Showing posts with label Syria. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Syria. Show all posts

March 22, 2019

Israel and The Golan Heights

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "A Great Day On The Golan Heights."
Between 1948 and 1967, the Golan was used by Syria to indiscriminately shell and harass Israeli villages in the Galilee, including in April 1967 at which time Israel shot down six Syrian MIG fighter planes as a warning to Syria. Finally, after twenty years of these continuing attacks by Syria on Israel from the Golan, did Syria finally lose the Golan to Israel in the ensuing 1967 War. Contrary to those who say that recognizing Israel’s control of the Golan endorses the forceful taking of land from other countries, the monumental shift in American policy on Purim this week actually provides critical deterrence against war by recognizing the potential consequences to those like Syria that unjustly wage war and lose.

Thank you to President Trump for setting the record straight with respect to Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights and for supporting Israel's right to peace and security.  

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 3, 2019

Video Of Video


We went to the art galleries in Rockville Town Center today. 

They had this video called "Neighbor" by Kanat Akar. 

It's about the life of a 13-year old refugee boy from Alleppo, Syria who migrated to Anakara, Turkey. 

The video is eerie and hypnotic as it walks you through the eyes of this little boy and the misery of his life. 

While to me it represents the dark side of life, there is so much to be explored and felt from it. 

You can't watch this without feeling like you are there on this dirty, squalor of a road to nowhere, but wanting desperately to know where it ends.  ;-)

(Source Video: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 31, 2018

Iran Had Better Look To The Haggadah

On Passover, we recite the Haggadah to remember how G-d redeemed us from being slaves in Egypt. 

At the Seder, many also recite the Hatikvah--the Israeli National Anthem--to remember that our suffering and redemption didn't end almost 3,500 years ago in the Exodus from Egypt, but has continued to this very day post Holocaust with the establishment of the modern-day State of Israel. 

One thing that I will tell you is that if Slavery in Egypt and all the anti-Semitism, Inquisitions, Pogroms, Expulsions, and the Holocaust taught us anything is that:

- One, our faith in G-d Almighty and his love and promised redemption for us will never cease, and 

- Two, that we will never, ever, go like sheep to the slaughter again.

Already in 1981 and 2007, with the help of Hashem, Israel rid the world of the scourge of nuclear weapons of destruction from the hands of tyrannical Middle Eastern dictatorships in both Iraq and Syria. 

And I would venture to say that neither of these enemies were as completely hateful, ruthless, and vowed to Israel's destruction as Iran is today. 

In the Haggadah we recall the eternal fight of good over evil:
"For not only one enemy has tried to destroy us, but in every generation, nations have tried to destroy us, but the Holy One, blessed be He, always saves us from their hands."

As sure as we celebrate Passover today, I am confident that G-d will once again make a tremendous miracle and save us from the hands of the maniacal mullahs in Iran who pose an existential threat to the Israelites today. 

Israel's Operation Babylon and Operation Orchard in Iraq and Syria were successful actions in and of themselves, but they were also practice runs for what is yet to come to the spinning centrifuges in Axis of Evil, Iran. 

G-d's promise to Abraham to bless the Israelites and give them the Holy Land--whether by the ten plagues in Egypt or the Allied victory over Adolf Hitler--redemption will soon be coming again delivered compliments of the heroic Israeli Defense Forces.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 17, 2018

Assad's Time Is Up

One year ago in April, the U.S. unleashed 59 cruise missiles on an air base in Syria that was involved in chemical attacks on civilians.

That was a warning message.


Today, the attacks against civilians, including the use of chemical weapons, continues in Syria unabated. 

There are now over 500,000 killed in Syria. 

That includes over 14,000 children killed by snipers, machine guns, grenades, IEDs, barrel bombs, gas attacks, and even torture and execution. 

In 2016, almost 1,500 were killed in one chemical attack alone by the Assad regime.  

Two weeks ago, Syria's sponsor, Russia is accused of using the most deadly of chemical nerve agents to poison a former spy and his daughter in the UK. 

It is high time for the U.S. to intervene and send a very definite message against the use of chemical weapons and indiscriminate killing and to take out Assad. 

Assad is a ruthless dictator with the blood of innocents on his hands and his continued use of WMD flies in the face of civilized society and sets a tone where this or worse can and will be used in the future. 

The U.S. needs to reset the bar on the use of these dangerous weapons by sending a clear message that those who use it indiscriminately will pay the ultimate price. 

We already provided a warning message in April last year. 

The Assad regime, Russia, axis of evil Iran, and Hezbollah terrorists all need to get the message from us loud and clear that red lines will not be crossed without paying a very serious price--and that all their efforts at expanding their malevolent reach across that region have been for naught. 

Assad is the ultimate April Fool if he thinks that a cruise missile isn't going to land on his head this time around and it will be very well-deserved indeed. 

For all the civilians and children, and for all the future generations--the time is up. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 9, 2017

Drones Vs. Man

I took this photo of this man and drone in Florida. 

Look how close this machine is flying to his head!

Aside from the surveillance capabilities and offsetting privacy issues, these are bringing some dangerous fighting capabilities anywhere and everywhere.

Just today, I read about how the U.S. shot down an armed Syrian drone--presumably made and deployed by Iran!

I guess it's not proprietary technology anymore!

As drones and robots become better, faster, and cheaper and ubiquitous on the battlefield and on main street, who will be (relatively) safe anymore? 

Unless of course, my drones are stronger than your drones!

It's going to be a war of technology and machines more than ever before. 

Small ones like insects, swarms of them like engulfing locust, and large ones like Godzilla. 

What was once human flesh against a steel blade, arrow, and then bullet is now going to be an superfast artificially intelligent, armed to the hilt "man of steel" (and they don't miss) against just regular everyday people.

Don't hurt your hand punching that Robot in the face. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 30, 2017

You Can Take The Man From Washington

Wow, it just seems like there is no getting away from Washington, D.C. politics!

Even here in beautiful Florida, I ran into this caricature of former President Obama in some street art downtown.  

Man, isn't it enough that he empowered the Axis of Evil Iran and North Korea; left Syria and Ukraine to rot in bloody civil war and to kneel beneath the will of the Russians; ignored the Sino military buildout in the South China Sea, was lax on radical Islamists, ISIS, and global terrorism; abandoned America's allies Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the gulf nations; and let's not forget that he literally doubled our national debt to $20 trillion!

What was once an admirable Democratic party is still reeling today from the embrace of leadership from behind, disengagement, weakness, and blatant anti-Semitism. 

Like Forrest Gump says, life is not a bowl of cherries or box of chocolates, especially when failed leaders do the wrong things and hurt the country and their party. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 8, 2017

Rivers Of Blood

So after years of brutal war in Syria and use of chemical weapons of mass destruction...

Obama and Kerry did nothing!

And the result has literally been rivers of blood in Syria. 

Obama and Kerry could have fired the warning shots--as President Trump just did 79 days into his new administration--but Obama and Kerry choose weakness and inaction.

The result of the Obama administration's inaction is that Russia has now comfortably moved and settled into Syria and that 500,000 Syrians are dead, 13.5 million require humanitarian assistance, 6 million are internally displaced, and 4.8 million refugees have fled across the borders.

Contrary to all who have accused President Trump of being complicit with Russia, instead we now see in him a leader who in fact stands up for what is right to Russia and despots like Syria's Assad.

Perhaps the real person complicit with the Russians and Iranians was Obama who let them ride roughshod over human rights and over America.

In complicity was not President Trump, but Obama secretly whispering to the Russians and caught on an open mic: "After the election, I will have more flexibility"--to do what Americans obviously wouldn't want me to do.

With regards to Syria's chemical weapons, Kerry falsely stated to the American people:


"We got 100% of chemical weapons out of Syria."

However, the slaughter continued for years and we continue to see chemical weapons used again this week with horrific pictures of men, women, and children brutally murdered in the streets of Syria.

But the weakness, disengagement, and leadership from behind from Obama and Kerry is hopefully behind us now. 

Stay tuned...next up is the phony deal that Obama and Kerry made with "Axis of Evil" Iran and the do-nothing with North Korea that has continued to lead them to a nuclear ICBM that can reach America!

So as we will soon start the holidays of Passover and Easter, we know that only G-d can make rivers of white water or of red blood flow mercifully or justly, but Obama and Kerry are the ones complicit in the slaughter of hundreds of thousands in Syria that they could've stopped, but didn't. 
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April 4, 2017

Time For The Cruise Missiles

It is high time to stop being bystanders while our military is forced to stand mostly idle in the face of the heinous crimes against humanity occurring in Syria over the last 6 years and half a million dead! 

Today, at least 70 people, including 10 children were killed in a chemical weapons attack on Syrian civilians.

In 2013, Syria killed at least 1,500 in what was the unbelievable fiasco of Obama's disappearing red line on the use of such weapons of mass destruction. 

Unfortunately, we can ill afford to tolerate the irresponsible use of these dangerous weapons--chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear.

President Trump needs to show strength where Obama showed only weakness. 

It is high time to light up the cruise missiles into the heart of Damascus--goodbye Presidential Palace and then some. 

Aside from redrawing the solid red line against WMD and punish the Assad regime's criminal activity, we will also put Iran and North Korea on notice not to underestimate or mess with us. 

We must act, before the nuclear ICBMs and suitcases rain into American cities. 

Now is the time to correct the mistakes of the past and reset our national security for the future by restoring the peace through strength. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 19, 2017

Take One--Even The Table

It's so nice when people give things away for free.

Here someone made a table of throw-a-ways and invited people to take what they wanted. 

But there was one catch...
FREE STUFF
Please Take What You Like
Please don't take the table
Gee, I guess there are people out there that would really take the table or the kitchen sink, as they say. 

We have to remind people where the red lines are.

If only our last President has remembered our nation's red lines rather than let 500,000 be slaughtered in Syria (and with chemical weapons) and our ambassador murdered in Benghazi. 

But as he said as he commuted the sentence for Chelsea Manning who stole 750,000 pages (including classified information) from the government, "justice was served"--this after only 7 years of a 35-year sentence--just 20%--that's justice for our exiting President. 

Chelsea Manning took what he liked and the table too!

And we're the laughing stock of the world again as we let the theft of classified documents leave the country to Wikileaks, but that goes right along with his letting hundreds of terrorists out of GITMO with 30% returning to terrorism

We're full of free give-a-ways aren't we--even when we're being robbed blind--what's his approval rating again?  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 2, 2016

U.S. Shuts Eyes To Syria and Ukraine

While we are willing to take in some refugees (true to "our values"), we are not willing to enforce "red lines" and stop the killing in Syria's almost 6-year murderous civil war. 

Incredibly, there are 500,000 killed (including 50,000 children) and another 2,000,000 wounded in the fighting already

Also, there are 6,000,000 internally displaced and another 4,800,000 refugees outside Syria causing a humanitarian crisis and destabilizing the region. 


Dictator Bashar Al Assad and most importantly, Russia seem unstoppable. 

Russia does not play by the West's rules--they make the rules!

While we threaten to cut off diplomatic talks, Russia continues the heaviest bombing of the war with 1,900 bombs on Aleppo in the last week alone.

The UN cries foul with empty threats of war crimes on the atrocities being committed, but again no one is willing to stop Russia.

Moreover, Russia brings in yet more advanced weaponry and warns the U.S. not to try to stop them in Syria (sound familiar to the 2014 blitzkrieg in Crimea/Ukraine?). 

Again, we are unwilling to stop the bombardment of almost 300,000 civilians in Aleppo with aid convoys, hospitals, schools, and bakeries all grotesquely now being fair game.

Last week, I watched 60 Minutes on CBS about our nuclear bomber fleet, and the rising threat of nuclear war with Russia.

What was particularly scary is that U.S. military strategists are now concerned that the U.S. is "sociologically weaker" than our opponents.

In particular, they worry that as Russia continues to threaten first use of nukes to meet their strategic aims with "an evolved willingness to employ nuclear weapons in the course of a conflict," they are counting on the U.S. to back down from any engagement or retaliation, because we would be so afraid of escalating with Russia, let alone using first. 

In other words, Russia does not consider the U.S. nuclear deterrent to be credible anymore--we are viewed as chicken and pushovers and Russia could simply "shock the Western powers into de-escalating."

First Ukraine and now Syria, what country is safe from the "Great Bear"--will the Balkans be next or perhaps somewhere even more deadly to a broken NATO and a farce of a UN. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 22, 2016

Make Up Your Mind

It all started with the Staples "Easy" button that says robotically when pressed, "That was easy!" 

Then came the "B.S." button that yells out, "That was bullsh*t!"

Now we have the decision and indecisional buttons for "Sorry," "Yes," "Maybe," and "No."

Very much like organizational decision-making and politics where either we can't make up our minds, hedge our bets because we simply don't know, or make decisions on imperfect knowledge or with plenty of biases.

It's funny-sad how instead of decisions and progress, some people lie and pretend that what they are saying has any reality or basis to it despite proof to the compelte opposite. 

For example, over and over again, we hear some politicians say there is no military solution in Syria, yet Russia has proved that completely false turning the tides of the war in Assad's favor and driving back the U.S.-backed rebels and recapturing dozens of towns and cities.

You can probably think of plenty more examples as this is the germy spin that we all must swim and navigate in. 

If only, we could just press a "truth" button to get past all the garbage thrown at us then maybe we could get down to business and really get something done. ;-)

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)

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January 6, 2016

Tears & Fears


All Opinions my own. 

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal adapted from here with attribution to International Campaign To Abolish Nuclear Weapons)
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January 1, 2016

What Do Red Lines Mean Anyway?

Whether with chemical weapons or nuclear capable ballistic missiles, we set red lines with Syria and Iran and what happens?

These are weapons of mass destruction we are talking about!


What message do we send our dangerous adversaries, when we say we are going to do something and then we hesitate or don't follow through?

Respect is earned and without that we are as good as roadkill. 


When we say something is crossing our red lines we ought to "say what we mean and mean what we say."

Our national security is important, and so are our red lines and follow through actions. ;-) 


(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal adapted from here with attribution to hobvias sudoneighm)

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December 8, 2015

If Terror Fits

There is the old saying that "If the shoe fits, wear it" or as this holiday shopping sign says, "Buy it!


I know everyone has their personal filters through which they see the world--many of these come from family, friends, community, teachers, religion, personal experiences, or even innate personality.


One thing that I think many people are struggling with these days with politics is what possible filters are guiding many concerning policies of our country resulting in:


- The tepid response to terror attacks on this country as well as in Paris, London, and Jerusalem.


- The clamping down on free speech in the wake of terror.


- The lax immigration checks on refugees.


- The dangerous spread of ISIS after the withdrawal from Iraq.


- The disappearing red line in Syria.


- The emboldening Iranian nuke deal.


- The bias perceived against friend and ally, Israel.


- The unbriddled Russian resurgence.


- The lumbering pivot to address Chinese militarization.


We are living in chaotic world times, and we need strong hands on the rudder to safeguard the people and future of the country--for that we need to understand where politics and politicians are coming from that may be leading to either sound or compromised decisions and the resulting return and risk to the fate of us all. ;-)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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October 8, 2015

Please Tell Us Your Diabolical Intentions

So Russia is escalating in Syria (from devastating air strikes to sea-launched cruise missiles, and now a possible land offensive) and even considering expanding into Iraq. 


"We believe this is a fundamental mistake."  --Maybe a mistake for us, but not for Russia who is wielding their mighty bear claws and showing a decisive victory!  


"We are not prepared to cooperate on strategy."  -- Is this perhaps because we don't have one, and Russia apparently does. 

"Syria is not going to turn into a proxy war between the Russia and the United States." -- Okay, so the alternative is to capitulate and give the Middle East over to Russia, like with Crimea and Eastern Ukraine. And what then will we let over to the Russians, Chinese, and Iranians next (because there's no reason for them to stop there)? 

"One of the profound difficulties dealing with Russia in Syria or elsewhere is how opaque Putin's intentions are and how the Russia system lies about what they are up to." -- Gee whiz, we can't figure out what Russia is up to as they slam Assad's opposition (that we are supporting) into smithereens? We're expecting the competition to tell us their strategy, and why should they do that? 

This last one is perhaps the most bizarre as we all implicitly understand that an adversary is not going to divulge their strategy, and moreover are using misinformation and deception to throw us off balance and advance their objectives. 

It is time for us to bring sanity back to the military equation here.

Immediately...

- Establish a no fly zone over Syria. 

- Put our own base on the ground or military assets into sharp play. 

- Issue a cease and desist ultimatum and mean it. 

The time for losing is over, and the time for winning must begin. 

We can pretend that we can look the other way and simply avoid a conflict, but all we are doing is bringing ever more devastating confrontation that much closer as we lose ground, credibility, and allies (who fear the commitment and iron hand of Russia far more than our own wavering and dubious one)--and we deceive ourselves far more than our adversaries could ever deceive us. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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February 19, 2015

Ever Feel This Way?

I took this photo of an advertisement for the "I'm With Stupid" Minions movie released on February 2. 

Sadly, I think this sums up how I am feeling about current world affairs rapidly devolving into chaos, with little to nothing happening to bring it back from the brink:

- Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine forcibly take over the besieged city of Debaltseve in Ukraine, after the ceasefire that was agreed to last week.

- China builds four new fortress artificial islands in the South China Sea projecting it's military might in disputed waters.

- Iran threatens gas embargo on U.S.suicide missions on U.S. Navy, missile attack on Israel, and nuclear enrichment expansion while negotiating for a lifting of sanctions.

- Syrian fighting leaves over 250,000 dead and includes their "systematically" using chemical weapons

- ISIS burns another 45 people alive in Iraq, beheads 21 Coptic Christians abducted from Egypt, and commits mass "brutal and abnormal sex" on female captives.

- Boko Haram attack leaves another 2,000 dead in Nigeria (the world's 4th largest democracy) with "bodies scattered everywhere."

- Radical Islamists conduct terrors attacks in Europe in both France (Charlie Hebdo Magazine and a Jewish grocery store) and Copenhagen (a free speech event and a Synagogue).

- Dangerous terrorists apprehended and put away in the Guantanamo detention facility are then released with about 28% (or more) returning to their chosen terror professions. 

Daniel Henninger in the Wall Street Journal points to this sorry state of affairs and our retrenchment in world affairs, as a serious misalignment between the age-old guns and butter debate.

Maybe time for some smart people to get in on things. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 15, 2014

Another Day In The Middle East

It can be hard for a regular person to understand the course of events in the Middle East--I certainly don't!

I recognize that I don't know what I don't know, but with all due respect, it would be great if we could all better understand where we are going there. 

- On the 9/11, we were attacked by Al Qaeda hijackers, 15 of 19 of whom were Saudi Arabian, yet after 9/11, we didn't go after Saudi Arabia, but instead overthrew Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

- However, early in the 1980's Iran-Iraq War, we supported Iraq against Iran and permitted the sale of American arms to Hussein. 

- By overthrowing Saddam, in effect we established a Shiite-lead Iraq, right next to a fundamentalist Shiite Iran with a history of conflict with America. 

- In subsequent conflicts, it is not clear whether we are supporting the secularists or the fundamentalists:

a) In Syria, we have been supporting "moderate" Sunni's (although often seen aligned to Al Qaeda) against Bashar al-Assad, and what is considered the "secular Ba'ath party."

b) In Egypt, we withheld military and economic support after the overthrew of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose aims include establishing a state ruled by Sharia law, and an organization that is aligned with Hamas and Hezbollah, both listed as terrorist organizations.

- In Iran, in an attempt to move towards peaceful nuclear disarmament, we are relaxing sanctions on a country that former President George W. Bush, in his State of the Union, declared part of the Axis of Evil (2002), and with an agreement that is viewed as not better than having a 50-50 chance of success

If you find this a lot to take in, you are not alone. ;-)

All opinions my own.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 19, 2013

Eyes Wide Shut


It is the first and foremost duty of every nation to protect its people and safeguard the values upon which it stands.

Therefore, as I watch the news unfold every day, I am left incredulous at some of our actions that seem to defy this basic notion.

Maybe, I am not seeing the bigger picture, but…

A dozen years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks by “fundamentalists,” “extremists,” and our declared “War on Terrorism,” we, by our actions, seem to be supporting (tacitly and at times more overtly) those very same extremists that seek our destruction.

Here are some examples:

1) IRAN – Relations thaw and we begin reconciliation with arch enemy Iran (the #1 world sponsor of terrorism) and consider removing sanctions and even considering to allow nuclear capability to remain Iran leaving long time allies Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE scratching their heads, and Iranians still shouting “Death to America!”

2) SYRIA – We ostensibly support and arms rebels in Syria, yet these rebels fighting Assad (who is no great character himself and allegedly uses chemical weapons on his own people) are aligned with large elements of extremists to include designated terror organization Hezbollah fighting in the thousands in Syria, as well as arch-enemy Al Qaeda!

3) EGYPT - The Egyptian military overthrows Morsi and the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood (aligned with designated terrorist organization Hamas) and the military resumes protection of non-Muslims, including the Christian community, yet we penalize Egypt and withhold military aid to those who just reestablished secular government.

4) IRAQ – We overthrow the Sunni-government of Saddam Hussein, a counterweight (albeit a ruthless dictator) to Iran’s fundamentalist Shiite leadership, and thereby create a virtual greater Shiite Kingdom in the Middle East, and then we pull out our military abandoning gains that were hard fought with the blood of our military men and women and gold from our national treasury.

5) LIBYA – We provide scant support for the overthrow of terrorist dictator Gaddafi, and when fundamentalists attack and kill our Ambassador and others in Benghazi, our military response is muted and the attackers continue to roam free, rather than be speedily tracked down “dead or alive.”

We are a principled nation based on democracy, diversity, and human rights, and we have led the world in greatness towards those ideals.

We can win the peace through the righteousness of our cause, but as with Hitler, there is no placating avowed enemies of the ideals of freedom.

Why abandon longtime friends and allies, and coddle terrorists and those that seek the destruction of our nation and way of life?

"All that is needed for the forces of evil to Triumph is for enough good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Eneas De Troya)

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September 6, 2013

Target >>> WMD

At this time, there is a massive debate as well as much confusion going on over what to do about Syria's alleged use of chemical weapons, and their brutal civil war against a mixed element of fighters (some moderates and many other dangerous fundamentalists).

On one hand, people are saying they don't want to get involved in yet another conflict (after 10 years with Iraq and Afghanistan) and this is most understandable. 

On the other hand, we are talking about extremely dangerous regimes like Iran and Syria that are pursuing, prepared to use, or have used weapons of mass destruction.

Taking out Syria's extensive chemical weapons facilities are good targets to prevent further use against their own people, their neighbors, or us, except that we have to be careful not to end up helping our arch enemy, Al Qaeda, who is fighting to establish a foothold there, in the process.

Many are saying that this attack on Syria would really be a warning or even a precursor to destroying the proliferating Iranian nuclear sites--which are even better targets due to the regime's terrorist underpinnings and genocidal ambitions.

As long as Iran and Syria are able to pursue these WMD programs, how can we really be safe?

The red line is genocide, and Iran and Syria are there--one in explicit horrific threats of nuclear holocaust and the other in dastardly deeds with chemical weapons or otherwise brutal slaughter of civilians.

This is a very complicated world situation, and we really don't know the true motivations of any player, but the stakes are so high with WMD--there is no room for error. 

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal with attribution to James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies and 1155/New Scientist Global Security)
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August 31, 2013

Should Or Shouldn't The U.S. Attack Syria

As the hour approaches for a punishing U.S. attack on Syria, here are some thought on why or why not to do it:

Reasons Not To Attack Syria:

War-weary--The U.S. has been fighting back since 9/11 2001, how much more blood and treasure should we spend in a war that has brought limited results with over 5K dead and over 50K wounded Americans and costing almost $1.5 trillion dollars so far. 

World policeman--No country alone, including the U.S. can be the policeman for the world. We cannot get involved in every war and skirmish: we can't afford it; it is a distraction from our full slate of pressing domestic issues, and we ourselves are not perfect. 

International Discord--Russia and China, two other U.N. Security Council members are not on board with us in punishing Syria for use of chemical weapons or for ending the conflict there. Even the U.K backed out of the operation. 

Potential backlash--Syria, Hezbollah, or Iran may lash out at American interests, including neighboring Israel, embassies/posts worldwide, oil infrastructure, and more. 

Limited strike, limited benefits--With all the media and lack of secrecy on this operation, the Syrians have had the notice and time to vacate suspected target attack sites and move critical equipment out. Also, we have already ruled out attacking the chemical weapons themselves due to fear of collateral damage. Plus, we have already said that we are not going to try and unseat Assad or end the fighting. So will hitting some empty buildings in a civil war that has already been going for more than 2 years have anything but symbolic impact? 

Reasons To Attack Syria:

Morality--We can't stand idly by while Assad indiscriminately is killing civilians (including women and children). 

Norms of War--We must send a message that use of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) is horrific and a precedent that is unacceptable. 

Red Line--We drew a red line and now we must adhere to it; our words and deeds must be consistent or else we lose credibility. 

Punish bad behavior--The Syrian civil war has cost over 100,000 lives so far and displaced millions, torturing and executing civilians and using chemical weapons is bad nation state behavior and must be punished to mete out justice, as a deterrent, as a rehabilitative action, and to reimpose some equality back in the fight.

Protect Ourselves--Being clear and sending a global message that use of WMD is unacceptable helps in the end to protect us from being victims of such a dastardly deed as well. It is in our own national self-interest.

Axis of Evil--Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah are working together to spread Anti-American and Anti-Israel hatred, terrorism, and to develop WMD (including Nukes) to threaten us and establish a greater stranglehold on the Middle-East as well as Europe. This is a war that is not desired by us, but one that has been thrust upon us by adversaries seeking our destruction. 

Closing Thoughts:

If we do it, then we should do it right.  

"Sending a message," in Syria rather than fighting to win something strategically meaningful and tangible continues to leave us vulnerable and just having to fight another day.

We can't straddle issues of morality, norms of war, and defense of our nation and way of life--either take out Assad, end the bloodshed, and establish a peaceful, democratic government or what is the point?

Obviously, there are arguments to be made on either side. 

But what is frustrating is that making a decision after we've concluded wrongdoing, and doing something positive is seeming to take too long, and strong leadership is required to bring resolution and greater good. 

Moreover, we need to look at the greater threat picture, so while sending Tomahawk missiles to Syria for their chemical weapons use, what about doing a full stopover in Iran with some Bunker Busters to put an end to their menacing and blatantly genocidal nuclear WMD program.

Wishy washy isn't going to make us any righter or safer, definitive results-oriented action can. 

(Source Photo: here with attribution to zennie62)


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