wring your hands and pass the buck.

One article spoke of Kerry at the UN saying he has “become himself the butt of jokes in some American and non-American circles describing him as a naïve pupil of the shrewd Russian top diplomat. The joke is now on Kerry and his department, which now answers every serious question by promising Kerry would be meeting with Lavrov soon . . . .”   It also noted that “the human cost of the crisis in Syria hitting unbearable levels.” 

Years ago I proposed a tactic to be used in Syria that required a massive influx of American forces slowly moving into the country. It would have worked and saved many thousands of lives and prevented the exodus of Syrians to Europe. That no longer can work. But what can?

Do I suggest nothing can like those so-called experts? Absolutely not! America must act if it can and here it can.

The answer is easy. It just takes a little foresight and courage. It takes looking back at what happened before when we were about to hit the Syrian treasures of Assad, his infrastructure, palaces, air force and army because of his use of chemical weapons. He folded his hand and gave up the chemical weapons. I am not privy to any side deals made with him about us not attacking him but whatever they were his recent actions have clearly abrogated them.

Here’s my plan. Get all the forces we planned to use during the prior confrontation back in place within a week; tell Assad he has that one week to stop murdering other Syrians. He must pull back his army and ground his air force. If he doesn’t we then let him have it with our full complement.

We have the power; all we need is the will. We do have a moral obligation to prevent war crimes. If we don’t act when we can doesn’t that make us implicated in those crimes?  

18 thoughts on “Syria: I Weep for You. True, President Obama Plays as War Crimes are Committed.

  1. Let the Russians stew in their own mess. The trick to Syria is not to get directly involved. Putin’s military involvement in Syria makes it difficult for Russia to make moves in Ukraine, and, other hot-spots The Russian military is not as numerous, or, as potent, as it was under the Soviets. Putin can only keep his boot on so many bases. Obama is patiently waiting for him to hit into a double-play.

    Watch the campaign to take Mosul, if you want to see the Obama administration make moves. As Fallujah was taken, so will Mosul fall. The US, and, it’s proxies, are slowly strangling the DAESH forces in the city. Once resupply becomes impossible, the DAESH will begin to melt away, as they did in Fallujah. It’s way too early to judge Obama’s policy as a failure.

    Have patience. A land invasion of Syria by US ground forces would end in disaster, not because we’d be defeated in battle, but, because we would unable to control the peace. Study what happened in Iraq. Better the Russians should make the peace…and, pay the price for it.

  2. Matt: Many of us disagree. What about the war crimes by US Allies in Yemen? Will we and the Saudis be prosecuted for the use of cluster bombs and targeting of civilian facilities? Newflash: We arm the Saudis. What about our June bombings of Syrian medical facilities? We say we don’t target civilians. Everyone says this.
    2. Assad’s forces are Shia. There are 80 million Shia in Iran and 15 million Shia in Iraq. The U.S. cannot kill Shia in Syria with impunity. We risk a broader war and a revolt of the Iraqi Shia, whom we need to defeat ISIS in Iraq.
    3. Syria does not threaten the U.S. – – Leave Syria alone.
    4. To minimize the risk US casualties: withdraw from Syria immediately, and then from Iraq as soon as possible after Mosul.
    5. The only justification for US troops in IRAQ is that (1) they’ve been invited by the IRAQI Govt and (2) their focus is solely on ISIS. Once Mosul falls, bring back all US forces.

  3. The continuation of warfare in Syria is contrived. It is the fulfillment an Israeli plan devised in the 80s by Moshe Ya’alon. It was replicated in the 90s by the neocons as an American policy. The idea is to keep Arabs divided and killing each other all for the expansion and glory of Israel.

    Here is my plan. Cut all aid to Israel which has a higher income than huge swathes of the United States. Let them spend their own money and the blood of their soldiers if they choose to continue with this evil. It is none of America’s business. There is no threat to America. If Russia protects the long standing naval base in Syria, it is OK by me.

    America has no interest in the Middle East worth a finger nail clipping off a single American soldier or sailor. America First. America Only. It is time to retire Uncle Sucker. We can live with other people killing each other. If history is prologue we would make matters worse anyway.

    You mean well but let me quote a famous movie line, “Frankly, Matt, I don’t give a damn.”

  4. Matt,
    People die under brutal insurgencies: ISIS, Al-Nustra, the Rebels. The Rebels started this war, funded by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, U.S. and NATO (Turkey’s a major instigator.)
    Assad has a right to fight against the rebels in his country, as Lincoln did in ours. Before the Russians got involved (Sept 2015, at Assad’s invitation), 300,000 had been killed in Syria’s Civil War. Russia will help Assad end the war quickly. U.S./NATO has done nothing but prolong the bloodshed.
    2. You suggest we not deal with Russia diplomatically? How else? Militarily? Will that reduce bloodshed?
    3. We should stop all our participation in Syria. Let Assad-Russia finish off ISIS and Al-Nustra. Give U.S.-backed rebels asylum in Jordan, Turkey, Saudi-Arabia and other Gulf States. Get out of Syria as we got out of Vietnam.
    4. It is partly CIA instigation and Hillary’s 2012 promise of a no-fly zone in Syria that emboldened the rebels originally.
    5. When will U.S. cease its military interventionism and CIA-instigated rebellions in the Middle East and elsewhere?

  5. War is hell.
    U.S. Civil War: 50,000 civilians killed (McPherson).
    WWII: US and its Allies Saturation Bomb German Cities, Firebomb Japanese Cities, and drop A-Bombs. (Allies kill millions of civilians.)
    Vietnam—some estimate hundreds of thousands of civilians killed by US-Allied bombing, shelling, etc.
    Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria: some estimate hundreds of thousands of civilians killed due to U.S/Allies’ actions.
    Weep for the World.
    2. We can’t stop every rebellion or every civil war. We don’t have to participate in them.
    3. Remember Benghazi: We were told if we don’t create a no-fly zone, 10,000 would die; We did, and 50,000 died.
    4. De-escalate. Step back from the brink. Use diplomatic pressure, alone.

    1. Bill:

      You have seen the results of diplomatic pressure. People die under the hands of the brutal Russians and Assad forces. We are already participating in the Syrian conflict with our special forces and air planes. It’s time we got serious. Dealing with Russia diplomatically should have taught us the lesson not to expect a reward from the wicked as the farmer who saved the viper learned.

  6. Where is our moral obligation to prevent war crimes in Yemen? Thousands of civilians there have been killed with American weapons by American allies. No one at PBS or in the media is troubled by that. It is total nonsense to say that the tactics used by Assad are the most brutal in history. How many Chinese civilians were killed during the Rape of Nanking and the total Japanese invasion? How many civilians did America kill in the Tokyo fire bombing and at Hiroshima.?Thirty five million civilians were killed in WW2. Many by the U S. Stalin and the Nazis used less brutal tactics than Assad? Is that a credible argument? How many innocents were killed in Viet Nam by both sides? Don;t fall for the think tank-media nonsense coming out of DC.2. The Shia, Yazedis and Christians in Syria support Assad and are fighting for their lives. Some want to believe that ISIS and Al Nusra are benign. They are not . They are Jihadi terrorists and if Russia, China, Iran and Assad comprehensively defeat them and rescue the minorities there so much the better. Much hype is being generated because the Rebels are losing. Regime change as a policy has been a complete failure in Syria, Libya and everywhere it has been tried. Too many Americans fall for the spin that we and we alone must stop all wars worldwide. That is not our job. Some forget J. Q. Adams warning that we should not go abroad seeking monsters to destroy. We are the guarantors of of our own liberty only. The sooner we vacate the Middle East the better. Death to ISIS and Al Nusra. Don;t worry Kerry is going to hold his breath to force the Russians to negotiate

    1. NC:

      1. We are not in Yemen nor are we in the Philippines – we are in Syria. What happened in the past that were errors should not be repeated in the present if it can be helped. We are in a position to lessen the amount of murders being committed by Assad and Russia. We should do that.

      2. Has anything happened since the time of J.Q. Adams that would show he was right or wrong. We cannot vacate the Middle East because if we do it will come here — remember 9/11. Plus we have just agreed to give, yes to gift, Israel with five billion dollars a year for armaments for each of the next ten years. How can we possibly leave? You mention such a good group” “Russia, China, Iran and Assad.” I suppose we should let them do all the policing of the world and we’ll sit home and wait for the result. You seem to see only American evils and not that we are the guarantor of free passage on the seas which both Russia and China are trying to restrict. Your idea where America sits home and lets the other nice nations do their nice work might sound appealing but those nations into whose hands you want to put others are our enemies. Do we forever run from them?

      As for Kerry having been betrayed by the Russians on countless occasions (Crimes, Eastern Ukraine, Syria, etc) that he still bargains with them – and wants to go back to bargain with them again after they stuck a knife in his back again – shows he is probably the worst secretary of state since Alfred E. Neuman, my candidate for president.

  7. Matt:

    According to current do-nothing policy and practice, “saving lives” is less important than allegations of groping and inappropriate words. The controlled media has made certain that Trump needs to be vilified and killed off. His solutions against the status quo are just what America needs.

    It has been determined that America needs phony-baloney wars to keep the 1% happy while they stuff their bank accounts at the cost of murdering innocent women and children. The collateral damage is devastating and affects us all.

    The “Leeds”” allegations are the most stunning yet in which she claims that Trump’s “octopus’ hands” were okay until they went “under her skirt” and that’s when Trump crossed the line and enough was enough.

    Better yet, Trump had this urgent impulse to “grope” and “kiss” a stranger, Leeds, in the first class cabin, in plain sight for all to see, and she said nothing about it until decades later.

    The mainstream media has surrendered America to the whimsy and fraud of a government gone bad and getting worse.

    We have a Congress that is a self-serving criminal operation, we have FBI Director, James Comey, who actually, in plain sight, sold out the FBI and “justice” and we have a Department of Justice that is a bigger criminal operation than the Italian Mafia. And America stands by watching and doing and saying nothing.

    The freedom, privacy and freedom of speech of more than 300 million Americans are on the table. Hillary Clinton essentially wants to do away with the Internet.

    Hillary Clinton’s “dream” of “open borders” will result in a tax increase on lower and middle class income wage earners unlike anything ever seen in the history of America and that’s just for openers.

    As only one example, just imagine what the introduction of thousand of non-English speaking children into the school systems in America will mean socially and financially? The only question needing to examined: Is it a “dream” or a nightmare?

    As I said, “Trump’s alleged “worst” may be America’s best.”

    1. Doug:

      Unfortunately some of what you say is true especially when it comes to the two tiered system of justice as shown by Comey, but don’t forget he is keeping up a long FBI tradition of playing favorites. J. Edgar had no problem with the Mafia until his job was on the line.

      I don’t buy anyone thinking we could have open borders – we’d become a third world nation in five years since all the world would flock here because everyone who arrives gets a good deal. Remember all the Russians who used to come (probably still do) and immediately get on Social Security disability.

      I have no love for Trump nor for Clinton the ultimate insider.

      1. Matt:

        Take no offense, all of what I say is true and I can provide you or anyone with evidence to prove it.

        As to Hillary Clinton’s “dream” for open borders, if she wins it will become a reality with Executive Orders and appointments to the Supreme Court.

        She has already signaled that guns are out, the Internet is out, free speech is out, privacy is out and freedom is out. What else does America need to know?

    1. Elmer:

      Thanks for the reference. I don’t think my approach will bring about any type of war with Russia. I think Putin has done what he does because he has taken the read of the United States and sees us acting just as the “streewiseprofessor” writes unable to do anything because of some contingency. I’m not suggesting we lose any American lives: the dictator Assad will be the one who loses. We lose some money in launching the attack but that should not be our concern.

      As far as being involved in that mess we are already deeply involved. If we can do something to save some lives without losing any of our young warriors we should do it. What happened was predictable when Obama accepted the Peace Prize thinking it was on the level. The people giving it out compromised him which gave rise to ISIS and now the Syrian disaster.

      We have to have a real line in the sand. If we back off because of fear of Putin we might as well fold out tent.

  8. “…the White House and the Press are more concerned with what Donald Trump did with a stewardess 25 years ago”.

    When a magician does this as part of his act it is called misdirection. Paying called attention to the magician’s left hand helps the audience not to notice the right hand that is going to hi s pocket.

    1. Ed:

      I guess they are right when they say sex sells. Speaking of magicians – they always fooled me and I love it especially sawing the woman in half.

  9. The US needed to get “boots on the ground” BEFORE Russia started bombing in Syria, the Russians would not of taken the chance of killing American troops, now this can not be accomplished. The US never went ALL IN with Syria because they think they can finesse the area with all their liberal Phd think tanks, when we needed “shock and awe” then take Iraq and Syria and pay for it with Iraqi oil. Why pretend to be anything else except a militaristic, money hungry nation, the least we can do is be consistent. What really bothers me is Mikal Gorbachev is warning the West that Russia is on the verge of major military action and expansion while the White House and the Press are more concerned with what Donald Trump did with a stewardess 25 years ago

    1. Daniel:

      Good comment. It is too late to stop some things in Syria; not too late to still have an effective threat against Assad and a willingness to carry it out. Kerry was always conned by the Russians – he is the type of guy who likes the title and prestige but does not get down to the consequences of his inattention to real happenings.

      I don’t believe Russia would dare do anything to box us in. Putin is playing a game based on his reading of Obama that he will back down to any threat. He keeps pushing the envelope by making deals and then undermining them to see what happens. Kerry made the cease fire deal; Russia laughed at him and went ahead and violated it; Kerry’s response is to try to make the deal again. Why, because Obama won’t authorize any type of force except as we saw the other day when our ships after being fired upon in Yemen fired back at three radar sites. (I’m skeptical of that whole thing — are we getting involved in Yemen to help the Saudis and distract from our timidity in Syria.)

      We did not need Gorbachev to tell us Russia is building up its forces while American is doing nothing to even consider what is happening. How many reports have you read about Putin telling his people that they should have their dependents return to the homeland? The media has engaged in a great conspiracy to destroy Trump so pushing the sex issue over and over again is its way to do him in.

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