Syria … a summary

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I did not know the analysis by Roger Mickelson was waiting for me while I worked on my last post about the same subject.  My piece was amateurish at best, Roger’s is full of facts and educated reasoning.  Read about Roger’s qualifications or bona fides  at the end of his article.

Syria…a summary                               by Roger Mickelson      09/07/2013

Background. The Fertile Crescent has hosted wars throughout written history. Adversaries sought wealth, power, and, since the beginnings of Islam, ideological domination. Islam, as with most religions, has been subject to schisms, most notably the Sunni-Shia fundamental belief systems…and there are many more splinter groups, particularly those fundamentalist and extremist religious sects that seek to return to the Muslim foundations 1300 years ago.

This underlying conflict environment, the failure of the Caliphate, and the arbitrary creation of national borders after World War I that were and are inconsistent with ethnic and tribal concentrated populations led to increasingly violent conflicts over the last century. Kings and autocratic dictators used internal oppression to maintain what looked like stability, but the most recent eruptions of insurrection, violent overthrows of despotic leaders, and the covert instigation by Islamic extremists (e.g., al Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood) led to the so-called Arab Spring series of supposedly sectarian revolts that morphed into ideological civil wars. Some of these have been localized; others involve external actors and allies.

Situation. Syria was and is yet another case of minority-governed, oppressive regimes in the region. It has been a key ally in the region, aligned with Iran to support Shia-influenced Islamic extremists (e.g., Hizb ‘Allah, Hamas) throughout the region with weapons, supplies, political and military advice, and promises for more of the same. Influenced in part by other nations (e.g., Russia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar) with economic and other concerns in the area, Syria plays a central role in the Mid-East. An unstable Syria is a problem for everyone. And it isn’t a simple problem.

The outbreak of the armed conflict by insurgents, economically repressed citizens, and subtle religious ideologues led to the deaths of more than 100,000 civilians, the exodus of 2,000,000 people, and the displacement within Syria of another 1,000,000 or so refugees out of the country. Revolts naturally trigger violent responses by threatened governments, and “President” Bashar al-Assad harshly responded to the uprising by “the people.”

Aside from the political posturing and appeals to emotion in the current debate,

  • No vital US national interests are at risk; this is a fully sufficient reason to refrain from any US military action against Syria.
  • Any US military action in reaction to the internal Syrian civil war is an act of war against a foreign, sovereign nation.
  • The American public does not support US military action against Syria.
  • There are no stated objectives in proposed military actions.
  • The supposed Allied support is eroding daily; no one else wants to use their military forces against Syria.
  • Any limited US unilateral military action will be ineffective and escalatory.
  • Support of dissident factions constitutes US support of some Islamic extremists, our enemies throughout the world.
  • Collateral casualties will result from long-range strikes, causing a worldwide outcry against the US.
  • Iran, Russia, and Arab nations friendly to Syria are likely to retaliate.
  • Syria will respond with cyber and terrorist attacks on the US at home and abroad.
  • The alleged use of lethal chemical weapons violates international agreements.
  • Therefore, international, multi-national sanctions are needed, but Russia will block UN actions against Syria.
  • The United States continues to ignore the earlier 100,000 civilian deaths in Syria, similar to the avoidance of action in Africa, where more than a million have been killed.
  • There is a humanitarian “feeling” that the US should “do something,” but delaying consideration of any action violates the principle of war about surprise and proposing a very limited military action violates the principle of war about mass.
  • The vast preponderance of circumstances, history, sovereignty, and facts show that the United States must take no unilateral or even allied military actions. If the “feel good” pressures to act must be sated, political, economic, and social elements of national power should be brought to bear; military power is a last resort, not an easy, knee-jerk first resort.
  • This is clearly and simply a distraction from looming US domestic issues (e.g., budget, health care, debt, unemployment, elections), diverting the public from more relevant topics.

Colonel Roger Mickelson (US Army, Retired) is President of The Military Conflict Institute, an international group of experienced foreign affairs, national security strategy, diplomatic, and military experts who seek to foster public understanding of the nature of military conflict. The views expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views of the institute.

AP: Syrian Rebels Seize Control Of Christian Village

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This latest attack on minority Syrian Christians is just more of what we can expect if we decide to release bombs in Syria.  If you have any doubt that al-Qaida linked rebels will delight in the slaughter of Christians and other minorities in Syria after we bomb for chemical agents then you haven’t looked at recent history to see what a mess we have left to the Taliban, al-Qaida and other Islāmic terrorists.  It is a mess they can manage, because unlike the United States government, they have a will to win and collateral damage is just a price of winning each battle until a total win is knitted together and the United States is just a bitter taste in those countries pock-marked by the bombs of the United States.

I certainly wish it could be otherwise, but the rest of the world and especially the radical Islamists, have seen our once proud resolve waste away when the going gets rough; not the resolve of our fighting men and women, but that of politicians, bureaucrats and a president habitually speaking of “facts,”  not existing … that would be verifiable facts.  We do not speak of the resolve to bomb.  Bombing is easy enough with or without the approval of Congress and/or the acquiescence of the American Citizen.

So, let us follow the first few paragraphs of the latest slaughter of Christians:


AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Syrian rebels led by al-Qaida-linked fighters seized control of a predominantly Christian village northeast of Damascus, sweeping into the mountainside sanctuary in heavy fighting overnight and forcing hundreds of residents to flee, activists and locals said Sunday.

The battle over Maaloula, an ancient village that is home to two of the oldest surviving monasteries in Syria, has thrown a spotlight on the deep-seated fears that many of Syria’s religious minorities harbor about the growing role of Islamic extremists on the rebel side in the civil war against President Bashar Assad’s regime.

The prominence of al-Qaida-linked fighters has factored into the reluctance of Western powers to provide direct military support to the rebels. It has also figured in the debate underway in the U.S. Congress over whether to launch military strikes against Syria in retaliation for an alleged chemical weapons attack last month.

Finally, my ending remarks:  Where in the cloudy sky of economics will we get the bucks to pay for this adventure in Hades.

Click Here For The Rest Of The Article

Some Repubs Bow To Obama

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Powerful Republican Representatives and Senators are buying another excursion to a place we should not allow our nation to be embroiled.  To begin, we are fighting two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan where Al Qaeda is as strong, if not stronger than before we crashed their party in both countries.  Additionally, as it always seems, we have lost both of those conflicts because we are unable to understand there is no winning unless we are willing to inflict collateral damage as part of the price paid to win the war when the terrorists seek refuge among families.  Families which may or may not sympathetic to Al Qaeda or the Taliban, and may despise the “liberator.”

Logo Muslim Brotherhood

Logo Muslim Brotherhood (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We (the United States) supported the Muslim Brotherhood when Mubarak was deposed in Egypt, only to learn the new ruler voted in by popular vote was as bad if not worse than the previous.  The Egyptian military and millions of ordinary citizens forced the duly elected Morsi out of his post and into incarceration.  I believe we will find he was removed for valid reasons and Egypt will be the better for his absence.

There are armies and governments fully able to invest in freeing their neighbors and fellow Muslims.  And, we should allow require them to do so before we spend any more citizens and money to play in another sandbox.  Whatever the reason or justification given, going into or over Syria is tantamount to aiding Al Qaeda and other Muslim fanatics.

We still need answers about what transpired, and the culpable ones for our shameful losses of people and standing in Libya.

Run, don’t walk, our butts out of any intent to become involved in or above Syria.

Related articles

Out: We Need To Be Out Of Syria & Other Such Places

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Enough is enough.  When this nation has switched fully into partnering with and arming militants consistently killing Christians and innocent children and women who were unarmed, then we need to hang our heads with the utmost humbleness and shame for what we have allowed this nation to come to.

In the past several weeks some Syrian rebels have beheaded several Christian men, killed women and children and chanted a well-known term used with clear glee and jubilation.  The “commander,” of one rebel unit sliced into a man’s chest until the heart was exposed;  he continued the slicing until the man’s liver was visible.  Not content with this mutilation, the commander removed the heart and liver.  While the commander placed the heart in his mouth and held it with his teeth and left hand, the liver was held in the right hand.

Syrian rebels are now armed with weapons supplied by the United States and it is likely this nation will become bogged down in the muck and mire of yet another nation, fighting the same sort of people we fought in Iraq, that we are fighting in Afghanistan, and in all probability in places about which we’ve not been informed.

While I generally do not trust or support the United Nations, they have stated:

It is impossible to choose unequivocally good guys among the groups of Syrian rebels and send weapons to them. This warning was voiced by chairman of the UN independent panel investigating possible violations of human rights in Syria Paulo Sergio Pinheiro on Friday.

Besides having a president and an administration, neither of which have never met a lie they would have trouble using, we have Senator John McCain (R-AZ) a hero of action in Vietnam, now believing he is right on immigration and Syria.  Sadly and unfortunately he is wrong on both issues.  Both issues will eventually cost many innocent American lives, but our ruptured government is clueless or deceptive … maybe both.

WARNING: You may follow the related articles below, but please know some of the images are atrocious and not suitable for youth to view without parental supervision.

 

“If We Could Talk To The Animals,” … We Could Negotiate With Monsters

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Our dear leader and others in his administration wants to talk to
animals to ease our way from Afghanistan.  We know, or should
know, the Taliban are connected to Al Qaeda and they exchange ways to
kill, torture and mutilate in the most horrific ways conceived by evil
people.

The latest in their circus of destruction has 10 people
from different nations being slaughtered in a mountain camp situated
above 12,000 feet.  Here’s a short quote from a Brietbart piece followed
by the rest of the story from the link after the quote:

The lengths to which the Taliban will go to massacre innocent people have quite literally reached new heights.
Saturday, in a mountaineering camp above 12,000 feet in Pakistan, 10
mountaineers from various countries including America, the Ukraine,
Slovakia, China, Lithuania and Nepal, were shot and killed at
point-blank range. An umbrella Taliban movement called Junood ul-Hifsa
claimed they murdered the climbers in revenge for US drone strikes on
the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

Follow the link below to read the rest of Breitbart’s account:

If We Could Talk To The Animals We Could Negotiate With The Monsters

Two Peas In A Pod?

Map of West Bank and Gaza Strip

Image via Wikipedia

By Chuck Ring (GadaboutBlogalot ©2009 -2011

Quote Freely From The Article – Leave The Pseudonym Alone

NOT two peas in a pod.  Fatah and Hamas,  each a Palestinian political party, are poles apart in their attitudes toward the death of Osama bin Laden.  Hamas, ever the terrorist group, naturally bemoans the death, while Fatah touts the death as a gift to world peace.  This demonstration of disunity, after an agreement of unity was signed by both parties on April 27th, is quite telling, and Reuters.com provides a report on the differences in a story by NiIdal al-Mughrabi:

“Getting rid of bin Laden is good for the cause of peace worldwide but what counts is to overcome the discourse and the methods — the violent methods — that were created and encouraged by bin Laden and others in the world,” PA spokesman Ghassan Khatib said.

In the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, Haniyeh accused the United States of pursuing a policy based on “oppression and the shedding of Arab and Muslim blood.”

“We condemn the assassination and the killing of an Arab holy warrior,” he said.

Hamas condemned as a terrorist groups by major powers in the world,  have their detractors within other terrorist groups that believe Hamas is too moderate:

Political analysts in the Gaza Strip said Haniyeh was attempting through his remarks to cool tensions in the territory with al Qaeda-inspired Salafi groups. They consider Hamas too moderate and waged gun battles recently with its forces.

“Haniyeh took in his consideration the situation in Gaza and the strong presence of Salafi groups. It was an attempt to reconcile with them after the fighting,” said analyst Hani Habib.

Israel is unhappy with the accord, believing the result will be more attacks against Israel.  The US has looked at the new accord with less than enthusiasm. It seems the Palestinians are in constant turmoil against their own and against their perceived Israeli boogeymen.

You can read the entire story by going to this link and look for related stories at the links below.

Former bin Laden Pal — Give It Up! Really?

US propaganda leaflet used in Afghanistan.

Image via Wikipedia

By Chuck Ring (GadaboutBlogalot ©2009 – 2010)

Quote Freely From The Article – Leave The Pseudonym Alone

According to a report by Jonny Paul on 9/12 in  The Jerusalem Post, an old buddy of bin Laden has called on him to stop fighting.  At least … something like that.  But, who was this fellow then and who is he now:

LONDON – A former jihadist leader who spent several years with Osama bin Laden published an open letter on Friday calling for him to end al- Qaida’s “armed struggle.”

Noman Benotman, a former senior leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group who in the 1990s spent several years with bin Laden in Afghanistan and Sudan, published the letter through the London-based anti-extremism think tank Quilliam Foundation.

According to the two paragraphs above, we now know who he was in the 1990s, but we only know some of who/what he is now.  After asking bin Laden to agree to a unilateral cease-fire of sorts, Mr. Benotman pitches a hardball to the seemingly invisible butcher:

“Your actions have harmed millions of innocent Muslims and non- Muslims alike. How is this Islam or jihad? For how much longer will al- Qaida continue to bring shame on Islam, disrupt ordinary Muslims’ lives, and be the cause of global unrest? “What has the September 11 brought to the world except mass killings, occupations, destruction, hatred of Muslims, humiliation of Islam, and a tighter grip on the lives of ordinary Muslims by the authoritarian regimes that control Arab and Muslim states?” he asked.

The publication of the letter will see the use of different media, including Jihadist web forums.

It is difficult to imagine that Benotman has so drastically changed course and ideology, if indeed, such change is factual.  He now enjoys high status with a think tank that is anti-extremist, which  should need serious spot-changing were he a Leopard.  Let’s see more:

Last month, Benotman was appointed as senior analyst at Quilliam.

He heads the foundation’s work on the de-radicalization processes in the UK and the foundation’s outreach to current and former extremists. The former jihadist is able to use his inside knowledge of jihadist groups and al-Qaida in his work.

Benotman said: “I have written this letter because I believe that it is time to start a debate within Muslim communities about terrorism, extremism and its effects. The news today of an American preacher planning to burn the Koran shows the damage that al-Qaida has done to the image of Islam and Muslims in the West.

“We also need to start a debate with bin Laden himself. He is not a prophet, he is just a human being.

Benotman says that bin Laden has to be convinced that the fighting and killing has accomplished nothing of value and has only resulted in serious loss of life on all sides.  He has serious desires as to his letter’s effect on bin Laden and others, just as he wishes for Muslim scholars to gain some hope in their fight against al-Qaida:

“Also, I hope this letter will give hope to Muslim scholars and others who are already fighting against al- Qaida. They need to know that they are not alone. We, as Muslims, have to say that enough is enough, it is time for the violence and killing to stop,” he declared.

What remains to be seen is whether Benotman is serious and whether he “has the horses” to pull his plans off to his desired conclusion.  While we wait, you can read all the article by clicking right here.

I am glad Noman Benotman is working to change bin Laden, but have you pondered his name by separating the first and last name into syllables.  Hmm.  Never mind, it’s nothing.

Down That Road We Go

Aftermath of the September 11 attacks
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By Chuck Ring (GadaboutBlogalot ©2009).

Quote Freely From The Article – Leave The Pseudonym Alone

When the military leaders start expressing that they are fearful that the American public is growing less supportive of the war in Afghanistan, it is time for those who believe that it is important to defeat Al-Queda and their sisters, the Taliban, to start turning the political screws. Remember, it was the Taliban that refused to force Osama bin Laden out of Pakistan after September 11, 2001.

Those of us who are old enough to remember that the politicians snatched “defeat from the jaws of victory” in Viet Nam will not want to see the same ugly picture show its face in Afghanistan. We, as a nation and a people, are not in a position to drop our guard and our commitment to defeat Al-Queda and anyone who stands in our way or by Al-Queda’s side.

We have paid a price beyond the wildest imagination of any perceived by thinking Americans and it is time to up the ante and increase troop and equipment levels to that needed to lay to rest as many terrorist operatives as is humanly, not necessarily humanely, possible . No that’s right, war itself is not humane, but it is justified and will be so until the animals are caged or annihilated.

We should all pray that our politicians and military leaders will have the courage to finish this war and others we enter with a defeat of the enemy and a victory which would cause the enemy to “study war no more.” We have to remember, that we didn’t “study” this war into existance, but we do have to pass the test of it. Otherwise, we will be fighting it and others until all of our resolve is wasted.

Some are asking if Afghanistan will be Obama’s Viet Nam.  It can, but only if he is too weak to bring solid victory without flim-flam and bull butter.

Real Victory and real soon.

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Chuck I Am — Conflicted I Be

Taliban bounty flyer
Image via Wikipedia

By Chuck Ring (GadaboutBlogalot ©2009)

Quote Freely From The Article – Leave The Pseudonym Alone

Conflicted, but a happy confliction if there is such a thing. I have written, in the recent past, regarding our propensity to forgive and forget when it comes to fighting and winning the battle against worldwide terrorism. Silly stuff, such as no placing of names on the evil that derives from the zealots that claim divine calling to kill the infidels. Infidels that happen to be you and me in their chopped up brains.

Satisfaction comes now after reading an article about death decrees for the drug lords in Afghanistan. Death decrees that our military leaders have placed on the heads of the drug lords. These people can not be separated from the terrorists because the dollars derived from the sale of opium are the same dollars that help to finance the Taliban, and possibly Al-Queda. The havoc wreaked on the battlefield is just one part of the total destruction created by the terrorists in their drug trafficking. In the case of the opium, which is eventually processed into heroin. for the most part, the ravages are on  backs and souls of the people in the United States when their fix or fixes for the day are consumed.

It remains to be seen whether our civilian leaders will try to trump our military and prevent them from carrying out their duties. In the meantime, read this story or this story and hope that Congress and Obama will keep their noses out of anything to do with this planned effort.

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Well, Duh

by Chuck Ring (GadaboutBlogalot ©2009)

Quote Freely From The Article – Leave The Pseudonym Alone

Listen, excuse the vernacular in the title, but, “well, duh!”  I am wondering what you do with people or “animals” that have vowed to wipe the “Great Satan” and other of their enemies, from the face of the earth. Those animals that belong to no government, that wear no uniforms and that have killed many thousands of children, women  and men (perhaps hundreds of thousands) since they began their crusade senseless slaughter over the face of the earth.  Some members of  our American congress seem to forget that prohibitions against assassinating so-called al queda operatives (not capitalized intentionally) is not only counter-productive for the welfare of our citizens, but might result in our form of government being changed to a theocracy. That is, if this administration and this congress doesn’t succeed in changing our Republic to some form of socialistic or communistic serfdom.

The latest flap comes over an alleged plan to kill or capture, depending on who one believes, top level members of  the nefarious organization that was responsible for the tragic events of September 11, 2001 (9/11). While I believe that any declared Al Queda operatives should be “fair game animals” those in power seem to believe they should be protected as ordinary citizens or regulars in an organized government military. Sorry, in my mind, that old dog won’t hunt.

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