This is from McClatchy of 27 August: “… Britain, France and Turkey … indicated they would support military action by the United States even without a United Nations mandate.” Notice that these folks didn’t say they would support an action carried out by themselves. This is because they have better sense than to become the villain in the matter. They dangle the bait before Obama, who wants no part of anything military vis-à-vis Syria and is still up to his neck in an absolutely hopeless killing-field in Afghanistan that he could end tomorrow if he had the guts to do so by pulling out the troops.
The numbers of troops available to Britain, France and Turkey are 174,030; 238,591; and 510,600, respectively. Syria’s troops number 295,000, or at least what’s left of that number. That makes it a combined 923,221 troops against Syria’s 295,000 from nations thousands of miles closer to Syria than this country. Turkey shares a long border from which they could invade tomorrow.
Yet, the U.S. is expected to carry the water for the whole outfit—simply unthinkable, especially since this country has already done so against the Islamic threat for decades. If not for Bush 41 in 1991, for example (Kuwait), Saddam or his equally sadistic successors would own the entire Arab Peninsula today…all that oil. Or, Bush 43 in 2003 continued the no-fly zones and militarily ended the possibility of chemical warfare against the Kurds and Shiites in Saddam’s own country—Arabs butchering Arabs.
The irony would be laughable if not so serious. Though he wasn’t in the Senate to make a vote, Obama anchored his presidential campaign in 2008 in being against the Iraq action in 2003. Now, he’s set up some red lines indicating that he will act to stop chemical murder in Syria. Go figure. At last reporting (Jay Carney on the twenty-sixth), the magnitude of the chemical use was decisive, i.e., small attacks bad but okay, with massive attacks a decided no-no. Read the transcript.
No one actually knows if the red lines have been crossed, though it seems doubtful that chemicals would have been used anywhere near Damascus, where Assad lives. Yet, that’s where the inspectors at least allegedly took a look, either there or on the outskirts.
Then, there’s State Secretary Kerry, famous for his vote to take on Iraq in 2003 and then changing it, insisting on no funds to make the fight. Now, he’s hot to trot to stop Assad from doing what he didn’t seem to mind Saddam doing—attacking his own people with chemical weapons. Saddam killed by the thousands. Go figure.
The further irony lies in the fact that the reason for attacking Assad is not to effect regime-change, which Obama has said constantly is his aim, even telling Assad in 2011 to take a hike and turn the country over to who knows. He didn’t know, certainly. Now, regime-change is not the objective; rather, the action will accrue to Assad’s alleged (nobody actually knows) use of chemical weapons, as explained in no uncertain terms by British Prime Minister Cameron. Obama hasn’t said much, just sends Carney out for some mumbo-jumbo.
One can only wonder at the number and type of weapons probably to be delivered to Assad by nations such as Russia and Iran in the event that Obama takes the bait dangled by the Arab League, for instance. The fat princes in Saudi Arabia want Assad gone, probably as much as for any other reason the fact that’s he’s Sunni Alewite while they’re Sunni Wahabis. The Irani head honcho is Shiite but he can connect with Assad anyway. It’s sort of like the Baptists, Methodists and Presbyterians choosing up sides and fighting to the death over whether same-sex marriage is biblical.
And so it goes.