Syria is a place where the Islamic State thrives but where the USA has been unwilling to go. There are even rumblings, purportedly from Foreign Service officers, that the USA ought to change strategies in Syria, including ousting Assad as ruler of Syria along with taking the fight to the Islamic State. VP Biden has said that we don’t dare do that because no one has a crystal ball to show how such a story would end. It could end quite badly, with a failed state (chaos) in a strategic location. Nonetheless, with the Islamic State taking credit for violence in Bangladesh overnight, and an airport bombing in Istanbul just a couple of days ago, and a mass shooting in an Orlando nightclub, on top of still-seared-in-our-memory attacks in Brussels, San Bernadino, and Paris, the USA’s actions against the Islamic State confined to just Iraqi territory, do not appear to be bringing an end to the terror. Russia has taken some actions against terrorists on Syrian soil, but Russia is also interested in protecting Assad, a useful pawn, just as Iran has, for many decades, been a useful proxy for Russia.
I ran across a video clip from MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Friday, July 1, 2016 wherein the pundits just acted bewildered over the Obama administration’s ineptitude in countering the Islamic State. The plan appears to be to leave all Syrian-territory campaigns against the Islamic State in the hands of the Assad government (which is allied with and militarily aided by Russia and Iran). The pundits on Morning Joe, in their bewilderment, surmise that the Obama administration is too risk-averse to do what needs to be done in Syria: Extinguish the Islamic Stand and depose Assad.
Click the following to open up the Morning Joe segment referenced above:
I’m not at all bewildered. Russia has all the leverage. They are blackmailing the Obama administration. How do I deduce that? I think if I just connect a couple of dots for you, I think you’ll be able to connect them with other dots so that you can see a bigger picture emerging.
When Syria crossed the red line of using chemical weapons, instead of punishing Assad, Secretary of State John Kerry negotiated with the Assad regime so that chemical weapons would be dismantled. This is a clear signal that the USA did not envision anyone leading an independent Syria other than Assad. So, despite the various factions jockeying for power in Syria, and despite the fact that we may feel sympathetic to one or more of the factions fighting to topple Assad, Kerry’s agreement reached with Assad underlines that the Obama administration will not seek regime change in Syria. I am not surprised by this. As for the reason why I am not surprised at this stance, it flows from a postmodern ideology (which I don’t agree with). I don’t plan on delving into the ideology in this blog post. It is sufficient to merely connect the dots to show Obama had no intention of toppling Assad or mobilizing our military in Syria.
But I will go further to say that not only does Obama have no intention of intervening in Syria, the Russians will make sure that Obama does not change his mind.
Remember that Clinton email server controversy? Oh, yeah! It’s all over the news! The FBI has been investigating it! Right? But oftentimes, when key witnesses have been deposed, not only do the witnesses lawyer up as they head into these depositions, but the State Department and Justice Department have also, from time to time, sent their own lawyers. Why? To limit the scope of what questions the FBI asks. So, connect this dot. What does it mean when the State Department and the Justice Department (of which the FBI is a part!!!) see to it that the FBI inquiries are very narrow? It’s one thing when questions go unanswered (and some witnesses have pled the 5th Amendment). We, the public, are only permitted transcripts, so even our window into whatever little answers there are is a very narrow window. It’s entirely another thing when question after question that the FBI would like to ask is considered out-of-bounds. I say that the dots connected here are that the integrity of both the State Department and the Justice Department could be compromised if all questions could be asked and were answered. If all facts came to light, it would devastate more than just Hillary Clinton. State and Justice have skin in the game.
Hillary Clinton, for her part, wanted to be sure that any personal communications were to be safeguarded on the private server. Never mind the classified top secret government information, for concern over leakage of that would be secondary to leakage over Clinton’s personal communications.
The mainstream media, for the most part, have been downplaying the Clinton’s private email server as a mistake. The server could have been successfully hacked, but we don’t know that, so says the MSM. So as long as we don’t know if the server was hacked, this mistake is forgivable and no harm has been done?
What if, on the other hand, the server was successfully hacked and Russia possesses ALL of the information that was on it, not just the top secret classified stuff, which might include troubling info about State and Justice, but Hillary’s personal stuff, too. Since the Reagan administration, the Bush family, the Clinton family, and the Obama family have safeguarded each other’s White House secrets. Though Republican voters had very little interest in a Jeb Bush POTUS candidacy, I think the Obamas and the Clintons were very much depending on a Bush nomination. If Bush had been the presumptive nominee, his interest would have probably been confined to winning, not exposing Clinton or Obama, for they could expose two former Bush presidents. If Russia possessed ALL of that information, Bush would probably suppress as much of the information as he could. The mood of the electorate, though, has been for outsiders to oust the insiders. If we, the voters, could trade places with an “outsider” candidate, like Trump, and we, as the outsider candidate, became dimly aware that the Russians possessed ALL of that information, would we want it? Somewhere in that information that Russia would have is something that is “Kryptonite” to not only Hillary, but to the Justice Department, and to the State Department, for that’s what we can infer by all the lawyering up and the narrow limits placed upon the FBI inquiries. So, if we as the outsider candidate, were aware that records exist of scandal and corruption, would we, unlike a Jeb Bush, have an appetite to expose it? Such a scenario, then, would strengthen the hand of the Russians, for Clinton and Obama are in a more precarious situation than if they were running against Jeb.
The only way to wipe out the Islamic State is to get Russia and Iran to do it, for the Assad regime is not powerful enough to repel the Islamic State, nor will Russia allow anyone to interfere with Assad or Iran. They have blackmailed the Obama administration with all that they know about our government’s corruption and scandals at the highest levels. Obama cannot change course on Syria even if he wanted to (but he doesn’t).
How bad could the corruption, the scandals, possibly be? For now, I leave those dots for you, the readers, to connect. You’ve been hearing bits and pieces of things, haven’t you?
By the way, Saudi Arabia: For all the influence that you think you bought by donating to the Clinton Global Initiative, you are not as protected from Iran as you think you are. Russia poses an existential threat to Clintonian power, so that means Iran has more leverage than you.