Tuesday, 03 September 2013

With Obama on the War Path, Syria Disaster Set to Get Worse

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The situation in Syria is about to go from bad to worse as the Obama administration outrageously suggests it will defy the Constitution and start a full-blown war, regardless of whether Congress approves or not. Analysts say the escalating disaster — brought about thanks in large measure to ongoing U.S. intervention on behalf of establishment-backed Jihadist “rebels” — could be set to literally explode. From unintended consequences and possible retaliation by the Syrian regime or its allies, to aiding dangerous opposition forces and weakening America further, the anticipated U.S. strike has the potential to turn a horrifying civil war into a planetary time bomb ready to blow.   

Among the primary red flags cited by analysts about overtly joining the war against Assad with direct military intervention is the Obama-backed Syrian opposition itself. As The New American has been documenting almost from the start of the conflict, large swaths of the “rebel” forces, including the most effective opposition fighters, have openly declared their allegiance to al-Qaeda. Others fight for the Muslim Brotherhood and various extreme Islamist groups seeking to impose a regime based on sharia law if and when the secular Assad dictatorship crumbles. The myriad atrocities already perpetrated by rebel forces offer a strong hint about what may be coming should the existing regime, which despite its brutality has long protected Christians and other minorities, were to be replaced by the rebels.         

Countless Christians and Shias have already been massacred by Western establishment- and Sunni-backed “rebels,” including whole towns. A spokesman for the “Free Syrian Army,” supposedly one of the “moderate” opposition groups, even threatened to unleash an ethnic-cleansing program during a TV interview earlier this year. Rebel forces have also been exposed engaging in cannibalism on video, murdering children, using chemical weapons, firing on civilian protesters, beheading Christian leaders, brutally enforcing sharia law, threatening to attack the United States and Israel, and much more. With al-Qaeda and other Islamist factions likely to take over the nation if and when Assad falls — a process that would be made much easier with U.S. missile strikes on the regime — the ongoing bloodbath could easily go from bad to worse in an instant, especially for minorities.  

In an interview with the Catholic News Service, Syrian-born Melkite Catholic Patriarch Gregoire III Laham spoke out forcefully against even deeper foreign intervention in the conflict. “It has brought us to the tragedy we are now living in Syria,” he explained, adding that further intervention “would be a tragedy, a tragedy, a tragedy — for the whole country and the whole Middle East." Praising the recent calls for peace and dialogue in Syria by Pope Francis, the patriarch also blasted continued talk of weapons, intervention, and warships. He also called for an end to the deployment of foreign criminals into Syria to help battle Assad.

“Enough with the intervention,” he continued, saying foreign interference was destroying communities and the longtime friendship between different peoples — Muslims and Christians — inside Syria. “It is fueling hatred, fueling criminality, fueling inhumanity, fueling fundamentalism, terrorism — all these things are the fruit of intervention. Enough! … Surely, it will spread like a world war." Instead of foreign powers seeking regime change “with blood,” Patriarch Laham, like numerous other Christian leaders in the region, called for peaceful reforms.  

Another potential consequence of a U.S. attack on Syria would be a broader regional war that could inflame the entire Middle East and possibly the world. While analysts have long suspected that Western powers and Sunni Arab despots were supporting “regime change” in Syria as a steppingstone on the way to Iran, American military strikes on Syria could easily spiral out of control. The Syrian regime has already threatened to attack Israel if foreign powers intervene with direct military action, and few believe the threat to be rhetorical. The Russian and Chinese governments, meanwhile, continue to oppose foreign intervention in Syria, with some analysts saying they could get involved in the conflict — potentially contributing to another global war. 

As the war drums in Washington are banged louder and louder, even members of the U.S. military are expressing their concerns — in some cases, very publicly. On Twitter, for example, servicemen have been flooding social media with posts about going to fight on behalf of al-Qaeda in Syria, saying they did not join the armed forces to support terror. Even among the top brass, the Washington Post reports that senior officers are concerned about unintended consequences, including the administration’s lack of a coherent strategy, the potential for terrorists to seize control of Syria, and the possible dramatic escalation of tensions at a time when the U.S. government is already drowning in debt.

The public, too, is overwhelmingly against the idea, with recent polls showing that less than 10 percent of Americans support further intervention. Indeed, opposition to the Obama administration’s war agenda transcends traditional political divides, with establishment lawmakers in both parties loudly calling for war, even as those loyal to their constituents and the U.S. Constitution speak out against it. Across the political spectrum, efforts are being made to restrain Obama.

Former Rep. Dennis Kucinich, a liberal Democrat, for example, blasted the idea of further U.S. intervention, saying Obama’s proposed air strikes on Syria would essentially make the U.S. military “al Qaeda's air force.” Separately, a coalition of more than 50 Democrat lawmakers wrote to Obama warning him about not drawing the United States “into an unwise war — especially without adhering to our own constitutional requirements.” The letter also called on the president to wait for the United Nations investigation about the chemical weapons attack allegedly perpetrated by Assad. Over a hundred Republicans sent a similar letter.

Meanwhile, former Rep. Ron Paul, a liberty-minded Republican who has long promoted the non-interventionist foreign policy ideals of the Founding Fathers, pointed to the likelihood of unintended consequences. “What if there is an accident and 100 Russians get killed by our bombs? Who knows? Some type of unintended consequences,” he said during a recent interview with Fox News. “Wars always expand because of unintended consequences. They always provide short-term war. Just think of all the promises over in Iraq: short term; not much money; it’s over; we’ll get that oil. And don’t believe it.”

According to Dr. Paul, whose son Rand serves in the Senate, the real issue to be concerned with should be what is best for America, “not trying to pick sides in an impossible war like this [that] won’t be on the side of the American people.” Pointing out that a “very large majority” opposes deeper U.S. involvement in the civil war, Paul also argued that it is a bad idea on multiple grounds. “The Constitution can’t support this war and morally we can’t support this war, getting involved in a civil war and a strife that’s been going on in that region for thousands of years,” he added.

Disagreeing with the notion that every conflict, dictator, and insurgency in the world is somehow “critical to our national security,” Paul blasted those ideas as the thinking of “an empire, not a republic.” “It is the kind of thinking that this president shares with his predecessor and it is bankrupting us and destroying our liberties here at home,” he said, pointing to media reports indicating that the U.S. military does not even have the money to attack Syria right now without getting more funding from Congress.

“It seems our empire is at the end of its financial rope,” the former Texas congressman and presidential candidate continued in a column for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. “We should clearly understand what another war will do to the US economy, not to mention the effects of additional unknown costs such as a spike in fuel costs as oil skyrockets. We are rapidly headed for the same collapse as the Roman Empire if we continue down the president's war path.”

Obama, meanwhile, insists that the Syrian conflict is somehow crucial for U.S. national security and that the American military must strike Assad, a former U.S. terror-war ally akin to Libya's Gadhafi, to uphold what he called “the international order.” While announcing over the weekend that the administration would seek congressional approval for the strikes, the president and top officials were simultaneously claiming, falsely, that Obama could start attacking Syria without Congress anyway — and that he almost certainly will. Critics of the warmongering, citing the potential consequences and the Constitution, are urging Americans to contact their representatives and demand that the Obama be restrained before unleashing even more chaos and lawlessness.      

Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is normally based in Europe. He can be reached at

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