To counter the accusation former Secretary of the Department of State Hillary Clinton leveled against the naiveté of the White House with regard to Syria, it dispatched one of the architect of that policy Mr. Ben Rhodes to respond to her.
In an interview with “Special Report with Bret Baier” Ben Rhodes, who holds the title of Deputy National Security Advisor, said the following:
“But the reason that the president was very deliberate in his decision making there is one, we wanted to make sure that we were providing assistance to people who we knew, so that it wouldn’t fall into the wrong hands given how many extremists were operating in that area, and two, we didn’t see a plan that was going to decisively tip the balance against Assad”
Now, I understand Rhodes political mission was to dilute Clinton’s accurate accusation, but Ben Rhodes, at least do it in such a way to sound believable.
The Revolution in Syria, completely peaceful and organic, began in March of 2011. Assad killed the men, women, and children civilian demonstrators at will. He even followed them when they buried their loved ones and shot the funeral marchers. Obama managed to say something about the Assad killing machine the first time on August 18 of that year, some five months after the deliberate killings.
As expected, the barbarism of Assad started a deluge of Syrian Army defectors like Col. Riyad al-Asaad followed by many Generals and lower ranking officers and defectors.
These defectors were not extremists because they served in Assad’s army. Assad vetted them properly and had there been a hint of any extremism on their part, they would have never risen to become Generals and Colonels. They were our perfect partners, yet, Obama refused to help them. Many of our allies in the region, like Saudi Arabia, were pressing Obama to assist; they even offered to pay for any costs that would have occurred in the course of better arming the rebels,
Obama still refused to assist the defectors who were pro-US, and not extremists.
Based on the above fact, you can see how disingenuous Rhodes statement is. The White House is trying to shield itself from a just criticism, and along the way, it is attempting to re-write history, through deceptive practices, by claiming that extremism stood in the way. If Assad wanted to make an argument against arming the rebels, he could not have done a better job that Rhodes did.
When the Revolution began to turn into a civil war in November of 2011, it took almost a year (Until the summer of 2012) before we began to see extremism take shape. None other than Assad himself induced most of that extremism when he opened his jails and released Muslim extremists into the open, facilitated their arming, and organized their ranks. Of course, Rhodes will not discuss this aspect even though the US State Department did mention it when Marie Harf deflected from Hillary’s accusation by pointing the finger at Assad.
It was not until September of 2012 when it became obvious the men Assad released from his jails were having an impact on the opposition fighting. Assad hoped the world would start labeling them as extremists in order to get the West on his side. People like Rhodes fell for this ruse like a fish in a barrel falls for bait. Today, it serves him and the White House to create their own deception of why they did not arm the Syrian opposition because their inexperience has put them in quite a jam.
With regard to Rhodes’ second point from his interview, I totally agree with that notion. The White House did not see the plan to tip the balance, decisively, against Assad because THEY WERE THE PLAN. Since Obama was not about to help Assad’s opposition, then it makes sense the White House did not see them winning. Incidentally, Obama did not help the Green Movement in Iran either. What does that tell you about the chokehold Khamenei has over Obama?
Obama has a penchant for re-writing history whenever he is caught with his pants down. It would be hard to explain to him that history books do not miss the big picture, but I guess Rhodes mission was to deflect, temporarily, from Clinton’s criticism. By the time, the real historians write the truth, Obama would be long gone and his damage would be another president’s job.
Nonetheless, I think it behooves us to fight back. If our president can re-write history on Syria, he could do it on Gaza, on Egypt, on Libya, and on every disaster he caused.