Daniel B Shapiro was the former US ambassador to Israel under the Obama administration. In a February 12 op-ed, he correctly castigates US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s Middle East tour that includes Amman, Ankara, Cairo, Kuwait City, and Beirut, but not Jerusalem. According to Ambassador Shapiro, “That made little sense before the Iranian incursion yesterday: It would be malpractice now. He needs to come to Israel.”
However, when one considers the mess that the US has made in Syria, a mess that cost Israel an F-16 and some of its street credit last Saturday, this is infuriating. While Israel probably knocked out half of the Syrian air defense network and Iran is soft playing the results of its military adventurism, this volatile situation is a product of two presidential administrations’ policies in our backyard that might involve us in a huge war. Now, it looks like Israel may get thrown under bus like the Kurds.
The current Syrian civil war is not the first conflict between the secular government and religious fundamentalists. In Hama on February 2,1982, then Syrian president Hafez al Assad deployed the Syrian Arab Army and the Defense Companies to besiege the town of Hama for 27 days in to quell an uprising by the Muslim Brotherhood. The resulting massacre, carried out by the Syrian Army under his brother commanding General Rifaat al-Assad ended the campaign. For an entire month, Hafez al-Assad rained hell upon his own countrymen and no one gave a damn.
Three decades later, Obama declared Assad’s son persona non grata. All of a sudden, the US was interested in “democracy.” Let’s just say I think oil had more to do with it. The same half-white president (this is about as much color as Democrats can handle) has rained seven years of hell on Syria by involving the US in a proxy war. I am going to be frank: without US and Saudi help, Bashar would crushed the opposition like a bug. Instead, 500,000 have died in the killing fields of Syria.
Make no doubt about it, Trump is intent on carrying out this policy until there is a snuff video of Bashar like there was Kaddafi. Anyone up for a completely failed state on our Northern border like Libya? Maybe we’ll even have open air slave markets like the Libyans have where you can buy a migrant slave for $400 dollars. Forget the Filipino or Indian import metapel for saba or savta in their old age! Thanks to presidents Obama and Trump, we might have an alternative that is even cheaper than cooley labor!
The US focus in Syria according to the Trump administration according to Ambassador Shapiro is “to complete the defeat of ISIS in central and eastern Syria, provide support for Kurdish and Sunni allies in preventing an ISIS resurgence, and, to a degree, stemming an Iranian or Syrian-regime advance into areas formerly under ISIS control. The tools to effect these goals are limited: primarily 2,000 American troops, support for the Syrian Democratic Forces, and USAID-led stabilization efforts.”
Let’s break down diplomatic speak for those who took the red pill and are ready analyze. First of all, like or hate it, the US has done almost nothing against ISIS in Syria. That has been Russia and company. Think that’s twisted? Consider that some of the US “allies” in Syria included Al Nusra, an Al Qaeda affiliate.
Without going down the conspiracy rabbit hole, let’s do a little logical exercise. Al Qaeda attacked the World Trade Center. That’s makes them a bad guy right? In this Orwellian world, when is Al Qaeda our ally, and when our enemy? CIA blowback or something else, it should not be Israel’s concern. We have a border to protect and lack the ability to tackle the Iranian homeland as Naftali Bennett suggests. Besides, why give the mullahs in Iran the ability to contain weekly demonstrations against the economic waste of their foreign adventures?
Again, as Netanyahu has wisely done, we need to keep talking to the Russians. They have spent billions of rubles and spilled Russian blood. They have bases in Syria and every reason to want to stabilize their only toehold in the Mediterranean.
Obama talked to Iran and egged on the Syrian situation into a full blown civil war. Israel and the US dealt with Iran even during the Iran-Contra scandal in the eighties. We may not get the salad days of the Shah, but since the US left us on our own, we need to talk to the people that may be able to throw a lid over Iran and its allied militias. If not, we can always try the military option again.