Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Last week, the Obama administration announced that U.S. Intelligence points to small-scale use of sarin in Syria:
In a letter sent to
lawmakers before Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel's announcement, the White House said that
intelligence analysts have concluded "with varying degrees of confidence
that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in
Syria, specifically the chemical agent sarin."
The White House cautioned
that the "chain of custody" of the chemicals was not clear and that
intelligence analysts could not confirm the circumstances under which
the sarin was used, including the role of Syrian President Bashar
But, the letter said, "we do believe that any use of chemical weapons in
Syria would very likely have originated with the Assad regime."
Note the caution and need for further investigation of the evidence in this statement. This is the lesson learned from the fabrication of intelligence and lies told to falsely lead this country into an unnecessary war in Iraq. Contrast this restraint with Neocon war monger Sen. John McCain, who said the evidence is good enough for him, let's intervene in Syria yesterday:
Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, urged the administration to work for the establishment of a safe zone for Syrian rebels.
"Everything that the
non-interventionists said would happen in Syria if we intervened has
happened," he said. "The jihadists are on the ascendency, there is
chemical weapons being used, the massacres continue.
"The president of the
United States said that if Bashar Assad used chemical weapons that it
would be a game changer, that it would cross a red line," the Arizona
senator said. "I think it is pretty obvious that red line has been
Later, McCain said the
reported use of chemical weapons was only a matter of time and that the
United States "should have intervened a long time ago whether Bashar
al-Assad was using them or not."
"No one should be
surprised that he would do such a thing. We all know he will do
whatever's necessary to hang on to power," McCain told CNN's Jake Tapper
on Thursday. "And why should, frankly, chemical weapons be a red line
when he's slaughtering and massacring, raping and torturing, his own
Sen. McCain clearly prefers to see American troops fighting and dying in Syria, the justification for such a unilateral military intervention and to what purpose, he did not say. Team America: World Police is a fictional movie, not a foreign policy strategy, despite what McCain and his Neocon war monger buddies at PNAC dreaming of a Pax Americana empire fantasize about. America is not the world's cop.
Nor does McCain say on whose side the U.S. should ally in an intervention, or consider the unanticipated consequences of doing so. (He has learned nothing from the disastrous Neocon military adventure in Iraq.) The New York Times today reports, Islamist Rebels Create Dilemma on Syria Policy:
Across Syria, rebel-held areas are dotted with Islamic courts staffed by
lawyers and clerics, and by fighting brigades led by extremists. Even
the Supreme Military Council, the umbrella rebel organization whose
formation the West had hoped would sideline radical groups, is stocked
with commanders who want to infuse Islamic law into a future Syrian
Nowhere in rebel-controlled Syria is there a secular fighting force to speak of.
* * *
Among the most extreme groups is the notorious Al Nusra Front, the
Qaeda-aligned force declared a terrorist organization by the United
States, but other groups share aspects of its Islamist ideology in
“Some of the more extremist opposition is very scary from an American
perspective, and that presents us with all sorts of problems,” said Ari
Ratner, a fellow at the Truman National Security Project and former
Middle East adviser in the Obama State Department. “We have no illusions
about the prospect of engaging with the Assad regime — it must still go
— but we are also very reticent to support the more hard-line rebels.”
* * *
The religious agenda of the combatants sets them apart from many
civilian activists, protesters and aid workers who had hoped the
uprising would create a civil, democratic Syria.
When the armed rebellion began, defectors from the government’s
staunchly secular army formed the vanguard. The rebel movement has since
grown to include fighters with a wide range of views, including
Qaeda-aligned jihadis seeking to establish an Islamic emirate, political
Islamists inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood and others who want an
Islamic-influenced legal code like that found in many Arab states.
“My sense is that there are no seculars,” said Elizabeth O’Bagy, of the
Institute for the Study of War, who has made numerous trips to Syria in
recent months to interview rebel commanders.
Of most concern to the United States is the Nusra Front, whose leader
recently confirmed that the group cooperated with Al Qaeda in Iraq and
pledged fealty to Al Qaeda’s top leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, Osama bin
Laden’s longtime deputy. Nusra has claimed responsibility for a number
of suicide bombings and is the group of choice for the foreign jihadis
pouring into Syria.
Another prominent group, Ahrar al-Sham, shares much of Nusra’s extremist ideology but is made up mostly of Syrians.
So when McCain says the U.S. should intervene in Syria on behalf of the rebel opposition, the unanticipated consequences of this knee-jerk response to intervention in Syria may be empowering radical Islamists with connections to al Qaeda, and the creation of a radical Islamic state opposed to the U.S. and Israel. This is why no one should ever listen to John McCain on foreign policy.
But "If it's Sunday, it's John McCain" and his puppet boy Little Lindsey Graham on the Sunday morning bobblehead shows, promoting their Neocon bloodlust for U.S. intervention in Syria. Steve Benen reports, Avoiding a 'costly military enterprise':
For his part, John McCain, making his ninth Sunday show appearance of
the year — the most of anyone in the country — now believes President
Obama is to blame, at least in part, for the Assad regime's offensives.
has happened here is the president drew red lines about chemical
weapons thereby giving a green light to Bashar Assad to do anything
short of that — including scud missiles and helicopter gunships and air
strikes and mass executions and atrocities that are on a scale that we
have not seen in a long, long time," McCain said.
The senator, who has the misfortune of being wrong about nearly every
foreign policy conflict of the last few decades, added that he does not
want the U.S. to invade Syria, but prefers to give "assistance" to
rebels fighting the Assad regime.
Many of those same rebels, it's worth emphasizing, have already pledged allegiance to al Qaeda, a detail McCain generally prefers to overlook when he argues we should give them resources and weapons.
McCain's puppet boy, Little Lindsey Graham on "Face the Nation," went just a little further still:
"[F]our things are going to happen if we don't change course in
Syria. It's going to become a failed state by the end of the year. It's
fracturing along sectarian/ethnic lines. It's going to be an al Qaeda
"The second thing, the chemical weapons, enough to kill millions of
people, are going to be compromised and fall into the wrong hands. And
the next bomb that goes off in America may not have nails and glass in
Yep, it sure sounds like Graham believes the U.S. has to
intervene in Syria or we'll face a chemical weapon attack on American
soil. The "smoking gun as a mushroom cloud" argument didn't go away; it
The only option here, one that Syrian President Bashar
al-Assad has already rejected, if for he and his regime to leave Syria in exile to a safe haven (Russia reportedly has offered). United Nations weapons inspectors would have to be deployed in Syria to secure the chemical weapons stockpiles. They would require armed military protection. But none of this appears likely to occur.