Friday, 16 March 2012

Senator McCain Advocates War Against Syria

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Though two-thirds of Americans are opposed to American military intervention in Syria, and despite the lack of constitutional authority to intervene in Syria, Arizona Senator John McCain continues to advocate for the United States military to involve itself in Syria’s affairs.

In an article McCain wrote for USA Today, McCain outlines that various reasons for why the United States should intervene in Syria, most notably humanitarian. He writes, “President Obama has stated that preventing mass atrocities is a vital part of our national security policy.”

But according to the United States Constitution, it is the role of the federal government to protect its citizens against invasion, not to invade other nations, particularly when it is not in the direct interest of America’s national defense. Article Four, Section Four states that the “United States shall guarantee to every State a republican form of government and shall protect each of them against invasion.”

United States security policy is intended to defend the national security interests of the United States, not to cause Americans to serve under a foreign flag or foreign command.

Unfortunately, the United States has already engaged itself in the affairs of other nations, through sanctions and propping up foreign regimes that often times have to later be taken down (i.e. Egypt), and it is from that foundation that McCain has found justification to take action in Syria. He explains:

Senior U.S. military and intelligence officials testified recently to Congress that President Bashar Assad's forces are gaining momentum, and that Assad could remain in power for the foreseeable future. The current policy of diplomacy backed by sanctions has been overtaken by events. The situation in Syria has become an unfair and uneven conflict, with Iran and Russia fueling Assad's slaughter.

McCain goes on to discuss the atrocities committed by Assad and his forces, and attempts to call U.S. military intervention a humanitarian effort: “Though Assad tries to portray the opposition as terrorists, this is false. They are ordinary Syrians who want a better life. They share many of our values and interests, and they want our help. We should offer them military and humanitarian assistance.”

But as noted by The American Spectator, the consequences of humanitarian interventions are almost never good, “like Bosnia, Haiti, Kosovo, and Somalia, which left ethnic cleansing, violence, instability, and terrorism in their wake.”

Ironically, McCain compared American military intervention in Syria to that of Bosnia and Kosovo under President Clinton. "There are still times," he quoted the former president as stating, "when America and America alone can and should make the difference for peace."

McCain also attempted to reconfigure his fierce advocacy of American military intervention in Syria by asserting that it should not be a unilateral effort, but instead should include the help of such organizations as the Arab League, European Union, and NATO.

Of course, any NATO endeavor in any nation is virtually an American endeavor, since the United States is a major financial contributor to NATO and has provided most of its military forces. Last year, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates made that very point when remarking on U.S. efforts in Libya. Gates asserted that the United States’ funding in NATO operations is “disproportionate.”

Furthermore, observed The New American's Warren Mass in a June 11, 2010 article for TNA online:

A largely unknown fact about NATO is that it is a subsidiary of the United Nations. The NATO Charter, signed by its 12 original member nations, notes that the pact derives its legitimacy from the UN. Article I of the NATO Charter states:

The Parties undertake, as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, to settle any international dispute in which they may be involved by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered, and to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.”

It’s worth noting that American military efforts in Syria have already garnered the support of some members of the Council on Foreign Relations. CFR’s Steven A. Cook endorsed military action in Syria to avoid leaving “Syrians to their fate.”

Secretary Gates (who is also a CFR member) also said that America’s allies were all too “willing and eager for American taxpayers to assume the growing security burden left by reductions in European defense budgets.”

Meanwhile, the notion that the United States is not already engaged in the warfare in Syria is more than likely a fallacy anyway.

According to recently leaked Wikileak documents, an insidious war on Syria may have already begun, as the Pentagon is planning to direct terrorist attacks and assassinations inside of Syria in order to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.

A leaked email, written by Reva Bhalla, Stratfor’s Director of Analysis, reveals details of a December 6 Pentagon meeting wherein members of the USAF strategic studies group, as well as military officers.

Bhalla learned that despite official assertions made by the United States government, there were already NATO powers on the ground in Syria.

“After a couple hours of talking, they said without saying that SOF teams (presumably from US, UK, France, Jordan, Turkey) are already on the ground focused on recce [reconnaissance] missions and training opposition forces,” states the email.

The email continues by indicating that the purpose of the mission is to hypothetically “commit guerrilla attacks, assassination campaigns, try to break the back of the Alawite forces, elicit collapse from within.”

It is that type of covert intervention that has provoked the ire of Middle Eastern nations against the United States. The U.S. does not, noninterventionists have pointed out,  have a great track record when it comes to choosing sides.

For example, the United States gave its support to the rebel forces in Libya, which were said to be fighting against Gaddafi’s torturous regime. However, video footage appeared on YouTube that showed Libyan rebels torturing a group of sub-Saharan African detainees by locked them in a zoo cage and force-feeding them flags.

As noted by the Daily Mail, “Accusations of the mistreatment and disappearances of suspected Gaddafi loyalists are embarrassing for Libya’s ruling National Transitional Council, which has vowed to make a break with practices under Gaddafi and respect human rights. It is also awkward for the Western powers which backed the anti-Gaddafi rebellion and helped install Libya’s new leaders.”

In Egypt, the United States propped up President Hosni Mubarak for decades before deciding it had made a mistake and then assisted the rebels in helping to take Mubarak down. GOP presidential contender Ron Paul remarked that the U.S. should not be using money and force to gain influence in foreign nations, and that American foreign policy has failed to make the U.S. any safer while simultaneously devaluing the dollar and US credibility.

The American Spectator observes, “Last year's homegrown Egyptian revolution has turned ugly. The military authorities look little different than the Mubarak apparatchiks they replaced, Islamists captured the vast majority of parliamentary seats in recent elections, Coptic Christians have come under increasingly violent attack, and Israel is less secure.”

Likewise, American intervention in Iraq proved to be a failure. It destroyed that nation, setting off a conflict that killed perhaps hundreds of thousands of people, wounding and otherwise traumatizing far more, forcing as many as half of Iraq's Christians from their homes, many to Syria, and empowering Iran.

Furthermore, the American Spectator notes, “Intervention in Libya prolonged the civil war, killing thousands of Libyans, and so far has resulted in human rights violations, occasional armed conflict, enhanced Islamist influence, and an international market in stolen weapons, with liberal democracy still but a faint hope for the future.”

Intervention in Syria should not be expected to go very differently, as the Assad regime has real support. Even with some defections, the military and security forces remain largely united. And a number of Syrians (including many Syrian Christians) still support Assad as the lesser of two evils.

Meanwhile, more than half of Americans stand opposed to U.S. intervention in Syria. Sixty-two percent of Americans surveyed by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press are opposed to bombing the Syrian military, with sixty-three percent opposed to sending weapons to the rebels in Syria.

It seems the American people have grown wise to the pitfalls of America’s foreign policy. Why haven’t our lawmakers?

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